The words of this African American spiritual are usually heard on a communion Sunday as we come to God’s table. It is a hymn that calls us to come, to fall on our knees with our face to the rising sun, to break bread, to drink wine and to praise God. It is powerful; and hopefully it reminds us that communion is not the only time that God invites us to come to a table, to eat together, to share as a community and to lift praises for all our blessings. We do so at our community dinners each month, we do so at our Dutch treat dinners following a special worship service, we do so each week as we gather in Theo’s after worship and hopefully we do so at home before each meal. And – we will do so on June 3rd. The first time that day will be for communion at our worship service. But, we will do it a second time that day at a different setting; from 12 – 3 PM at our church picnic at Red Bank Battlefield.

The second setting; while not sacramental is very important to our individual and collective faith journey. Our meal that day will be hamburgers and hot dogs provided by Christian Education; and we will provide all the side dishes and desserts. So there will be potato salad, tossed salad, macaroni salad, pickles, baked beans and whatever other delectables the congregation brings to the table. There will be games provided by our Youth. There will be stories to tell, laughter and mostly a great opportunity to be together and to share with each other. It is a very important event in our church. It celebrates the end of the Christian Education year; it celebrates our graduates from Jr. High, Sr. High and college. It celebrates our new members and our older members; it celebrates our wonderful choir and it celebrates our relationship with each other and with God.

Picnics are wonderful. They even made a great movie about them in 1956 called, Picnic; starring William Holden and Kim Novak. I remember seeing it at the old Broadway Theater in Pitman; but I digress. Now I know that neither of those actors will be able to attend our picnic; but we would like all of you to be there – to celebrate together. We will pray that the winds don’t carry our food toward the old Navy yard. We will pray that it might stop raining by that date. But mostly let us pray for this great opportunity to break bread together as a family in Christ.

Milt Fredericks
Minister of Congregational Care