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‘Share a meal – and start changing the world’

Sharing a meal is the key to building church and community, according to a British writer and theologian ...

A new website has been launched to explore the ‘only physical thing Jesus left us with which to build church and community’, according to its founder, the British writer and theologian, Noel Moules.
 
The Peacemeal website is a completely free online resource celebrating the transcendent power of sharing a meal as an act of Christian witness and relationship-building.
 
The website is the creation of Noel Moules, who is the Director of Workshop, a Christian teaching charity. He said: “I coined the name ‘Peacemeal’ in the early 1970s. As a Christian, I believe Jesus only leaves us one physical thing with which to build church and community, and that is a table with food on. I have been exploring and experimenting with this powerful truth, and discovering its many possibilities, for most of the five decades since.
 
“Sharing food not only meets physical needs, but also nurtures relationships and builds communities. It is a powerful medium for developing spirituality and bringing about social change. This is the genius of Jesus’ example of sharing food, and his gift of a meal as central to communicating his mission and message.”
 
Not a fan of the ‘nip and sip’ style Holy Communion, Noel sees the Peacemeal as a radical expression of the power of sharing the bread and the cup as Jesus did at the last supper.
 
He added: “I’ve long thought that a sip of wine and a tiny piece of bread doesn’t really communicate the wealth of God’s grace and love. He is a God of creative abundance and the Peacemeal is designed to manifest that physically.
 
“The experience of eating together knows no boundaries, flowing naturally through every human culture across the planet, speaking every language, and touching every heart. Shared meals feed the poor, reconcile enemies, and always communicate love. The Peacemeal can change the world.”
 
The new website has recipes, liturgies and all the key ingredients for hosting a Peacemeal in your own community, with people encouraged to share their own stories online.
 
Among the stories that have been uploaded so far include one with a group of Romany gypsy women, an Urban Expression meal in Eccles in Greater Manchester, another used as a way of reaching out and meeting neighbours in Surrey, one as a ‘Green Sabbath’ Friday night meal inspired by Jewish Orthodox tradition and the Earth Hour and another from the Methodist ‘Bread Church’ in Liverpool where worshippers knead dough, put their loaves in the oven, then have a service while the bread bakes, before sitting down together to eat their handiwork.
 
People can read these, plus many other stories at the website www.peacemeal.co. There they can find out more about the Peacemeal concept and to be personally inspired to explore Peacemeal possibilities for themselves.

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