First off, I highly recommend this book. It’s overdue from the library right now because I couldn’t give it back yet.

Take This Bread is labeled as both “A Radical Conversion” and “The spiritual memoir of a twenty-first-century Christian.”  Sara Miles was an atheist until she wandered into a neighborhood church and found a home.

She didn’t just find a church home, though (and she didn’t always get along well with others in the church). She became a new kind of church planter.

Sara Miles decided to start a food pantry at her church. But it wasn’t just a food pantry. It became a church service of a kind itself, and a new congregation.  And her food pantry has gone on to help plant other food pantries. To Miles, giving away food is Holy Communion, every bit as much as handing out wafers or bread in a traditional service.

The food pantry has had its own problems. This isn’t a story of perfect miracles. In fact, Miles makes some disturbing statements about Russian and Chinese people in San Francisco.  But it’s an incredible story, well worth reading, especially for anyone who has been disillusioned by the institutional church.