The original intent for eating fish during Lent was about fasting from the flesh of meat. This is done in memory of Christ. But, what is the real purpose of these fish fries? Keep the fishy smell out of your house? According to the Knights of Columbus, it is a way to bring families together and provide a social for parishioners. To me this could be viewed as another way of saying party? Yes, I know the Lenten season is all about self-reflecting on our dark areas. Having a party could be perceived as not conducting ourselves in the right spirit of Lent. Or is it?My church has been studying Luke. If you don’t know much about this guy, long story short, it is believed that he was an Antiochian Doctor. He is accredited for writing his Gospel (Luke) and Acts and followed Paul on several trips. His body parts, like many of the saints are stored in several locations throughout the world. Despite this, what strikes me about Dr. Luke's writings is 1) he was a man who was a great story teller and 2) he was all about having a party.
Dr. Luke’s stories, the Lost Coin and the Lost Son, both end with a party. The story is an analogy about one having lost their connection to the Divine. When they find their way back, Motherfather Spirit throws this blow out party. I’ve been wondering – couldn’t a fish fry during Lent be an occasion to throw a party. This party’s purpose would be to uplift the spirit for those of us who are lost, confused, hurt, sad, stressed (name your emotion) and who have found their way back to Motherfather Spirit. The party would be welcoming and joyful time to give to others.Okay just a thought.
A Jewish BlessingMi-sheberakh avoteinu v’imoteinu, Avraham v’Sarah, Yitzhak v’Rivkah, Ya’akov, Rachel v’Leah hu y’varekh et (insert names here) v’yavi aleihem refuat hanefesh u’refuat haguf yachad im kol cholei amo Yisrael. Barukh atah Hashem, rofeh ha’cholim.
May the One who was a source of blessing for our ancestors, bring blessings of healing upon (insert names here), a healing of body and a healing of spirit. May those in whose care they are entrusted be gifted with wisdom and skill, and those who surround them be gifted with love and trust, openness and support in their care. And may they be healed along with all those who are in need. Blessed are You, Source of healing.
Last Friday, 2/22 T and I went to 71916. This appears to be a much smaller congregation that 18151222 and run by the Knights of Columbus members. The men showed a friendly comradely. 71916 is a very basic fish fry: fried fish, coleslaw, mac and cheese, and a wide assortment of fries (i.e., regular, pepper and cheesy) or bake potato. The coleslaw was definitely better than 18151222. The fish had more of a beer batter and was a little oily to my taste. T felt that the mac and cheese was a little soggy. We accredited this to being one of the last customers. Dessert? Texas Sheet Cake. The frosting was melted into the moist cake. I immediately thought of my mother-in-law’s cake.The highlight of the evening was being invited into the sanctuary. I’ve never have explored for Wow sites in Columbus, but here it was. The door open and you could feel the energy across your face. T pulled me back and asked if I felt it. I wanted to stay, but we needed to pick up Z.
At 7193, they’ve changed things up. Instead of a fish fry, this congregation holds an all you can eat pasta “fry.” Z had been anticipating this “fry” by not eating anything after school in order to have room to go for seconds. He told me it was to get his money’s worth. They served baked Ziti with a mild tomato sauce, bow-tie Alfredo, Mac and Cheese, green beans with onion, salad and bread. Everything was very tasty and carbo rich. The dessert table was filled with baked goods. The lady wearing a green apron labeled “women’s circle” told me they were from the best cooks in the county. T chose a cherry pie and I had a chocolate marbled cake with chocolate butter cream. Yum.Out of the three churches, I’d have to say this had the most “party like” feel. People were more willing to say hello and talk to you. Maybe it was how the tables were arranged: long close rows where you couldn’t help but bump into people.
“The great sea ...”By Uvavnuk Uvavnuk
Translated By Jane Hirshfield
The great seafrees me, moves me,
as a strong river carries a weed.
Earth and her strong winds
move me, take me away,
and my soul is swept up in joy.