Last spring I received a very delightful package of books from Church Publishing. We Gather at This Table by Anna V. Ostenso Moore was one of the books in that package. I read it live over ZOOM to our Sunday school class the first time our church offered online communion.
On the last page there is an image of people gathered in a circle with ephemeral swirls to remind us that the table extends across space and time. I asked the children gathered online, all of us separated in our own home with bits of bread and juice waiting before us, who was at the table with us today. They named Jesus and relatives far away. They spoke about their church family being online together. They got it. I was teary with gratitude for this sacred conversation in such a disconnected time.
The conversation inspired by the final page makes it my favorite part of the book, but there is much to appreciate:
- The presider is a woman
- There are people of all different races and Jesus has dark skin
- There’s a deacon!
- From cookies in the church foyer to cocoa at an outdoor protest, there are pictures of all kinds of tables depicted.
- Though written from an Episcopalian perspective, I found it fit well with United Methodist theology of the sacraments.
I highly recommend this book as it works well in inviting children into the sacred mystery both in person and online. Watch the author read it here:
A few other resources for World Communion Sunday:
A letter to parents before communion Sunday
Table cloth painting (online this could be done with the annotate function)