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

Wednesday in Holy Week, March 28 2018

Koinonia is a transliterated form of the Greek word, κοινωνία, which embraces concepts conveyed in the English terms community, communion, participation and intimacy. It is also often translated as fellowship, sharing or contribution.

The first usage of koinonia in the Greek New Testament is found in Acts 2:42: “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” This is our introduction to the early church, gathered together in Christ’s Name, to praise God.

The church, is, or should be, about faith, about faith in Jesus; that’s what we have to offer that no other social or political body or institution can claim.  To quote Gary Nicolosi, “The one acute need that churches and only churches can meet is the desire to relate to God, to experience God, to know Jesus, to be in relationship with God.” It is in community worship that this faith is both fed and challenged.  A person can hold Christian beliefs, or be ‘good,’ or can complain about the ‘institutional church’, or how it doesn’t suit them or hold a grudge against someone within the community, but they are not being faithful to their calling.  “Will you continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers?”  Will you?

Nurtured and cared for within that community, the Christian family, we are then equipped for mission. A missional church understands and responds to people’s spiritual needs,  offering experiences of faith; teaching, prayer, sacrament, mystery and that basic human need to be part of a community with a higher purpose.  To be a missional church is also to witness to the gospel in our daily lives by reaching out to friends, neighbours, co-workers, other parents, the person you meet at the gym, the book club, the doctor’s office, even family members, and to meet them where they are in life rather than where we might want them to be. We don’t have to pretend to know all the answers, because we don’t!  We just have to remember that that we know Jesus and Jesus knows us.

To be a missional church is both high tech and high touch. It does not focus on ourselves or on meeting our own needs, but rather on evangelism and engagement.   It involves stepping out in faith, confident in God’s presence, in God’s call to us and in God’s love for us.  To be Christ’s Church.

Recipe: Frozen Maple  Mousse Torte  A make-ahead Easter dessert that is light and lovely and perfect for sharing. You’ll need a 9 inch springform pan. Garnish with berries and more whipped cream and/or a few maple glazed pecans.

Pantry or Shopping List: pecans, brown sugar, salt, nutmeg, butter; 1 cup of maple syrup, 2 egg whites(save the yolks for Hollandaise Sauce); whipping cream, vanilla, berries(any combination).

Crust: 1 ½ cups finely chopped pecans(sometimes you can get this already done, or use a food processor); add 2 Tablespoons brown sugar, pinch of salt and nutmeg, 3 Tablespoons melted butter. Mix well. Press crumbs into pan in an even layer and refrigerate.

Mousse: Simmer 1 cup of maple syrup until it thickens slightly(watch that it doesn’t boil over); beat 2 egg whites until stiff; add a pinch of cream of tartar, if you wish, plus a pinch of salt;  drizzle the hot syrup into the egg whites and continue beating until the meringue has cooled(get someone to lick the beaters!).  Beat 1 ½ cups whipping cream, with 1 tsp vanilla until peaks form and fold the meringue into the whipped cream until blended.  Spoon mousse into the crust and spread evenly. Wrap well in foil and freeze. It will not be as solid as hard pack ice cream so to serve you’ll need only a hot knife to cut it.