A Priest, a minister, and a pastor walk into a bar
Starting in March, three churches in Glenbrook will take some time together for fellowship after their Sunday worship services.
From Sunday, 6 March, Glenbrook’s Uniting, Baptist, and Catholic church congregations will meet to share a bowl of soup, with each church taking turns at hosting.
St Andrew’s Glenbrook Uniting Church minister Rev. Ellie Elia told Insights that the event was the initiative of local Catholic Priest Father Joe.
“Father Joe from St Finbar’s had the idea – I think it’s a tradition he picked up from his time in Germany.”
“The idea is simply to share a table together , and at the same time to raise funds for vulnerable people.”
“Each of our churches will provide soup and bread for the three churches. This will take place after our usual worship services. Some will walk from one church to the other. The Catholics and Baptists are neighbours. It’s a 20 minute walk for us.”
According to Rev. Ellia, the three churches hope to collaborate more in future.
“The three of us really want to share resources , but we know that the first step is to help our communities (re)discover the joy of work across denominations, so we are starting with table fellowship,” she said.
“We have plans for working together throughout the year, especially high season of Advent and Lent. We are thinking about a possible youth focused gathering for Pentecost.”
“Our three churches have in face been in relationship for a long time – Father Joe sent me a photo of a plaque I didn’t even know existed.”
“Somewhere along the way these ecumenical relationships lost steam but the three of us are all reasonably new. We feel we are about to reengage this collaboration and care.”
“I think its invaluable to strength these relationships that help us look beyond our own congregations, especially at a challenging time after two years of COVID. I know that people in the wider Blue Mountains community responded possibility to my [Facebook] post about what we are doing.”
“I think this ecumenical witness breaks through some of the exclusive and judgemental narratives about the church. I am pleased to be participating in a good new story.”
Souper Bowl Sunday takes place at 11:30 am at St Finbar’s Catholic Church on Sunday, 6 March, Glenbrook Baptist Church on Sunday, 20 March, and St Andrew’s Uniting Church on Sunday, 3 April.