May 1

I am writing this on Friday morning of Barbecue weekend –Union’s 81st. For all these years, the saints of Union have gathered together for a packed 36 hours to create the best barbecue in Georgia. Beside the finished products of chicken, pork barbecue, and hash—a more important product comes out of these hours of hard, back-breaking work. In the midst of the fire building, pot hauling, meat grinding, hash stirring, sop making, Fellowship Hall set up, car parking, and meat picking, comes an even greater product than the sum of all the parts.

That product is community. Of course, we produce the barbecue for the greater community, but what I have found after my own four years of participation, is the loving community spirit among the Union family that occurs over the weekend. Those folks who find themselves standing at the table picking meat for several hours, engage in conversation and get to know both old and new friends. Those men who stay up all night, tending the fire and cooking the meat, dozing off and on, also, as my mama says, “solve the world’s problems.” We are encouraged by those whose job is to sit for several hours and package sop, those who greet people at the drive through, those who plate and box.  In everything, we work together.

One of the blessings of Union Christian Church is that this community extends beyond the barbecue. We saw it just a few weeks ago as we gathered together to welcome families during our first Interfaith Hospitality Network host week. This was Christian community at its finest. We are doing it this morning, as I am writing, at ACTS – serving food to those who are hungry and also helping them gather clothing and other needed supplies.

Community – I am grateful to be a part of the Union Christian Church community who works, serves, and worships together. Thanks be to God!