Agape Supper

On Thursday 1st April – Parishioners and friends/family are invited to join us online via zoom to celebrate Maundy Thursday together. It will be a short service – simply bring some bread and water/beverage of some sort and we will mark this important day in the Church’s Calendar. To register to get the link – click here

Background to Agape suppers (Edited notes from the United Methodist Church in USA)

The Love Feast, or Agape Meal, is a Christian fellowship meal recalling the meals Jesus shared with disciples during his ministry and expressing the koinonia (community, sharing, fellowship) enjoyed by the family of Christ.

Although its origins in the early church are closely interconnected with the origins of the Lord’s Supper, the two services became quite distinct and should not be confused with each other. While the Lord’s Supper has been practically universal among Christians throughout church history, the Love Feast has appeared only at certain times and among certain denominations.

The modern history of the Love Feast began when Count Zinzendorf and the Moravians in Germany introduced a service of sharing food, prayer, religious conversation, and hymns in 1727. John Wesley first experienced it among the Moravians in Savannah, Georgia, ten years later. His diary notes: “After evening prayers, we joined with the Germans in one of their love–feasts. It was begun and ended with thanksgiving and prayer, and celebrated in so decent and solemn a manner as a Christian of the apostolic age would have allowed to be worthy of Christ.”

It quickly became a regular part of Methodist society meetings in Great Britain and throughout the English–speaking world. 

While Love Feasts became less frequent in the years that followed, they continued to be held in some places; and in recent years the Love Feast has been revived in methodist circles.

The Love Feast has often been held on occasions when the celebration of the Lord’s Supper would be inappropriate—where there is no one present authorized to administer the Sacrament, when persons of different denominations are present who do not feel free to take Holy Communion together, when there is a desire for a service more informal and spontaneous than the communion ritual, or at a full meal or some other setting to which it would be difficult to adapt the Lord’s Supper.

The Love Feast is most naturally held around a table or with persons seated in a circle; but it is possible to hold it with persons seated in rows. A church sanctuary, fellowship hall, or home is an appropriate location.

One of the advantages of the Love Feast is that any Christian may conduct it. Congregational participation and leadership are usually extensive and important, especially involving children.

Testimonies and praise are the focal point in most Love Feasts. Testimonies may include personal witness to God’s grace or accounts of what God has been doing in the lives of others. Praise may take the form of hymns, songs, choruses, or spoken exclamations and may vary from the relative formality of an opening and closing hymn to spontaneous calling out of requests and singing as the Spirit moves. Sometimes the leader guides those present alternating spontaneous singing and sharing in free and familiar conversation for as long as the Spirit moves. Wesley counseled that all the above be done decently and in order.

Prayer is vital to a Love Feast. A fixed form of prayer may be used, especially something like the Lord’s Prayer or Be present at our table, Lord, that is familiar to the people. Spontaneous prayer requests and prayers may come from the people.

Scripture is also important. There may be scripture readings, or persons may quote Scripture spontaneously as the Spirit moves. There may be a sermon, an exhortation, or an address; but it should be informal and consist of the leader’s adding personal witness to what spontaneously comes from the congregation.

Most Love Feasts include the sharing of food. It is customary not to use communion bread, wine, or grape juice because to do so might confuse the Love Feast with the Lord’s Supper. The bread may be a loaf of ordinary bread, crackers, rolls, or a sweet bread baked especially for this service. If a loaf of bread, it may be broken in two or more pieces and then passed from hand to hand as each person breaks off a piece. Crackers, rolls, or slices of bread may be passed in a basket. The beverage has usually been water, but other beverages such as lemonade, tea, or coffee have been used. Early Methodists commonly passed a loving cup with two handles from person to person, but later the water was served in individual glasses. The food is served quietly without interrupting the service.

My hope for our Virtual Agape Supper 

After so many months of not being physically together as the Church Family, It is my hope that we would be able to break bread together on the night that Jesus broke bread with his disciples. 

I would hope that we would be able to share some thanksgivings, a few thoughts and a few prayers together and bread. 

This will be a very simple gathering of whosoever would like to be here. As we journey towards the foot of the cross this year. 

It will take place 6.30 -7.15ish 

All are welcome 


Our Agape Supper – Order of service 

Welcome to everyone & Introduction 

Worship Song 

Giving thanks and praise – What do we want to thank God for ? 

Reading –  John 13:31-34 

Thought / Sharing 

Worship Song 

Short Prayers of Thankfulness  & Intercession 

Lords Prayer 

Reader: We are all invited to the common table to share in an Agape Feast. At this table we come as brothers and sisters in the Holy Family of God. Taste and see that God is good.

May mercy, peace, and love be yours in abundance. 

Let us pray. 

over the drink, 

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the universe. You give us refreshment to enjoy; and on this night we remember that you have refreshed us with the cup of salvation in the Blood of your Son Jesus Christ. Glory to you for ever and ever. Amen. 

Over the bread, 

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the universe. You bring forth bread from the earth; and on this night you have given us the bread of life in the Body of your Son Jesus Christ. As grain scattered upon the earth is gathered into one loaf, so gather your Church in every place into the kingdom of your Son. To you be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen

The bread – as we break it reminds us of the bread Jesus broke on this night. 

Sharing bread & drink 

Going out thought: Maundy Thursday & the events of this night

Let us pray. Christ our Lord, your love is poured out in death for our sakes: Hold us in your embrace as we wait for Easter’s dawn. Comfort us with the promise that no power on earth, not even death itself, can separate us from your love; and strengthen us to wait until you are revealed to us in all your risen glory. Amen.


Day 31 – What steps might I need to take to get there ?

Day 31 – What steps might I need to take to get there ?

On Monday the question was about Big Picture thinking and what might be in the years ahead

For me as a positive person who does like to dream big dreams about things that I know that need to be changed I do like to think about what could and should be.

I am also as a practical person and likes to see how the change can happen – what steps need to be put in place – what the route may be.

I also know that the world / family / church / business / whatever … doesn’t follow my plans, it doesn’t read my script of how things need to be for me to fulfil my vision – actually I’m very glad of that! as most people actually are really sensible! as annoying as that is! and that some of my ‘there’ picture might not be that great in reality and I may have to actually work with people to find a much better and solid picture of what needs to be.

So … in my own experience I set out from here to where my ‘there’ might be – identifying the big picture working collaboratively with others discerning and praying as I go. There may be distractions and some of those may have to be jettisoned but there might be things that would be helpful.

These things are important … being adaptable and adventurous stepping out and heading in the direction that will bring us life and call us to something more is really important … yes there might be a slog required, some hurdles to climb over but knowing that we’re heading in the right direction is important … having breaks along the way to enjoy – taking time to take stock and celebrate and have fun … as well as cups of coffee (or whatever you are having yourself!) is really important.

I have found in those cups of coffee with others there is wisdom, there is direction and generally friendship.

Coffee anyone??

Day 30 Bigger Picture week – What do I think God might be calling me to do?

Day 30 Bigger Picture week – What do I think God might be calling me to do?

This is part of the big picture

It’s good to remember a few things

It is first of all important to recognise that we see in the Bible that God calls all people:

  • To a relationship with him (Acts 2:38-40)
  • To eternal life (1 Peter 5:10)
  • To obedience (Romans1:5)
  • To belong to Jesus Christ (Romans 1:6)

And that He calls all Christians specifically:

  • To holiness (1 Corinthians 1:2, 1 Peter 1:15)
  • To change to be like Jesus (Romans 8:28-30)
  • To live lives that are worthy of Christ (Ephesians 4:1)
  • To a great hope (Ephesians 4:4)
  • To worship Him (Psalm 95:6, 1 Peter 2:9)
  • To live at peace with others (Colossians 3:15)
  • To bless those who do evil to you (1 Peter 3:9)
  • To mission (Matthew 28:18-20)

It’s been my experience that as we go through life doors do unexpectedly open and close – opportunities do arise for all sorts of possibilities and these are taken through prayer and discernment. The amazing gift God gives to us is to use our freedom to say yes and no to things.

In my role as a church leader I have spoken to many people who have discerned calling and people who are searching for what God might be saying to them. One of my key questions What doors might there be open to you?, what might you need to do to get some of the doors to open (i.e. where is the key to the door) ?

Might it be education / Might it be passion / Might it be a conversation with a key person? / Might it be time? / Might it be prayer?

When God does think it is the right time – he’ll usually might it very clear … but also won’t force you – the great gift of freedom is really important.

Day 29 – Bigger Picture week – What would I like to do in the next few years?

Day 29 – Bigger Picture week – What would I like to do in the next few years?

what do you mean … I don’t know what I want to do today never mind the next few years … don’t you know we’re in the middle of a pandemic! – catch yer self on!

It is very true … but at some point we all do need to have a think of possibilities and working towards those.

In bigger picture week (an idea that we take some time some where in our year … maybe it’s not now but setting aside some time to have a think about where you’d like to be in a few years and looking at the steps that might need to be taken to get there. If there’s not space sometime in the year to do the ‘Big Picture thinking’ it is difficult to get there or work towards those things.

Perhaps this is done on retreat, on a walk along the beach, on your own or with a trusted confidant.

Taking time and maping out something can be helpful.