Each year, our pastor selects one of the major countries involved in the Reformation and we dine on food from that country. Our pastor's wife (who just happens to be my daughter) scours cookbooks and the internet to find recipes from the respective cuisines and brings a stack of them to church, letting each family take a few that interest them. Over the years, we've all sampled lots of dishes that we might never otherwise have tried, and some have been delightful surprises. And well, yes, a few have been better left in the cookbooks.
Last night, our focus was on England. We studied the lives of John Rogers and John Wycliffe and enjoyed musical selections presented by two of our young people, enjoyed a craft based on medieval illuminated alphabets, and yes, we ate British food. The English do not enjoy the most elevated reputation for their cuisine, and so we greeted the news of "The Year of England" with less than rabid enthusiasm for the meal portion of the evening. But all the "buzz" I heard during and after the meal was that this was the best year ever, even beating out the excellent German meal of last year. My family contributed Shepherd's Pie, an old-fashioned Baked Rice Pudding, and Apple Scones. We sampled several stews, vegetable dishes, salads, even a very authentic Cornish pastie! Everyone left happy, no one left hungry (well, except for perhaps the peanut-butter-and-jelly crowd) and all of us were grateful to celebrate another corner of God's faithfulness to our "great crowd of witnesses" through the ages.
I only had one question on leaving, munching the last of my scone: "When do we get to do the Thai reformation?" :-)