Saturday, September 28
Global Week of Action Against Gun Violence
The Presbytery of Western New York
Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church, Buffalo, is like many other urban Presbyterian churches. The neighborhood is different than it was when the church was founded. Membership is small. Money is tight.
God brought some visionary people to Lafayette. They came from unexpected places, such as the suburbs, Pentecostal churches, and even the psychiatric center. These people were seeking a new expression of church, and Lafayette had already developed a reputation for taking risks with the resources it had, mostly by welcoming people who had been excluded in other places.
Together, they have developed a new community that meets every week to eat, sing, pray, and listen to the Word of God. It’s not that complicated. Somebody volunteers to cook. Everybody pitches in to clean up. After eating, they stay at their tables for worship. It reminds the congregation that Jesus built a community by eating with people—including people like all the different people that come and join for dinner and worship at Lafayette.
This Sunday-evening celebration only serves a fraction of the people who eat during the week at the Lafayette Church soup kitchen. However, the people who eat in the evening receive far more than a hot meal, because this meal is a family dinner. Everybody helps, everybody eats, everybody talks. God is using the food to create community among people that once had none.
More and more people that felt far away from Jesus are finding a home around the table at Lafayette, and a once-shrinking congregation is growing not only in number but also in love and service. When Lafayette Church celebrates the Lord’s Supper around these dinner tables, communion with God and with one another becomes tangible.
The Presbytery of Western New York is home to 11,450 members of 62 congregations.
Let us join in prayer for:
Rev. Bronwen W. Boswell, presbyter of discipleship, communications & transformation
Rev. Laura Norris Buisch, stated clerk
Carol Lally, business/office manager
Elder Jan Tyson, administrative assistant
Let us pray
God-who-provides, thank you for blessing us with more to share than we can imagine. Encourage us to embrace the risk of sharing those blessings, even with people who are different from us. Thank you for feeding us and for calling others to the table. Bless us as we seek to feed even more people in the name of Jesus, our host, our guest, and our Lord. Amen.