Among my many diversions, two claim pride of place: food and ecclesiology. Over my lifetime, these two have synergized as I and fellow gastronautic Christ followers gathered at sundry local restaurants, sharing life and food.
In my twenties, my fellow gastronauts were George and Paul, friends from church. Our tastes were varied, but decidedly low-brow (likely due to a continual lack of funds). Friendship and food were primary, as we talked of deep things and shared our struggles.
In my thirties, the gastronautic tribe changes. George and Paul moved on, I joined another church, and new friendships formed. Out of these friendships came the glimmer of a new tribe that would become deeper and grow larger. The first of the continuing members is my good friend, Ann. At first, as I recall, our gastonautic adventures centered on Coco’s, with dim sum and German food thrown in for good measure. It was a mere beginning.
For quite a while the tribe was two-plus, with others joining us now and again. Some time in my mid-forties, about the time we discovered the Il Fornaio Regionale menu, the tribe began to change. First, the two of us went each month, then Jeff joined us and then Prib . Soon the tribe had grown to six regulars with a few stop-ins. Of late, we have grown to seven and then eight. We’ve only just begun. But the numerical growth is not the only story here.
Some of us are beginning to realize that something wonderful could happen if we gather around the table intentionally remembering that we are church. Now, don’t get me wrong: I am not saying we are A church. That is another, though related, issue. This tribe of ecclesiological gastronauts , gathering in dining establishments across the South Bay, may just be declaring the life and will of our Sovereign Creator through our communal life and, as we go along, forming a network of neighborhoods and congregations.