Eating together plays an important role both in nurturing existing relationships and in welcoming the guest. A missional community that does not live on the same site, but lives within a local geographic area, will need to establish a pattern that works for them: perhaps once a week, perhaps more. Within the monastery, some meals were conversational, while others were eaten in silence, listening to one member of the community taking their turn to read aloud from the Bible. This, too, may be worth exploring, as a way of engaging with Scripture together. There is also something valuable about taking turns to cook for others, and about cooking together, that don’t quite translate into a bring-and-share meal.
What experiences do you have of the refectory within missional community?