Bishop Lawson and Mrs. Sherrill Bryan invite the South Georgia Conference to join them in a virtual Thanksgiving Agape Meal at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 22.
Intended to be a time of Christian fellowship and an opportunity to gather together virtually, the Thanksgiving Agape Meal will include music, guided prayer, time for contemplation, and personal witness.
“We held a conference-wide Agape Meal last spring and I was thrilled at the overwhelming response of our annual conference,” Bishop Bryan said. “Many participants told me this experience gave them the sense of connection to others that they had been missing. So now I am eagerly anticipating how this Agape Meal will unite us to celebrate Thanksgiving in a way that is deeply meaningful.”
In his latest Advocate column, Bishop Bryan writes that, “Thanksgiving is about survival … With all that is weighing so heavily on us these days, may this be our resolve: in South Georgia, we will help each other and our communities survive by being Alive Together at the Table.”
The Thanksgiving Agape Meal is, planners say, an opportunity for South Georgia United Methodists to gather around their respective tables and the communal South Georgia “table” as one family, united in Christ.
“Thanksgiving is one of my favorite seasons of the year,” Mrs. Bryan said. “I am especially excited to invite each of you into our home for this special celebration. There is a place for you at the table. We’re planning some surprises for you, too.”
Introduced to John Wesley by the Moravians, Agape Meals became a significant part of early Methodism. And at a time when the church is still somewhat scattered because of the coronavirus pandemic, the virtual Thanksgiving Agape Meal will hopefully help South Georgia United Methodists feel more connected to Christ and one another.
Lasting about 30 minutes, the Agape Meal unites Christians in table fellowship using bread, cup, scripture, and prayer for encouragement and support. Participants are encouraged to prepare their favorite meal or snack to eat during the service.
“This is the perfect opportunity to reach out to friends, relatives, and neighbors wherever they may live,” Bishop Bryan said. “Share the link and invite them to a unique experience of Thanksgiving. On Sunday, November 22, at 6 p.m., we will be Alive Together at the Table.”