The worship committee here at Concordia Lutheran has gone out on a limb... they have agreed to let me bake communion bread, instead of using the traditional (and as far back as anyone can remember) communion wafers. This is a big step for this small town church. They have a great sense of adventure though. Thus far all of Robert's ideas have been embraced and welcomed. Perhaps it's still the honeymoon period... as we have only been here for 3 months. But I am proud to call this place home, and even more proud of my husband for what he is doing in this place. (I still get a bit teary eyed when he sings the communion liturgy. It's just so beautiful to listen to his bass voice sing those words, and such a beautiful gift from God that he can share with this community)
So today as I start a new tradition for Concordia Lutheran Church, I thought I would type it out as a step by step spiritual practice as well as the actual act of making the bread. So if someone else is interested in baking bread, I can pass this along to them, and they can hopefully enjoy the same fulfillment that I do from it. I have previously posted about my bread making when we were at Wartburg.. (April; Given for Me, Given for You post) and am making it more user friendly. Please enjoy and feel free to use this yourself in your congregation if you want.
2c whole wheat flour
1c white flour
1 1/4 t baking powder
1 1/4 t salt
4t veggie oil
1c hot water (115 degrees)
1)As I collect the goods, I thank God for my stocked pantry, for the food I eat daily, and the abundance I have. I pray for those whose pantries are empty this day, and whose tummies will grumble as they lay their heads to rest.
2)I mix the dry ingredients together, flours, salt and baking soda. Moving them about with my fingers, thanking God for the convenience of grocery stores, and a product I didn't have to grow, harvest or mill to use.
3)Working the oil into the dry mix moves my thoughts and prayers to blessings. I thank all those in service to God who anoint the sick, who pray for them, and bring them the message of the risen Christ.
4)I carefully heat the water in the microwave and pray for those who lack clean water to drink and wash with. Being thankful for the faucet in my kitchen that flows with safe water each and every day for me and my family to drink and wash with.
5)As I pour and mix the honey and molasses into the hot water I pray for babies. Honey always makes me think of sick babies, since babies aren't supposed to have honey. I pray for the babies who are in need of medications, and in need of love.
6)I pour the dark, sweet mixture into the dry ingredients while thanking God for diversity on our earth, thanking him for the melting pot of life and praying for tolerance and understanding amongst those who differ from each other. Mixing the light and dry with the dark and wet until it forms one solid ball, which will be a bit sticky, but none the less, is one, as we are all one in Christ.
7)Diving the ball into four sections I pat each one into it's own ball and flatten it, giving it a little flour dusting to prevent sticking. Thanking God for my hands, and my ability to do work, my ability to be a useful and contributing member of society.
8)Each ball finds it's place onto the pan and is scored with a serrated knife. While I score the symbol into the raw dough I think of taking up my cross, the cross to follow Jesus. The cross I bear, but Jesus died on, for my sins.
9)The loaves go into the 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. As the timer ticks I read Matthew 14:13-21. The story of Jesus feeding the 5000. I thank God for the miracles Jesus performed, and the faith I have.
10)The loaves come out after 10 minutes and are brushed with oil, giving them moisture. I pray for rain for the fields, and flowers. I think of the flood victims who have too much moisture, and the drought victims with too little.
11)The bread goes back into the oven for another 8 minutes to complete it's baking time. As they bake I read Luke 11:1-4. I pray the Lords prayer and thank him for giving me this day, my daily bread. And pray that I can be forgiving, and accepting of forgiveness.
As you package and deliver the bread to your church pray for the people in your congregation who will partake of it during service.
Doing this has been such a blessing for me and I hope it will be equally for you as you perhaps start a new tradition for your church!