Baking Bread and Growing Community

Kindred in Christ,

I remember being 10 years old and being babysat for a day by a woman from my church that was known for being a phenomenal baker. After a couple of hours of playing with her dog, she could tell I was beginning to get bored and asked if I wanted to bake something with her.

“Bread!” I said excitedly. I love bread. I aways have, and always will. “We can do that,” she replied. Apparently, bread only takes four ingredients: flour, yeast, water, and maybe salt. Who knew it was so simple? I didn’t until then!

So, we began to clear the counter tops, we got the bowls and ingredients, and I start to feel one part homie-old-fashioned, and one part food network. And I liked that feeling!

She instructed me to get out her cookbook. And I when turned to the bread section, I realized that the bread recipe was a lot longer than I thought. It’s just four ingredients, but it’s paragraphs of instructions! First you levin the yeast, then mix it all together, knead the dough, set it aside in a special towel covered bowl, and then you must wait for it to rise. Afterwards, you divide the dough and put more flour, and then wait some more for it to rise before you can do some actual baking.

Feeling a bit overwhelmed I asked, “How long will this all take?! My sitter responded, “About four hours.”  Feeling dismayed I said, “I was hoping we could eat something in about 20 minutes or less.”

“Honey, that’s not how bread works,” She replied. So, in the end, we made chocolate chip cookies instead. It wasn’t for another several years after that I would come to learn the deep and warm joy of committing to the process of baking fresh bread for myself and loved ones.

Worthwhile things often take time, and they take the right ingredients. Baking bread, growing a community, and revitalizing a church, all take time, and the right mixture of our patience and participation. Our personal Christian spiritual lives are also this way.

Join us this Sunday, as we conclude our series Depth of Grace. In past weeks we have considered three aspects to the Christian Spiritual life (see below), and this week we will conclude with “floating” in God’s grace—the need to sometimes rest or wait in God and trust the unfolding process of God in our lives. We also hope you will remain after worship for an update from our building committee on the unfolding process of our future building plan, which has been a holy work of patience, participation, and trusting in God.

Alongside you,

Rev. Paul Ortiz