After setting these weeks since Easter aside for a special "All Gathering" season, for concerted prayer, corporate discernment, and seeking the guidance of the Lord for the years ahead of us, THIS Sunday, we return to the TABLE: relaunching our rhythm of dedicating the 2nd and 4th Sundays of every month to the missional/micro/neighborhood expressions of church that we call the Table; spending time together over shared meals, in prayer, digging into scripture, and encouraging one another on mission with Jesus. While this will look largely familiar to most folks who have been with us for any length of time, there are some meaningful differences that come with this new beginning.
This "relaunch" season will begin with three Table groups:
1.) Spaulding (Rochester): located near Spaulding High School, led by Jared and Jenn Deame, with Carroll and Susie Stevens.
2.) Bellamy (Dover): located near Dover High School, led by Doug and Kathy Deame, with Keith and Dienne Howard.
3.) Downtown (Rochester): located at the Rochester Performance & Arts Center, led by myself, with Becca, and Jon and Leah Roth.
These three groups currently meet every 2nd and 4th Sunday, 10am - 12pm.
All of these missional communities (and any that will launch in the year ahead) are "open" groups: simply reach out to one of the leaders or myself if you'd like to get connected. The Downtown Table Group, however, is specifically and intentionally set aside as a "default"/all-play Table community for anyone who may be new, is not yet connected to another group, or feels particularly called to reaching our downtown neighbors. Downtown, the basic structure and value of the meal/prayer/study form of Table will be modeled, while also endeavoring to offer an open door to those who reside near the heart of Rochester. Whether it be an exploratory visit, a stop on the way into a different/new Table Group, or a potential long-term community for you, we welcome you to join us Downtown on any Table Sunday.
Through the year(s) ahead, we look forward to seeing more communities dreamed up and launched all over our region! While not placing a timeline on it, or pressuring unduly toward this end, our aim is to become a community that discerns, equips and sends well; setting the WHOLE church free to BE the church in every crack and crevice of our region that the Lord calls us into.
What's your dream? What's your calling? What is the burden God has placed on your heart? How can we help you step out into obedience to that call? These are the questions we are encouraging everyone within our family of faith to ask, while seeking to be faithful to organize the right central structures and resources for this regional mission as we wait upon the Holy Spirit to raise up those who might need them as they are called/sent. The Commons is, now as it has ever been, church, on the MOVE! The adventure continues.
This Sunday, the Table will be set. Come, and dine!