We have been following manifestations of the various “tiny” movements (see here and here), especially food trucks. We’ve been wondering if there were any such ministries in the Episcopal Church, and now we’ve learned of one being planned near Houston, Texas. But it’s not just a food truck spreading good food and God’s love, it’s the genesis of an emergent church idea that plans to build a community through networking, service and, of course, food.
It’s tentatively called St Isidore’s and its the brain-child of the Rev Sean Steele. Named for St Isidore the Farmer, the new ministry hopes to build a networked community of faith focused on service. The idea is that the “church” would gather wherever work is being done, participate in the work and then worship and share a meal afterwards.
“I think sometimes we look at service as doing something for someone and not with someone. When you have the capability to bring a meal to an area where service work is being done, it’s easy to say afterwards, ‘Hey, how about we eat together, and be together?’” Steele said. “At the heart of Christianity is the idea that we are fed, and we are fed by God. This is what Jesus did over and over again. He fed people, and what better way than a food truck to go out into the world and feed people?”
The community will also leverage the connectivity of social media and its own smart phone app to apprise community members and others of where the truck will be meeting and to get the word out about this distinctive expression of Christian community. The central idea is connecting people who are wary of institutions and reluctant to join traditional parishes to the idea of community and service by role-modelling Jesus’ own actions.
“This isn’t a movement that is trying to go out and save souls. Jesus has already taken care of that. There’s not a lot of anxiety about this. This is about urgently going out into the world and embodying a sacred tradition of love and acceptance and generosity,” Steele said. “A Gospel that tells the story of Jesus eating with everybody – even the most marginalized and outcast. A Christ who welcomes all.”
Right now, the app, the website and social media presence are under development and Steele is working to form small house church gatherings which will be the nucleus of St Isidore’s and engaging in fundraising for the truck itself. They hope to have it on the road later this year.
To find out more, visit their website; episcopalfoodtruck.org
image from Crafting the Word of God