Our Tables Change the World

Have you ever thought about all that happens around Grace Lutheran's tables?

              Grace Place Homeless youth sit around a table piled with homemade food.  As they pass the potatoes, hoods come off, earbuds come out, and they begin to open up and share about their day.

Central City Co-op volunteers come early to set out carrots, mushrooms, and kale, with fresh Texas dirt still clinging to them, smudging the table.  Neighbors exchange recipes as they shop for healthy, local food for their families. 

Community Leaders sit at panel tables, speaking as citizens in the Hyde Park Neighborhood association work together to improve our neighborhood.  

Coffee and pastries abound as Grace Lutheran church members wrestle with Scripture and share the holy moments of their week. Holy Conversation over coffee grows in numbers, and more tables are added. 

Bishop Mike, as well as local judges, lawyers, and defendants in the justice system, come together to speak to us and Lutherans from all over town about the ELCA's new draft statement on criminal justice, and we wrestle together with how to do right in the world. 

Things that happen at our tables change the world.  

After crates of vegetables slide across our tables every week, after homeless youth nervously pick at the thick veneer, after we spill coffee on them so many times, after years of being carted outside for National Night out, our tables are taking a beating.  Have you looked at them?  They're worn out.  Have you tried to move them into the many arrangements that serve our many purposes?  They're heavy!

The tools that we use to change the world occasionally need some attention.  Yes, this is a metaphor for all the work that we do to maintain a building and a congregational infrastructure, paying salaries and electric bills, but I'm also talking about the very specific instances of our fellowship hall tables.  We're starting a campaign to replace the tables that Grace uses to change the world!  

Our goal is $1,600.  We'll spend this on a mixture of circular and rectangular tables, of the sturdy and lightweight variety. Of course these tables will all fold, so that we can store them away and use our whole hall for dancing or variety shows!  One round table is $134, and one rectangular one is $105. Can you buy us one table, a tool to bring Grace to the world?

As I write about our tables, I'm thinking of one other table, the table even more central to our life at Grace.  I think about that one table where we all receive the bread of life, the cup of salvation.  I think of the one table where all our Grace is founded -where we are welcomed and loved, where we are included in community, where we are forgiven and healed and set free.  This table -our communion table- never needs our work to rebuild or repair it, although we can set it for others.   It is free, a free gift from a God who loves us. All of our other tables are full of grace that changes the world because we have received that grace at God's communion table.  Thanks be to God!


-Pastor Lura Groen