Cornbread and Cider Communion in Refugee Times

a golden loaf of cornbread on a cutting board


The Cornbread and Cider Communion is a tradition in some of our congregations. With gratitude for our freedom and for our abundance, let us celebrate this ritual today mindful of Syrian and other refugees who are unable to go home, those for whom we pray safe passage and a welcoming reception when they arrive at their destinations.

I invite you to come forward now to pick up a cornbread muffin and a cup of apple juice. Please take these back to your seats and hold onto them so that we can partake together.

People come to get cornbread and apple cider.

Sharing the Cornbread

Food is often a symbol of home. But what if you suddenly found yourself in a place where everything about the food was different? Imagine what it might be like to flee your homeland and the foods to which are accustomed and end up somewhere where you not only don't speak the language, but where even the basic fruits, vegetables and grains are different.

Just as tef is indigenous to the African continent, and millet is indigenous to the Asian continent, corn is indigenous to the North American continent. As we share our cornbread this morning,

Let us hold in our hearts all those, here and abroad, who have been forced to leave their homes.

Let us hold in our hearts all those, here and abroad, for whom home no longer exists.

Let us hold in our hearts all those, here and abroad, for whom home is no longer a place of safety.

And let us hold in our hearts all those, here and abroad, who no longer have a home.

Eat the muffin.

Sharing the Apple Cider

The only apples native to North America are crab apples. The ones we enjoy in this country today came originally from Asia, through the Middle East into Europe and then on to America.

As we share our apple cider this morning, may it symbolize the sweetness that can come from being open to new experiences – whether it be new foods, or new people. Let us remember how our lives are enriched when people share their gifts with one another.

Drink the Juice.


apapted from "A Thanksgiving Blessing" by Naomi King

Spirit of Life and Love,

Let us join hands and hearts in gratitude on this wondrous day where we have the abundance of our lives before us. This day of bounty, we remember all of those who do not have enough, who are afraid, who are lonely, and who suffer. We wish for the abundance of this world to be shared, for fear to become love, for the lonely to feel welcomed, and for the suffering to know rest and joy.

For the labors, the love, the care that gave us the delights of this and every day, we offer our gratitude.

For the nourishment of our spirit, the challenges that strengthen us, and the friends we have on the journey, we offer our gratitude.

For all that is our lives, for these good gifts, we offer our gratitude.
May gratitude for our abundance move us to act with compassion for those in need. Amen.