1. Bread making
There is nothing quite like making your own bread (warm, soft and doughy) and then sharing it with others. Why not have a session making bread together, making sure that you back-time each and every stage of mixing, kneading, proving and baking. This way you can ensure that it comes out of the oven at just the right time for the breaking and sharing of bread as part of your worship.
Make sure that each person in the group makes their own loaf or their own rolls. The idea here is that they have one for themselves, but after the gathering/meeting/service they also have one to give away to someone of their choosing as a free gift. Our worship should lead to outreach/mission.
If you don’t have access to ovens to bake the bread, borrow some bread makers and just use the baking setting (in effect just using it as an oven) instead of any of the all-in-one settings. The kneading sessions are always good for interesting conversations to naturally develop, or you could use Peter Reinhart’s Meditations on Baking Bread.
Here’s an easy recipe:
- 1lb strong flour
- ¾ pint warm water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 sachet dried yeast
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon oil (vegetable or olive)
Put the flour into a large mixing bowl.
- Add the salt and dried yeast and stir.
- Add the oil and honey.
- Add enough of the water to form a workable dough.
- Knead on a clean, floured surface for a few minutes or until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.
- Cover and leave in a warm place for an hour or until the ball is roughly twice its original size.
- Then knead the dough vigorously for a couple of minutes and place in a greased loaf tin.
- Leave for approximately 20 minutes to allow the loaf to rise again.
- Score the top of the loaf to allow rising in the oven – or make your own mark on the top to personalise it.
- Place in a pre-warmed oven of 220 degrees centigrade and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped lightly.
- Leave to cool and then serve.
Depending on how much time you have it may be possible to get someone to read an extract from one of the meditations in Robert Stanley’s Conversations Over Bread and Wine: Meditations for the Lord’s Supper, CSS Publishing Company, 1998.
Continue with your normal communion liturgy or use some of Margaret Withers’ and Tim Sledge’s fabulous resources from Creative Communion, BRF, 2008.
2. No exclusions
If using ‘Praying for the Excluded’ from the Prayers of Intercession section in conjunction with communion, then the celebrant for communion could use the liturgy from Iona’s A Wee Worship Book, Liturgy for Holy Communion A, especially where at the ‘Invitation’ it declares that at the many meal tables in many homes, Jesus was the guest,
…upsetting polite company, befriending isolated people, welcoming the stranger, he was always the guest. But here at this table, he is the host.
Another liturgy could be Prayer H from Common Worship.