Breaking Bread and Building Community
On Wednesday, one of our Community Dinners was held. With over 30 people in the room, it had the feeling of a happening, the kind we have not experienced in many years. People were meeting, eating, helping, sharing, and laughing. I felt renewed just by being in the space.
On Friday, we will have our Annual Harvest meal. This is an event that takes a lot of work and yet has been one of the most joyous events of our year. People meet, eat, help, share, and clean—and on some years we have games and music as well. What is special about this event is that it broadens the definition of community. MDUUC members and friends come, some people from the larger community come, and people who might have no other place to enjoy a festive meal this weekend convene as well. From this gathering, we have met new friends for the first time, including families whose kids have had a chance to play somewhere safe for a time. And over the years of the pandemic, we developed a new practice—delivering meals to those who can’t attend in person and yet who are glad to be remembered.
This year, I hope many will gather—it will be especially nice because this year people are able to share foods once more and bring appetizers and sides and desserts. I hope some will be part of our preparation for that is its own community time. And others will have the satisfaction of helping prepare our meals for delivery and others the privilege of delivering. On our new day of Friday, I think this communal activity is a wonderful counter for the excesses of shopping that generally mark the last Friday of November in the United States now.
Our “traditions” are ever-evolving, giving us new ways to build community which is something we can’t do too much of in these times. So let’s break bread and expand community!