Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Spirit in Practice: An Adult Program for Developing A Regular Practice of the Spirit

Handout 3: Eating in Community

When people hear the word “communion,” they usually think of the Christian service of sharing bread and wine (or grape juice) in commemoration of Jesus’s last supper with his friends. Yet the first definition of the word in the American Heritage Dictionary is not in the least religious at all: “The act or an instance of sharing, as of thoughts or feelings.” The word “communion” comes from a Latin word meaning “mutual participation,” and it has the same root as such words as “common” and “community.” So a family eating dinner together—an act that for many families has become rare—can be seen as a kind of spiritual communion.

During the next 20 minutes, discuss questions such as the following (or whatever else this topic brings up):

  • Did people in your household eat together when you were growing up? Either way, what was that like?
  • Do you regularly share meals with other people today? Either way, what is it like?
  • How might shared food enhance spiritual connection?
  • What do you see as the benefits of eating in community?
  • What do you see as its challenges?
  • What else do you want to talk about in relation to this topic?