Welcoming others is crucial to building community. One way we can be inclusive is allowing people to have a place at the table. Inclusion, giving a voice, allowing all to be an equal part. If you have been rejected and cast out, know somewhere there is a table waiting for you. A table surrounded by others wanting to hear your voice and include you in their community.
What Does It Mean For You?
Have you ever felt like your voice didn't matter? Have you been able to speak your opinion but felt like the decisions were already made? I think when we truly have a place at the table dialogue happens. Stories are shared and people are understood and valued. There is no contention to change the other person, we accept them for who they are. For me, sitting at the table is a beautiful expression of setting aside our personal agendas to be with someone. Mutually deeming each other a person of worth despite any other categorical divisions that have been created. In the educational system I work in, it means valuing the voice each student has and sometimes helping them find their voice which has been lost. But what does it mean for you in the context of your life?
Where Is Your table?
You may not know where your table is but I hope you find it in your own time. The search is what's vital. It’s important we all find people that will further our spiritual journeys. People we can call our community. Identifying this community is no easy task. Ask yourself are they willing to listen to me? Are they willing to spend time getting to know me? Are they willing to love me for who I am? I know this community wants you to be yourself, your raw self. You will find your table, I know it. A table where you are welcomed and included. A place where your voice is heard and valued.
For Everyone Born
I want to leave you with a youtube clip of a song from the Lewis River Reunion. The song is called “For Everyone Born” written by Shirley Erena Murray.
I encourage you to read the lyrics at http://www.cofchrist.org/for-everyone-born which also gives Ms. Murray’s description about how she came to write the song.
Invite someone to your table this week! Eat with them, listen to them, and be present with them. I would love for you to share on our blog with a comment about how it went.
Craig Hidy like the majority of ministers in Community of Christ is a bi-vocational, self sustaining ordained minister. He is a member of the Midlands Mission Center Emporia Team and an ordained Seventy. He and his family, live in Topeka, Kansas.
What is a Seventy?
The Seventy carry out missionary work for the church in close association with other missionary leaders. They represent Christ primarily as ministers of evangelism through witnessing, inviting, and church planting. They especially proclaim and promote Jesus Christ’s invitation to faithful discipleship through vibrant witness, and train individuals and congregations in witness and invitation. They particularly minister with seekers, individually and in groups, to share the gospel in relevant ways and to invite response. They support sacramental ministries by preparing people for baptism and/or confirmation, presiding at sacramental services, and performing most sacraments. They promote community by inviting individuals, households, and families to respond to Christ’s call to discipleship. They promote justice and peacemaking by inviting people to experience all aspects of Christ’s peace through active discipleship. They create ministry partnerships with mission center officers, apostles, elders, and evangelists.
The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Community of Christ or Midlands Mission Center. We believe individuals should be allowed to have their own opinions and be at different places in their faith journey.