We have entered in our second Sunday out of the “4 Sundays of Service” – a cross + generational experiment at Good Shepherd. Building off the story of “The Road to Emmaus,” our first Sunday focused on walking with people in faith we don’t know. The service project was making sandwiches for a local food shelf.
This past Sunday, the Bible story focused on Stephen, who along with 6 others were chosen to help the Apostles share the Good News of Jesus. We talked about walking with people in faith that we do know. The service project was rolling out freezer dough to make pretzels for the congregation.
Fifty people of all ages gathered to roll out the dough and shape it into pretzels. (Click here for an intro video.) Another group prayed over them and baked the pretzels during the service. In a matter of minutes, the smell of fresh baked pretzels began to fill the church including the sanctuary.
After communion, 20 kids and youth met in the narthex. Each one was given a plate of freshly baked pretzels to distribute. Right after the closing hymn, the young people sprinted into the sanctuary. Everyone eagerly received and ate a freshly baked pretzel.
The role of the pretzel is powerful. It used to be the posture in which one prayed, crossing arms in front of body. Formal Lent traditions approved of pretzel bread because it was made from simple ingredients: flour, water and salt. Somewhere through the history, the three distinct holes in a pretzel have come to represent the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
But for the good people of Good Shepherd a new tradition has started. It’s not so much about the “role” of the pretzel in past history that is important. But more about the way in which the pretzels “roll.”
“Together!” said one person. “I loved rolling out the dough and making the criss-cross shape together.” No one complained either about eating them together in the sanctuary. The conclusion is that we are Better Together. Learning, serving and worshiping all generations – together. At Good Shepherd, that’s how we roll.