“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends” (Jesus, Rev. 3:20)
When Central had the opportunity to renovate Wiggins Memorial United Methodist Church in 2013 and form Genesis Church – we saw how important it was to continue Wiggins’ long history of providing a Saturday lunch to the community.
It’s a time of fellowship, of sharing a meal and our lives as God’s people. We are so blessed to have a rotation of different churches and groups that continue that Saturday meal.
We recognized how important the meal and message are – and wanted to start a breakfast time on Sunday mornings. With God’s blessing, we have been providing that to the community for nearly two years.
It’s the only place to receive a free meal in the community on Sunday mornings. Huge thanks goes to Genesis staff member, Maura Miller, and her volunteer crew for loving us and taking such good care of nearly 140 guests each Sunday.
We knew that a lot of folks would eat and then leave without going to church afterwards – and that’s okay – but we still desire to get the message of God’s great love to everyone that comes for a meal.
Earlier this year, Pastor Jody Farrell traveled to Seattle to learn from a group that started what they call Dinner Church. In this model, they go directly into neighborhoods and community centers and set up a meal and present the message of Jesus in an informal and impactful way. More information can be found on their website at www.dinnerchurchcollective.net.
Jody suggested we do something similar, and on August 20, 2017 Morning Manna began during the breakfast time at Genesis Church. We have Trent and Emily Chudej providing beautiful worship music which draws us into the presence of God. We offer a short Gospel message, and have volunteers and guests who share their own lives with one another at the tables, ministering to one another in a profound way.
The first few messages will be on Meal and Message, how Jesus’ used meals as a time to share His all-inclusive vision of God’s Kingdom and to offer God’s healing love, grace, and mercy through table fellowship.
As important as a meal is to our physical well-being – the message is equally vital to our spiritual health.
Meals define who you are.
Most of us at Morning Manna don’t have power, wealth, or social status. In Jesus’ time, the goal was to have power like the Roman leaders did, to be wealthy and enjoy wonderful feasts or to have prestige like the religious leaders and those who dined with them. Jesus broke down all those barriers to show what was truly important, which was to share a meal and fellowship as members of God’s family.
So, who are we? We are each created in God’s image and are so loved by Him that He sent His son to give His life for us.
And, what are we? We are God’s children regardless of our past, our race, our orientation, our politics, or our possessions. As His children God wants us to know how much He loves us and desires to spend time with us.
Please pray for Morning Manna that it may welcome our guests into God’s family and allow those attending to experience the life changing power of Christ as our friend and savior. We are already seeing fruit, as many guests have come to us during the week for prayer, to become church members, and with a hunger for God’s word.
Heavenly Father, we praise you that you love each of us with a love so great that nothing can come between us. Your word says that neither height nor depth, neither angels, nor demons, or anything in all creation can come between us and your love – not even our poor choices, mistakes and sin – so please forgive us and give us a new start. We praise you that your mercy is new each morning, and that you are faithful to forgive us. Help us to remember how much you love us, that you have a plan and a purpose for each of our lives, even when things seem hopeless or out of control. We pray for those who haven’t placed their faith in Jesus. Lord, draw them to you. We pray for those who are hurting spiritually or physically, or financially, just comfort them, heal them, and provide for them as only you can. Amen.
Local Mission Coordinator