Bridgefolk 2006

Making Peace:
At Table, in the World

Ivan Kauffman reads lectionary texts at Saturday Eucharist

Ivan Kauffman reads lectionary texts at Saturday Eucharist. Mennonite Weekly Review Photo.

Saint John’s Abbey, Collegeville, Minnesota
June 29 – July 2, 2006

Calling ourselves a “movement of sacramentally-minded Mennonites and peace-minded Roman Catholics,” Bridgefolk has often examined the challenge of peacemaking. We have also encountered the pain of brokenness that prevents us from fully sharing at the table of the Lord. At the 2006 Bridgefolk gathering, therefore, we continued to keep peacemaking in focus while frankly and lovingly facing the challenge of Eucharistic communion.

Nowhere is the scandal of Christian disunity greater than when Christians depart from the Lord’s Table to kill or exploit one another. Nowhere is the promise of God’s kingdom more tangible than when people from estranged nations and communities share a meal together. Through formal presentations, storytelling and discussions, we explored peacemaking at tables set in various places — from the Eucharist, to the family, to communal and global settings.

The 2006 Bridgefolk conference was held just prior to the summer Monastic Institute at Saint John’s Abbey. Entitled “One Heart, One Soul: Many Communities,” this week-long institute will celebrate the 150th anniversary of Benedictines in Minnesota by discussing “intentional communities” and other new monastic models as they are springing up in unexpected forms, places and denominations.

Gordon Houser’s report for The Mennonite, July 18, 2006