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Even the Sparrow Has Found Her a House

I was so very grateful for the Emmanuel community last Tuesday night! Emmanuel really turned out for Dinner With Della+, and it was a wonderful chance for us to talk a little and get to know each other better. I look forward to many more opportunities like that in the coming months.

Dinner With Della+ was the kickoff dinner for Emmanuel’s Foyer Groups – the small group dinners we plan to have at Emmanuel that were called Firesides in another incarnation at Emmanuel.

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, Foyer Groups originated from Coventry Cathedral’s International Ministry of Reconciliation, which arose after the Cathedral was destroyed in the Blitz. Shortly after the bombing, the Cathedral Provost was sifting through the rubble of the cathedral and found many of the old roof nails that had fallen among the ruins. He saw potential for redemption and reconciliation in the ruins and was inspired to have them twisted together to
form a cross.

This cross of nails and the words “Father, Forgive” became the unifying symbol of the Community of the Cross of Nails, the energy behind Coventry Cathedral’s International Ministry of Reconciliation. CCN, as the group is called, believes that understanding between peoples, nations, and ideologies can come only when people meet and know each other as individuals.

In 1967, the staff of the Coventry Cathedral began meeting together in small informal groups as a way of bridging the differences among us that can separate us from each other. They noticed that a powerful bond formed among the group, which they referred to as a foyer group. Foyer is French for home, or hearthside.

People had become more separated and isolated during the war, especially with the violence and destruction of the bombings. People’s differences got magnified, so people noticed more about how they were different than how they were alike. But in the small dinner groups, people got to know each other better – as fellow human beings – and they became fast friends. They spent time. They talked. They listened. And they shared a meal.

The Foyer movement spread first to the congregation of Coventry Cathedral and then out into the Anglican Communion. Today, many Episcopal churches throughout the United States have foyer groups that are great ways for people in the church to get together and get to know each other better – sharing experiences and common interests within friendly home surroundings, in a Christian context and while breaking bread together.