CCH Congregator Weekly May 11, 2018

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The Love Feast

In seminary I attended Judson Memorial Church in Greenwich Village. I went there because of their reputation as a leading church for social justice (they still are) and to hear the thoughtful preaching of the Rev. Howard Moody. There were many parts of the church that surprised me—pre-church coffee in the sanctuary, the diversity of the congregation, the music that ranged from show tunes to old gospel numbers—but nothing was more unexpected that finding the sanctuary set for a meal on a Sunday morning.

 The first Sunday of each month the members of Judson set up tables in their sanctuary and eat together. This is their form of communion. I was just getting used to the idea that a church could exist without pews—like us, they have movable chairs as in our sanctuary. They moved their chairs a lot so it made it almost impossible to have an assigned seat each week. But to set the chairs around tables and actually eat the Lord’s Supper—unheard of, for me.

 Judson is not alone is serving an Agape Meal for Sunday communion. It may actually be the oldest form of Christian worship. The first followers of The Way met in their homes to share a meal, as Jesus did at the last supper, and to remember the stories about his life and resurrection. This meal eventually morphed into the symbolic meal we eat at communion.

 The Protestant reformation saw several groups attempt to revive the Agape meal as a part of their spiritual practices. In most groups the love feast is a meal that is enjoyed outside of formal worship. To actually move the meal into the sanctuary and shape worship around it is an unusual practice, but carries the potential to make the Eucharist a more powerful engagement with the words and practices of Jesus.

 Our church holds an Agape meal once or twice each year. It is a lot of work for the Deacons to set-up the sanctuary, but they find it an important spiritual practice for us.We are fortunate that the designers of our sanctuary provided flexible seating to make it possible to have innovative worship services. This Sunday, May 13, will be an agape meal in which all ages will stay together for worship, and the meal.

We do not hold such a service, though, just to be different. We do it so that the rituals of our faith may come alive from experiencing them in new ways. I would also hope that by eating together in worship we may know about God’s peaceable kingdom where all our equal. May we then find that all our meals are transformed into an act of worship—giving thanks to God for our blessing of the good earth and dedicating ourselves to insuring that all may partake of God’s wonderful bounty.

See you in church,
Pastor Mark

 Worship Calendar

Pastor Mark's sermon from this past Sunday, "A Pro-Choice Christian," is on-line at the church website

May 13: Agape Meal
This intergenerational service will be an Apape Meal in which the sanctuary set-up with tables and chairs and we eat a meal as our communion service. There is a sign-up to bring food for the meal on the sheet on the church bulletin board.

May 20: Bible and Violence
One of the hottest of buttons in the US is gun control. Pastor Mark will look to see what the Bible has to say about this for his third in the Hot Buttons sermon series.

Welcome Ramadan 2018

Open Mosque Day
Masjid Noor
Saturday, May 12

You are invited to an open house at Masjid Noor mosque, 1032 Park Ave., Huntington, on Saturday, May 12, from 6-8:00 PM. Enjoy great food, a mosque tour and meet your Muslim neighbors as they begin Ramadan.

Pastor's Book Group

The May selection for the Pastor's Book Group is "The Third Reconstruction," by the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II. Rev. Barber has been called the closest thing we have to Martin Luther King Jr. A Disciples of Christ minister, Rev. Barber led the 2013 "Moral Mondays" protests for social justice at the North Carolina legislature. This book is part memoir, part history lesson, and primarily a vision of how we may come together to build a more just society.

From the publisher: At a time when divide-and-conquer politics are exacerbating racial strife and economic inequality, Rev. Barber offers an impassioned, historically grounded argument that Moral Mondays are hard evidence of an embryonic Third Reconstruction in America.

The book group will meet to discuss the Rev. Barber's book on Wednesday, May 30 at Jane Madden-Koch's home.

A yoga class is being offered to all adult church members on Tuesdays from 4:00-5:00 pm in the Sanctuary. Bonnie and Kristin bring their long-standing love of yoga and their instructor Marie Cruz to the CCH community. Yoga offers many positive benefits to the body, mind and spirit through the practice of meditation and mindfulness. As another busy holiday season approaches, yoga can help us find the balance we all  seek. The class is $20.00 per session. For more details call Bonnie or Kristin at 516.922.9525 or Sue at the Church office.

Joys and Concerns

We  hold Terrence Sheldon in our prayers as he is in Boston for a 4-6 week treatment program for his pain syndrome. If you would like to send a card to Terrence it is best to send it to their home as he will be there each weekend.

Volunteers Needed

Northport Food Pantry

We collect food for the Northport Food pantry each week at our church. Please place donations in the box by the church office.

Peace and Plenty Food Outreach:   Peace and Plenty is in need of plastic grocery bags to deliver their lunches each week. Bring any extra to the church. You are invited to help make sandwiches and prepare snacks for children in Huntington. Peace and Plenty will meets on Mondays at 6:30 PM. They are also in need of donations of lunch meats and cheeses, fruit and healthy snacks.

Cooks Needed for the Peace & Plenty program
We're looking for a few volunteers who can help us send the Tri CYA trays of
cooked food such as baked ziti, chicken and rice, pasta with meatballs or meat sauce, etc. Most children at the Tri CYA receive free breakfast and lunch at school during the school year and rely on the Tri CYA  for at least one nutritious meal. We try to support that effort with some substantial dishes, beyond sandwiches.  Some of the food may also be sent to individuals unable to get out to food pantries and living with food shortages. If you would like to help  please contact Anne:

Upcoming Events



       Sunday, May 6

       Worship Service at 10:00 AM

       Church School at 10:00 AM

       Fellowship Hour at 11:00 AM


       Monday, May 7

       Peace and Plenty Lunch Program at 6:30 PM

       Trustee’s Meeting at 7:30 PM


       Tuesday, May 8

        Membership Committee at 7:30 PM


       Thursday, May 10

       Bell Choir at 6:00 PM

       Choir Rehearsal at 7:30 PM


       Sunday, May 13

       Agape Meal Intergenerational Worship Service at 10:00 AM

       Fellowship Hour at 11:00 AM: Mike & Lauren Eliash


        Monday, May 14

        Peace and Plenty Lunch Program at 6:30 PM

        Strategic Planning Team at 7:30 PM


        Thursday, May 17

        Bell Choir at 6:00 PM

        Choir Rehearsal at 7:30 PM

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The Congregational Church of Huntington

30 Washington Drive

Centerport, NY 11721

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