The Table of Hospitality

May 14, 2017


The idea for this series grew out of conversations at Worship Commission about how we get to know each other. We reflected that we are good at welcoming people when they come through our doors, and start to attend regularly. But once people have been with us a while, we wondered how do we get to know each other at a deeper level? How do we learn to know the gifts, interests, and passions of others here? How do we begin to include people in the life of the congregation beyond Sunday morning? How do we really see and know each other?

With these questions in mind, we started talking about a worship series on being seen and known. And then the political situation in this country began to deteriorate quickly, and this series, which began as a way to explore deepening our relationships with each other, grew to include reaching out to the vulnerable—particularly the refugee and the immigrant. The image of a table that extends to include everyone seemed to capture what we wanted to explore; this table is already extended to include each of us, as we place ourselves in the grand biblical story of God’s hospitality and welcome (last week); it is a table that can also be made smaller for more quiet and intimate exchanges of being seen and known; it is a table that includes everyone in all of our wonderful diversity. This table includes all of us here at Berkey; in addition, the image of the table had us considering our community of Goshen. This table invites us to celebrate the ways in which we have been a community of welcome; and it invites us to confess and name the times when we have failed to see who is missing from the table; when we have failed to even extend an invitation to the table. The hope for this series is that we will move outside of our comfort zones and talk to people during fellowship time who we’ve never talked to; maybe you will want to consciously sit in a different place in the sanctuary. As we look ahead to July, one opportunity you will have is to attend a place of worship that is different from worship here at Berkey.

Bible References

  • Luke 7:36 - 50