Probably in no other Christian tradition is food more integrated into sacramental and spiritual life than in Greek Orthodox Christianity. The Orthodox Memorial Service features the “koliva”, a ritual food of boiled wheat symbolic of both death and resurrection. Honoring Jesus’ feeding of the 5000, the Blessing of the Loaves (Artoklasia) is a brief service of thanksgiving through which we may express our gratitude for all the blessings of life by praying over, breaking and sharing five loaves of bread.
Jon Gromek currently serves as Central Regional Organizers for Bread for the World, a Christian voice urging our nation’s decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad. He has organized and worked throughout faith communities both in Washington DC, Ohio, and Florida for over 10 years. He holds a degree in Theology and Political Science from Xavier University in Cincinnati and is currently pursuing a graduate degree at Wright State University. He has worked at the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, Sojourners, Network, a National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, and as a community organizer for congregation based community organizations in Ohio and Florida in the DART Network. He is active in the life of his local church community serving as an officer on the Parish Council of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Dayton, OH. He and his wife Colleen live in Dayton, OH.