Name

So, what about our name? For quite a while we were calling ourselves the “church of the good snacks.” Right from the start we began to act on our conviction that church ought to feel a bit like a party (Jesus seemed to like party images: “the kingdom of God is like a man who threw a party . . .”). So, in anticipation of that great heavenly feast, we figured we ought to at least have some decent snacks, good wine, and tasty coffee. We also knew from the start that we wanted, needed, eucharist to be at the center of our life together. Except for the occasional compline service, we almost always celebrate eucharist when we gather. It took several months of talking about a name to land on Peacemeal. We liked the emphasis on the shared meal since it points to many different aspects of our mission: table fellowship, hospitality, eucharist, feeding the hungry. And throughout all of this we understand this feasting to be a feast of peace – making peace, being peace, sharing peace. We believe peacemaking is not an add-on to the gospel but at the heart of Jesus’ life and message.

Finally, we liked the pun, not just because it’s a pun, but because the “piecemeal” pun suggests that we are committed to gathering up the pieces of our lives and of the culture around us, joining those pieces together, and making something of them. As a reflection of this commitment, we have a practice that we call “gathering the fragments.” The idea behind this is the recognition that by all counts postmodernity is a time of fragmentation. Thus one of our deepest needs is to reconnect and find wholeness. Each week the members of the community are invited to bring some fragment of life that we’ve experienced or discovered during the week (a reading, a poem, a song, a scene from a movie, an experience), something that spoke to us as a kind of parable. As we gather we share these with each other as a way of “collecting the fragments” from the week. Sometimes the fragments witness to grace, other times to brokenness. In each case we believe in gathering these things in, weaving even the darkness into the fabric of our life together. From piecemeal to peacemeal.