Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Happy Anniversary ToG

Wow, it's August 29th! Guess it's been a while since the last blog post! So much has been happening at Table of Grace, and we're so excited about the things that are going to continue to happen. We set out at our first service (and really way before) to create a place of belonging for a diverse group of people. We wanted to invite and include people who had never, or at least not for many years, felt welcome in any church. That first service was one year and two days ago, and every day since then, I have been in awe to watch God move in our lives, in our new faith community, and in our local community. I have seen people come out of their shells. I've seen people who didn't feel welcome anywhere loved beyond measure by a bunch of people who just met them. I've seen people who had written off God and anything related to Christianity because of bad experiences, who might consider calling themselves a Christian, or at least a follower of Jesus. And I've seen people who are not now and never intend to be Christian discover that this little community can still be a place of spiritual renewal for them, regardless of their faith tradition.

If I didn't work so hard to keep my composure, I would be a sobbing mess every moment of every day thinking about the beauty of what God and the folks at ToG are doing! Children of the community are being loved, fed and taught about being themselves, loving one another and taking care of the Earth. Adults who have never really been interested in the Bible are engaged in great discussion asking "Banned Questions About the Bible" and "Feasting on the Word" (our two bible study guides to date). People who barely know one another are going to great lengths to take care of other members of the community with pressing needs. This is what any faith community should be about, and I'm so proud to be a part of this!

Even as I write this, folks are planning and making connections to get our food pantry and community meal up and running. We will be providing a much needed addition to the community food resources that already exist, being extra careful and diligent to provide healthy and usable food items for anyone who needs them. In addition to providing extra food help, we will invite the community in to come share a meal with us on the days that the pantry is open. We have learned the value of eating together. We know that when we sit across the table from somebody and share a meal with them, we begin to share their life and their story. That is what we want to do with those who come to the Table of Grace food pantry for assistance as well. We want to share in the lives, the struggles and the hopes of our neighbors; and we want to share meals with them.

These are just a few of the things that we are doing right now, and there are so many more in our hearts and probably in yours! Next week we will be gathering together to share those hopes and dreams and try to organize our efforts for the upcoming year. If you've ever thought about becoming a part of this amazing community, I hope that you'll check it out soon. We need your voice, your hands and your heart. Please check out our Facebook page for weekly updates about what is going on. Just search for Table of Grace-Jefferson City.

There are so many people who have yet to hear the life giving news that we are here to proclaim. God loves each and every one of us and desires peace and justice in our world, here and now. At Table of Grace, we will continue to work toward that end, realizing of course that we will never fully arrive, but knowing that we sure can work with God to bring light into the darkness around us. Will you join us in proclaiming this good news and roll your sleeves up to work with us for peace and justice?