The Power of God's Table

Friends on a clergy listserv I subscribe to, shared this video clip with me. If you have a fast enough web connection (maybe I'm one of the last hold outs of the slow, cable modem option at home), I highly recommend it - only 8 minutes of your time! It tells the story of one woman's conversion at St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church in San Francisco. Sarah Miles, an avowed atheist and journalist, entered the doors of St. Gregory one Sunday morning:
"I was just curious. I'm a reporter. I'm curious. I like to poke my nose in places, and I walked into this building thinking, 'Huh, wonder what's going on in there?'"

And, at the Eucharist she receives the bread and her life is changed. No baptism, no Eucharistic instruction . . . just the bread of Christ shared with all who walk through the doors. Father Paul Fromberg, Director of Youth and Family Ministry at St. Gregory says of this welcome:
"A lot of people here are, you know, addicts that have overcome their addictions. They are people that have been locked up, people that are actually homeless, people that live in marginal housing. But it actually doesn't matter where people come from because we're not doing purity checks. You know, we're not trying to say, 'Are you good enough to be here?'"

At a time when so much media attention (both secular and religious) is focused on the latest church conflict, this piece is so refreshing and so clear, pointing as it does to the radical power of God's table. The table that we - both lay and ordained - celebrate at weekly, the table that calls us to stretch ourselves to a greater place of radical hospitality and welcome. God does not ask us to protect the table, God asks us to share the Good News with all people.