"I am the vine; you are the branches." — John 15:5

Tuesday, February 27 2018

Every construction project is a challenge.  Whether it is a ‘piece of cake’ repair at home or a major church expansion, it can often feel like ‘one step forward, two steps backward’.  The same is true as we make renovations in our own lives, as we strive to change unhealthy habits and explore life giving alternatives,  for the sake of our bodies, minds and spirits.

As disciples we are engaged in Kingdom work and so our faith community  chooses to use our God given gifts “to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ”.  Ephesians 4:12  If we are not engaged in ministry ourselves, we are not ‘fulfilling our potential’, as grade school teachers used in write(at least in some report cards!)

Rarely is the realization of a project, personal, community or international in scope , a smooth process.  We celebrate, however, that we have a Cornerstone, ‘chosen and precious’, and that Rock of our Salvation is who provides us with the vision and the courage to make changes, big and small.

Prayer:  Holy One, guide us to discern what renovations we need within our own lives, in our relationships with others and with You.  Give us the inspiration and the will to persevere that we may grow into the full stature of Christ.  Amen.

Recipe: Spanakopita (Requiring some ‘construction’ but worth it!) Recipe can be halved.  Oven at 350 degrees. Cookie sheet or baking pan.  Do not worry if the phyllo tears a bit in the process, just add another layer.  

Olive oil; 1 large onion, chopped; 2 cloves garlic, minced;  ½ package of frozen spinach, thawed, chopped and drained; nutmeg and parsley; 2 eggs, lightly beaten; ½ cup ricotta cheese (homemade or purchased); 1 cup(or less) crumbled feta; 8 sheets of phyllo dough, additional butter or olive oil

In a frying pan, cook onion, garlic and spinach until soft. Add ¼ tsp nutmeg and some chopped parsley(optional).  Cool.  Mix eggs, ricotta, feta.  Stir in spinach mixture.

We like to make triangles, which involves folding(like a flag) buttered strips of phyllo around a heaping teaspoon of filling and then baking the same for about 12 minutes.  Can be frozen and baked later.  Or you can layer 4 sheets of phyllo in a 9×9 baking dish(brushing with melted butter or oil between each) adding the filling and then completing the project with 4 more sheets of phyllo.  This version will take about 30 minutes to bake until golden brown.

Serve as part of a Greek feast(Moussaka, or grilled lamb chops, roasted potatoes, green or Greek salad), as an hors d’oeuvre or simply as a side dish to whatever else is on the menu..