Monday, July 22, 2013
Guest Post: Hold onto your fork!
We both grew up in Presbyterian churches in Virginia and remember so fondly the famous, covered dish suppers or potluck dinners. Tammy’s mom often made “her” macaroni salad, which was a favorite among the congregation. Some folks made their old stand-bys, while others chose to try out their new recipes. We both loved them because it was a time that our moms didn’t mind if we had a piece of chicken and 5 desserts!
How did the church come up with the notion of a potluck dinner? Wikipedia defines a potluck as a “gathering of people where each person or group of people may contribute a dish of food prepared by the person or the group of people, to be shared among the group.” Maybe churches adopted this concept from Jesus who fed a crowd of 4000 (Matthew chapter 15) with 7 loaves of bread and 4 fish and even had 7 basketfuls of leftovers! Congregations have taken the notion of breaking bread together and run with it. Not only do we break bread, we munch on fried chicken, scoop casseroles, slice pies and sip iced tea. We chew the fat while chewing our food and extend our hands in fellowship. It seems as though the covered dish supper is a cherished church ritual that is still alive today.
When we were children, our mothers would never have dreamed of purchasing a side dish for our covered dish supper, but today it seems as though many families are busy with their work schedules, running children to their commitments, just life in general. What a wonderful concept, prepare or purchase one simple dish, but yet your family gets to enjoy the fruits and labor of many! We need not lose sight of the fellowship of bonding together over a meal that we have all contributed to, whether it’s a store bought dish or homemade.
After serving at the soup kitchen recently, we were told a story of an elderly woman who was hospitalized and dying. She was visited by her minister. She asked the minister to promise her one thing when she died. He responded, “Absolutely, what is it?” She said, “Promise to bury me with a fork.” He looked puzzled and replied, “Sure I will, but may I ask why you want to be buried with a fork?”
She explained, “When I was growing up, I was always told ‘Hold onto your fork, because the best is yet to come.’ ”
We hope to see you soon at the next pot luck dinner, but remember, hold on to your fork!