Why Table Church?
To be vital in our living and our dying as individuals and as congregations we need to practice our faith close to the ground, in the ordinary doings of day to day life. The table is one of those places.
The Pandemic and the diminishing size of many rural congregations make it essential that we become nimble and imaginative at being church in ways that might not have been seen as important in earlier decades. Now, we are no longer approaching the time when we need to be the church in different ways. We are in the midst of it!
Table Church is made to encourage small worship groups of 4-6 that might be possible even should a second wave restrict gathering in the future. These do not necessarily replace the weekly online or in-person gathering for worship, though in congregations without ministry personnel they might supplement less frequent traditional Sunday worship. These don’t need the presence of ministry personnel.
Would you be prepared to invite a small MONTHLY gathering, I asked members of the congregation with whom I’m in ministry? We’ll see how the first few go and I’ll adapt them as I receive your feedback. I’m also very open to your questions and suggestions about Table Church and to offering a worship based on response to things that have come up for you in your gatherings.
I’ll post a sample gathering that several groups in the congregation I’m with followed in September. Please feel free to use and share it with attribution. Following that I’ll prepare a gathering reflection each month for the month coming up. Only the September, October and November are posted here but if you’d like to join the e-mail list to receive the gatherings each month as they come out, just contact me.
You can now order a series of ten worship gatherings on the theme, Places, here.
How does it work?
Each month I send whomever chooses to initiate a Table Church a page with an opening prayer, a focus Scripture (with a couple of paragraphs of background), a simple way of praying for one another and the world throughout the month, and a closing blessing.
Choose a time each month when you will gather with a few others (they can be your family or a few friends or neighbours) and, over a cup of tea or a meal, share the worship materials. You might choose to open the meal with the gathering prayer, have your main course, then read the Scripture portion, then dessert, then the closing blessing. Or you might get your tea, settle in and go through the whole sheet. The choice is yours and based on what works best in your situation. What may grow from this practice small as a mustard seed?