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This year, St. Columba in Beaumont engaged in a Lenten bread study. Inspired by the book By Bread Alone: A Baker's Reflections on Hunger, Longing, and the Goodness of God by Kendall Vanderslice (Tyndale 2023), we reflected theologically each week on one of the main ingredients that form a loaf of bread: flour, water, yeast, salt, heat and time. We discovered that these are all important biblical images, and each has something to teach us about our relationship with God, each other, and God's creation. 

Vanderslice's insight is that the story of bread reflects the story of our life with God because it, too, is the story of transformation. Bread moves from death of grain to life through water and yeast, to death in the oven, to life as it nourishes the community that shares it. With each step, the inner life of bread is mysterious and rich in fodder for spiritual growth. In his foreword to the book, bread expert Peter Reinhart calls bread "the most iconic transformational food...a portal that takes us into the depths of what transformation means." 

The theme carried us through Holy Week when Jesus' gift of the Eucharist embodies his proclamation I am the bread of life (John 6:35). Each week, parishioners as young as 10 to old-enough-for-decades-of-baking-experience provided bread to share after the service. Nothing but crumbs remained. Submitted by the Rev. Stephanie London, rector