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Take This Bread Reader’s Guide

By Sara Miles

Take This Bread by Sara Miles


Questions and Topics for Discussion

1. What has been your most powerful experience of communion?

2. Do you share Miles’s belief that Jesus’ Table should be open to everyone? Are there people you think should not be allowed to receive communion?

3. Discuss Miles’s understanding of the rites of healing, marriage, baptism, and Eucharist. Do you think rites that take place outside of what she calls an “official” church context can be truly sacramental? Do you ever experience church outside of church? Have you experienced Eucharist outside of a church service?

4. Miles was baptized as an adult and writes that she takes her baptismal vows seriously. Read through these vows, and discuss how you live each one out.

5. “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.” What does this mean in the context of Miles’s food pantry and the people involved with it?

6. Miles is a lesbian and a Christian. Does reading about her experience change your religious beliefs about homosexuality?

7. Miles writes that food pantry was “not a social service program but a service, modeled on the Eucharist” (p. tk). Is there a difference in your church between the way you do liturgy and the way you do outreach? How does Scripture inform your outreach work?

8. As a layperson, Miles preaches, serves communion, anoints, blesses, and leads prayer at her church. Do you know other laypeople who do any of this kind of work? What is your own experience of doing this work? Do you think that certain work should be done only by ordained people?

9. Miles believes that conversion is not a single moment of epiphany but an ongoing process. Discuss your own experience of conversion.

10. What is the Bible passage that you think best expresses the message of Take This Bread?

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