April 29 – May 1, 2019

TABLE OF THANKSGIVING: HOW EUCHARIST FORMS US

Charles Arand, Paul Bradshaw, M Shawn Copeland and Cynthia Moe-Lobeda, Plenary Presenters.

 

“For the Sacrament of Holy Communion has no blessing and significance unless love grows daily and so changes a person that they are made one with all others.”   Martin Luther, 1519

At altars across the world, the gathering of the faithful around a table of thanksgiving has been shaped by the scriptural narratives of feasts and fasts:

  • Relying on manna and quail in a desert time of wilderness famine
  • Offering hospitality to sacred strangers near the Oaks of Mamre
  • Hungering for prophetic visions of wisdom’s feast and sustenance for all
  • Celebrating a Caananite wedding banquet with abundant wine
  • Remembering how Jesus met disciples before and after the cross at shared dinners
  • Receiving the surprise on the road of broken bread and scriptural revelation
  • Claiming the marriage supper of the Lamb as a blessing for the future

How are we being made one, today, by this table of thanksgiving we call the Eucharist in spite of diverse administration and intention?   When much is broken in the world, how might the mutual recognition of the promise of Christ’s presence at the table promote healing? When hungering for food security overwhelms and shared bread is scarce supply, how might the mystery and meaning in the meal assuage our common needs? Are there shared understandings of the ethics of embodiment? And what of the claims of the sacramentality of all tables? How do reciprocal relationships between preaching and eating, and praying and singing shape a community of faith? Do we still hear Elijah and the widow’s generosity, the Psalmists pleas, theology from above and below?

At Institute 2019, these questions and many others will provide food for thought as we consider how the Eucharist, today, is instrumental in formation. Guided by leading practitioners, thoughtful scholars, and skilled musicians and artists, we invite you to join others in interrogating assumptions about the Eucharist by engaging in inquiry with history, theology, fine arts, and practice. As we consider what it means to give thanks at table, we again will examine how the means of grace change communities of faith.

 

Future Dates:
2018–2020 – Three-Year Series on Formation

April 20–22, 2020
How Word through Music Forms Us

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