Okra Abbey

Dear Church,

 

I joined the people of Okra Abbey for lunch yesterday. Okra Abbey is a New Worshipping Community of our presbytery. They serve lunch to whomever shows up every Wednesday at noon. They call this time “Greens and Grace.”

 

We ate outside in their simple side yard in Pigeon Town surrounded by raised beds of beautiful vegetables and herbs. There were beets and carrots and turnips and lettuce and collard greens and cabbage, as well as cilantro and mint and parsley. It was a bounty of freshness, gloriously healthy and beautiful.

 

The bounty of people was also glorious. So many people that we had to add another table. People from all over the city, brought together by a simple invitation: fresh food, simple worship, deep community. I left there refreshed and renewed.

 

I was particularly struck with their freedom and lack of fear. They don’t have a big building to take care of, so they are more easily able to live in the moment. They have signs all around the garden like the one above – advocating a beloved community in which no one is in danger and everything is shared. Their community felt a bit like the early church we read about in the Bible. And it was very, very good.

 

Obviously, FPCNO has some different realities with its large, traditional building and long history. So I wonder – What can this church do to be freer and more in the moment? How might we live into the simple depth of those people in the garden, honoring people and the earth’s bounty more than bricks and mortar?

 

I realize that those may be my questions and not yours. The deep community of people willing to be transformed by the powerful love of God above all else has a strong pull for me. It is what I understand Jesus to be inviting us into. What about you? What does Jesus’ invitation look like to you?

 

Grace and peace,

 

Pastor Kim

 

 

Presbyterian Fun Fact

There are about 75 million Reformed/Presbyterian Christians worldwide and about 2.5 million belong to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

 

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