Brunch with Benedict

written by Kat Bair
2 · 20 · 24

There is something inherently sacred and special in the act of cooking and eating together. In cultures all over the world, holidays and special occasions are celebrated with large communal meals, often cooked at home. When we gather, when we rejoice, when we remember, even when we grieve, it is often around the table together. This is so core to our faith, and to our shared humanity, that perhaps the most essential practice of the Christian faith is Communion, the Lord’s Supper, our shared meal together as all Christians, in all of its sacred and mysterious meaning. 

All of that is not even to mention the weekly rituals of youth group pizza, Wednesday night dinners, church potlucks, funeral casseroles, and donuts and coffee in the fellowship hall. Food is part of our faith.

Which is why we are so excited to share our newest line of products from Discipleship by Design, the minds that brought you Ripple Effect, Blow up Your Idea!, and Whoopsie!: Brunch with Benedict boxes. Developed by Dr. Amanda Drury, these meal kit-meets-faith formation boxes are meant to engage families or small groups in meaningful discussion, learning, and reflection inspired by the life of one of the saints, as they prepare a food inspired by that saint’s life or legacy together.

The boxes feature a diverse cast of early leaders in the church, with an intentional eye towards the forgotten characters of the stories, particularly women. There is at least one woman, whose faith and faithfulness are integral to the story, featured in every box. Some of the characters are familiar, like St. Francis of Assisi, and some are likely unknown to many of us (at least they were to me), like St. Therese and her sisters. Each of the boxes tells an engaging narrative of the life of the Saint, and includes table placards with discussion questions, business card-sized quotes from the saint for participants to keep, a recipe to be made together, a key ingredient for the recipe, and a few fridge magnets to remind you of the lesson the next time you make something. 

The boxes are beautifully designed and constructed, and appeal to a broad range of audiences and perspectives on faith. The narratives mean that even the church history doesn’t feel stuffy, and the discussion questions invite deep reflection that can challenge even the most seasoned church attendee.

But the most special thing about these boxes isn’t the content, its the method: the boxes are built on the fundamental premise that learning should happen around shared preparation and consumption of a meal. They are meant to be enjoyed communally, with the discussion questions being asked over food that the participants made together. The boxes are built on the lives of saints, so the discussion isnt just a bible study, it’s a chance to engage with how real people have built their lives around their faith. Reading the stories myself, I was struck by the impact of normal people who had extraordinary faith, how the stories of a faithful, miracle-working God building his church didn’t stop with the New Testament. 

When we think of church history and its humanness, we tend to think of the mess, but this series points us to the grace of God, to the faithful testimony of the saints among us. You can check out boxes for St. Therese and her sisters, St. Gregory with St. Macrina and St. Basil, St. Benedict and St. Scholastica, and St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi at our marketplace, and reach out with any questions or if you’re interested in a bulk sale. 

We have very limited stock (only a couple dozen of each box), so if you are interested, I would recommend purchasing soon. All of the food items are non-perishable, so you can keep the box until you are ready to use it. 

I hope these boxes are as good news to you as they have been for me. A shared meal is the foundation of our faith, and it can be one of its building blocks as well.


Kat Bair

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