Monday, July 11, 2011

Slow Food Movement Serves As Church Inspiration

A lot of Bible stories center around eating, from the fruit at the Garden of Eden to the multiplication of fish and loaves to the Last Supper.

Yet, at many Christian churches, the only foods consumed are paper-thin communion wafers or donuts after the service, said self-proclaimed foodie and seminary graduate Stasi McAteer.

Stasi and husband John McAteer, a professor at Houston Baptist University, posit that churches should take some cues from the slow food movement. That means sharing meals together that make them appreciate the Creator and investing time to connect with community, place and God beyond the table.

It's what some pastors and lay leaders are calling "slow church." While the terminology has only caught on sporadically, plenty of today's churches have a slow church mentality, drawing out worship, community service and fellowship to make it more meaningful than the hour-long, in-and-out Sunday service.

Fuller Theological Seminary in Houston has organized a discussion on slow church led by the McAteers, to be held Tuesday at t'afia, Monica Pope's "passionately local" restaurant that is focused on seasonal dishes and home-grown ingredients.

The slow food movement has been around officially for about 15 years, and has picked up recently with greater availability of organic foods and a desire to eat local. The grassroots effort promotes eating healthy foods, grown and cooked under the right conditions, rather than choosing junk foods based on convenience, according to Slow Food USA.

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