Our most recent liturgical journey began with a simple observation. With people randomly spread throughout the concentric circles of our sanctuary seating, collecting the offering had become problematic. Some were being overlooked. This generated an obvious question: How to deal with this  What initially seemed to be a purely practical problem soon expanded to include a number of significant questions:

In our context, how is community liturgically formed and ritually nurtured

How do we best express the dynamic energy of the peace in the offertory 

How is our offering to be emphasized over mere collection, in a worship space in which processions make little sense

How do we best use body, voice and movement to express and respond to the spirit's invitation to community and communion 

The answers for us did not emerge immediately nor is the process complete. But for now, the offertory begins with the beating of the drum. The voice of the cantor rises, singing a timeless 'grace-ful' invitation:

Jesus invites us to feast at the table,

Grateful for his gifts we offer our own.

Together the community repeatedly sings the invitation for all to gather in the circle for the feast of God's reign.

In gathering offerings are made not collected: each and all move to the table and place their offering.

Bread and wine are offered in abundance: for we are called to hunger and thirst for righteousness' sake in a world and neighbourhood where many are hungry and thirsty;

Money is placed by all on the table: for generosity is our ministry in a culture of assumed scarcity;

We come, offering the 'dark vibrancy' of our humanity: for our hopes and dreams, our fears and failures are the ground of compassion both divine and communal.

  • We come round the table.
  • Is this new  We think not!
  • Is it unique to St. Mark's  We hope not!
  • Is our experience prescriptive  We pray not!
  • For us it is simply a fresh expression of an ancient proclamation:
  • The feast of God's reign, where
  • Those excluded - are included
  • Those impoverished - are empowered
  • Those suffering - are saved
  • Those hungry - are fed, body and soul

In Jesus, God is found at table, where all are welcome. Come round the table!