More Stone Soup!
It’s the season of saints, the season of thanksgiving, the last month of the church year, and for us, the middle of our annual stewardship campaign. This year, our theme is based on a children’s story called Stone Soup. It’s a wonderful tale of a small community transforming an economy based on anxiety and a sense of scarcity, into an economy based on trust and a sense of abundance. When you come into church on Sunday, in front of the altar you’ll see a small campfire—don’t worry, it’s not lit!—with a soup pot placed on top of it. The soup pot is an image we’ve adopted from the story to give us a way to talk about Christian community. Each week we’ll be adding an ingredient of “stone soup” to the pot. On Reformation Sunday, we’ll add a bible, since all that we do in Christian life is founded upon God’s Word.
Each week, we’ll hear stories of “stone soup” experiences. A “stone soup” experience is a time when one discovers the gift of community, the art of working together, or the ways in which each person’s unique gifts and talents helps create a thriving community. A stone soup experience leaves a sense of gratitude in its wake.
Building Rebecca’s playground was a “stone soup” experience, and it left the participants with a sense of gratitude and connection. In the south Sudan, the Wunlang village school is a stone soup experience: built with homemade bricks and love. The school reflects the generosity and determination of people from all over the world, including Cape Ann, to help make a dream come true.
A Sunday morning worship service is a stone soup experience. Liturgy simply means the work of the people; each person present is necessary to the experience. The whole is greater than the parts. A meal at the Open Door is a stone soup experience. We usually make stew for these meals, so there’s a literal example of how each person’s particular offering goes to feed a hungry person. Even voting is a stone soup experience, where each individual’s contribution in a vote makes a difference to a nation.
“Stone Soup” celebrates the art of creating a community that has more than enough to offer others. The story celebrates the power of one joined to the power of many. It celebrates the act of sharing our abundance, even when it seems that there is little to offer. It celebrates the joy of caring for others in need. It’s a parable of community life.
Fall is a time of soup-making, literally, as we use the bounty of autumn’s harvest. During this season of stewardship, as we make our figurative soup, may you know the blessings and abundance of God’s love.
May it be food for your soul, and zest for your life. In Peace, Pastor Anne