Food for our Minds and Spirits: What Costco Teaches Me about People Being Together.

Costco is a really unique place. It’s gigantic. It is ALWAYS busy, and because of how big it is, it means there’s a ton of people there. It is a place of commerce, but it is also a weirdly community-oriented place. It is the store in NE Ohio that I most often notice the widest diversity of patrons. Everyone needs toilet paper, after all. And at Costco, you can buy it along with an iPad and a 32 oz. BBQ sauce.

I was there the other day getting ready for our first Wednesday dinner. We’re doing dinner on Wednesdays at 6pm this year in an effort to foster a night when we can be together during the week. Dinner will be covered, with a small suggested/invited donation. Choir meets at 7pm. But otherwise, it’s just dinner. What else might happen on Wednesdays? Maybe small groups could meet then. Maybe a lowkey youth group could gather. Maybe a chance to just hang out and play games. A lot of maybes emerge when dinner is covered!

This is what made me think back to my time at Costco. Costco has dinner covered. You can buy any food you might need (or, at least, very many!), or you can buy food that is already cooked and ready for you! So, when I took a step back in the gigantic, cavernous space of Costco, took my eyes off my shopping list and looked, instead, at all of the people, I realized how many things were emerging from this place. People stocking up for the week, collecting materials for parties and gatherings. Someone there for the eye doctor. Someone else buying tires because of a big road trip coming up.

Wherever people gather, something sacred and unique lies waiting to emerge. UUCC is pretty much the opposite of Costco. We don’t focus on bulk items and we don’t have anywhere near as many people. But we are a place where people gather, and take what they’ve received here and bring it into their lives. As I left Costco with some of the food for our Wednesday night dinners, I left with a thought: what are people carrying away from UUCC when they leave our time together? Not toilet paper, obviously. But maybe some other items in bulk. Encouragement? Hope? A sense of solidarity and a vision of justice? If I could buy those in bulk, I know I would.

I hope to see you around for dinner sometime.

Sometimes it is hard to tap into our spiritual selves or find time to nurture our creativity and intellectual curiosity. Here is a section that reflects on some nourishing materials from around the web and related media channels in order to get us thinking, get us feeling, and get us reflecting on the lives we are living in this big world. **Some Adult/Mature Themes May Appear in Links and Other Attached Material**


Allan T. Georgia, MDiv, MTS, PhD