Here at Resonate, part of our weekly gathering is a communal breakfast. Behind the scenes are a tireless team of volunteers who make our delicious meals happen. From build-your-own-parfait bars to pancakes to breakfast burritos, this is a group that is dedicated to serving both food and community. Just in time for Resonate’s birthday potluck, we sat down with the food team’s co-leader Esther Kriz, to have a chat about the importance of food and community in worship.
What was it that made you want to be part of the food team here at Resonate?
I like to feed people. And I like to help. The food team seemed like a good place to do both!
That’s a great answer! As food team co-lead, what are the things going through your mind right before we break for breakfast?
That depends on the meal that we are cooking. Hopefully, right before breakfast, the food is all ready and set out. Actually, hopefully that is all done before church even starts. Usually I am hoping we made enough food, or thinking "boy, we have way too much food." There have definitely been Sundays where we almost ran out of food. There have also been days where we have lots of leftovers.
Do you worry about if people will like the food you prepared?
I used to. I don’t anymore because I learned that most people will like most of it, but not everyone will every week. I just do my best to please as many people as possible each week.
That makes sense. What kind of planning goes into each breakfast?
Well, every month, Erin Bellingham and I plan menus for each Sunday. Then we make grocery lists and coordinate our team to make sure we have enough people to help. Then we have to go shopping each week and squeeze the groceries into our refrigerators until Sunday morning. It’s usually me or Amanda Bates who go shopping. Then we just have to bring everything Sunday morning and start prepping!
Wow, that sounds like a lot of work! What makes it all worth it?
Well, I think that every time we as Christians sit down to eat a meal together we are, in essence, taking communion, or worshiping together through conversation and building relationships. The more people you get involved with that, the more powerful it is. I think that in our society today the power of a meal together has really been lost. It seems like eating is more of a necessity for survival than it is a worshipful experience. People eat in front of the TV instead of around a table talking to each other.
It sounds like to you, eating a communal meal is a way of interacting with God. Is that something you want people to think about when they are eating food your team prepared for them?
Yeah, I think that is a good way of looking at it.
What would you say to someone who asked you why we serve breakfast at church?
Well like I said before it is a way of building community and relationships. And because it is awesome. I don’t know, I like the tradition of it. Most of the early church gatherings included a shared meal. I like the thought of continuing that.
You mentioned earlier that you feel the more people are involved in sharing community through breakfast, the more powerful that experience becomes. Is that part of why we do potluck once a month?
Yes. At my church growing up, they have had a monthly potluck for decades. It goes back to when my dad was a kid and went to that same church. It is something that people really look forward to, because it lets them be an active participant in the church in a way they maybe haven’t before. It’s a way of getting everyone involved and they don’t have to get here at 7:45 to do it! I am hoping it eventually becomes something we here at Resonate get excited about too. A Sunday people look forward to.
That sounds amazing. Now I know this Sunday is special for some reason. Can you walk us through that a little bit?
Oh, well it is Resonate’s birthday. We are going to be 5 this year. In the past we have done special breakfasts for the birthday, and I think that a potluck is a great idea because it gets everyone involved. It also is a pretty cool symbol.
What do you mean?
Well because the church isn’t just one person. It is just cool to get everyone involved to celebrate the birthday of the church, because it is a birthday for everyone at once.
That is true. Is there something you want everyone to know about this potluck, or about the food team?
Well, I would say you can bring anything you want. It doesn’t even have to be breakfast if you want. It could be a favorite recipe or just a bag of fruit. People even bring poptarts sometimes. I just want to encourage everyone to participate.
Thanks so much for talking with us, Esther.
Potluck is held the second Sunday of every month. If you have questions about the food team or are interested in serving, contact Esther at firstname.lastname@example.org.