How We Gather
We share a Zoom meeting on select Sunday evenings at 6pm ET / 5pm CT / 4pm MT / 3pm PT. There will be music to start, followed by an opening prayer, a reading from Luke 24, and a short meditation. Then, we share in communion together, breaking bread (or whatever food you choose!) in each of our homes. 

How We Share Communion
– You’re invited to have food and drink at hand – the only requirement is that it is something that nourishes you! You can be as sensitive as you want to your allergies, restrictions, and tastes.
– Please use the name you would like to be called as your Zoom display name. This does not have to be the name you registered with or the name linked to your email. 
– Please be able to turn on your camera and/or your mic when your name is spoken.
– If the group is larger than 20 people, we’ll split into breakout rooms with designated leaders at this time.

The room leader will speak someone’s name and invite them to hold up what they have to eat and drink. The leader will then say “[Name], this is the bread of Christ, a promise of God’s love for you” and “[Name], this is the cup of Christ, a promise of God’s love for you,” using their displayed Zoom name. 

– That person can then eat and drink what they have. (Some people respond to the communion promise with “Thank you,” “Amen,” or reverent silence.) 

– Then they get to pick the next person, inviting them to hold up what they have to eat and drink. and say “[Name], this is the bread of Christ, a promise of God’s love for you” and “[Name], this is the cup of Christ, a promise of God’s love for you.”

When all have received, the room leader will close the breakout room with prayer. Some may choose to leave the Zoom and continue with their evenings. Others may want to converse further! Please feel free to leave the breakout room & return to the main room for sharing time. The main room will close at 7pm ET / 6pm CT / 5pm MT / 4pm PT.

The Idea
For the past two years, spiritual communities of all kinds have re-learned what it means to gather “in person”. But many of us have already known how to make radically compassionate and welcoming spaces online. People previously isolated from each other by an inability to physically gather — the LGBTQIA+ community, disabled or immunocompromised people, those caring for young children, and many others have found a myriad of ways to connect and care for each other through social media prior to 2020. With a wave of churches going “online only” during waves of the COVID-19 pandemic, people who have been unable to attend church regularly for a multitude of reasons have been able to participate again when church is livestreamed. The Emmaus Table seeks to do that for a widespread community in a short evening service (under thirty minutes) on Zoom.

What’s an Emmaus Table?
On the evening after his resurrection, with the sun going down, Jesus appeared to two disciples who were walking to a town called Emmaus. They walked with him and talked about his life and death and the rumors of his resurrection, but they did not recognize him until the moment when he blessed and broke the bread at dinner. We, too, have been on long journeys with heavy hearts, and long for Jesus to be present at our dinner tables. So we’re calling this place where we meet an Emmaus table: a space where, to our surprise, Jesus appears despite supposed impossibility.

Who’s leading this?
The main organizer behind this event is Rev. Emmy Kegler, who serves as solo pastor of a small neighborhood ELCA Lutheran church in Minneapolis. She’s also the founder and editor of Queer Grace, an online encyclopedia about LGBTQIA+ life and Christian faith. She serves on the board of directors for Transmission Ministry Collective, an online community of transgender and gender-expansive Christians, as well as on the board of directors for Reclamation Collective, an organization which holds space for folks navigating religious trauma, spiritual abuse, and adverse religious experiences.

If you’d like to serve as a breakout room leader, please contact Emmy here.

What language is used for communion?
Many of us are familiar with the words “The body of Christ, broken for you” and “the blood of Christ, shed for you” as words of institution over the communion table. We recognize and respect that this language is what is recorded as spoken over the table at Jesus’ last supper and the church’s tradition for many years after. We also recognize that phrases about broken bodies and shed blood can be re-traumatizing for people who have experienced abuse or trauma, especially at the hands of church leaders. We therefore use language that is less likely to re-traumatize as we seek to make the table open to those who have been isolated from it.

Do I have to be seen / talk?
You are absolutely welcome to join for the prayer and Scripture reading and then leave before we share in communion if you don’t want to be seen or speak out loud on Zoom. However, if you stay for communion, please have your mic and video ready.

If you’d like to see exactly what the meditation looks and sounds like, and when someone else will be speaking vs when individuals are invited to speak, you can see slides from the last gathering here.