Did you have a chance to break bread with the Bishop this spring?
Perhaps you had dinner in the parish hall of Epiphany & Christ Church in Orange. Or sandwiches and a raft of desserts at St. Michael’s in Wayne. Or you broke bread at St. Paul’s in Chatham on a surprisingly warm spring evening or feasted in the rustic parish hall of Church of the Messiah in Chester. Or perhaps you traveled to Church of the Saviour in Denville for breakfast and a gathering focused on churches in transition.
If you joined the Bishop and Bishop’s staff at any one of those special breaking bread events, you know it was a nourishing experience in more ways than one. Nourishing certainly because of the different meals that we were able to share together. And nourishing in the experience of sharing in some of the diversity that is the Episcopal Diocese of Newark, from Orange and Wayne to Chatham, Chester, and Denville.
But these gatherings were spiritually nourishing as well. As expected, each of the Breaking Bread events gave lay people and clergy a chance to learn a little more about the personal story of our new Bishop. But perhaps not as expected, each of the participants also had the opportunity to read and experience scripture leading to animated discussions of our own spiritual giftedness.
Walking out of each Breaking Bread gathering, participants had a awareness of their own spiritual gifts, both as individuals and as members of the faith community that make up our diocese.
In each Breaking Bread, Bishop Carlye Hughes confessed that she initiated these events for a selfish reason: because she wants to get to know the people that make up the diocese much faster than the traditional schedule of bishop visitations will allow. (The schedule of official bishop’s visitations takes three years to complete.)
The Breaking Bread gatherings were so well-received that the Bishop and her staff are committed to offering more in the fall. So if you were one of the many who weren’t able to attend the first round, or you’re just curious about what all this talk of “giftedness” is all about, then keep your eyes peeled for the new schedule that will be posted in early fall, and don’t delay in signing up!