Dear sisters and brothers at The Table,
Can you believe it’s almost 2022?! Many of us are still trying to process 2020 as we sit on the cusp of 2022. The past year has seemed to be a blur: hopes of vaccines, cautious steps into normalcy, variants, and continued cultural earthquakes regarding racial justice have made 2021 feel like a rehash of 2020!
All the while, we’ve been collectively holding our breath to see how the pandemic will pan out. At least 5 million people are dead worldwide due to Covid-19. None of us have ever experienced a crisis like this. None of us were prepared for the suffering and disruption this has created. We’ve gotten sick and recovered, and some of our loved ones have died. We’ve had to discern vaccines for ourselves and our kids, and how to navigate close friendships through disagreement.
In addition to all this, we seem to be in a cultural moment where things we would have thought outlandish a few years ago now seem plausible and even expected, as the January 6th insurrection at the U.S Capitol has shown.
2021 has certainly given us much to lament and grieve, but we also have reasons to rejoice. God has been present and at work among us in the midst of this crazy year.
- Fr. Spencer marked his first year as a co-pastor alongside Frs. Matt and Ben.
- Though it was difficult, we were able to move our worship gathering online when we needed to, and this helped us maintain a sense of connection with each other.
- Remarkably, many new families found The Table while we were meeting online. It allowed for a convenient way to discern who we are as a church.
- We were able to meet outdoors for in-person worship many times this spring and summer, and met many of you for the first time in-person!
- Though it felt strange to be spread out and masked, we were able to meet safely indoors for worship, bringing back a sense of normalcy and consistency.
- Our ministry to refugees continues: new jobs, drivers licenses, and hope abounded in 2021 for those in our midst.
- In May, our Missionary-in-Residence Nancy was ordained as a deacon and will be ordained as a priest in just a couple weeks (November 21 at 6pm).We reconvened our Table 101 class this Fall and participation has been enthusiastic. There’s a sense of gratitude that we can gather again for a class, and momentum to do more classes in 2022.
God has been faithful in the midst of this incredibly challenging season.
We are also thinking about the future, and along with the Staff and Vestry we are discerning how God is calling us to participate in his life and mission in 2022.
We’re writing to ask you to take time this month to sincerely pray about making a pledge to partner with The Table through giving over the next year.
Many of you already give faithfully and sacrificially, and we are deeply grateful for your partnership in the work God is doing through The Table. Many of you have personal stories of redemption and transformation that God has done while we’ve been together as a community.
We started The Table six years ago because we saw a need for a different kind of church in Indianapolis:
- In a reactionary world, we are cultivating a robust, non-anxious Christianity that’s not afraid to wrestle with deep questions, and able to navigate life on mission in the 21st century and make faith possible for our children.
- In a world obsessed with short-term results and the 24-hour news cycle, we’re focusing on long-term discipleship and leadership development to see generations multiplied over the long haul.
- In a culture fawning over the latest fads, we’re cultivating a strong, ancient spirituality grounded in Anglican tradition.
- In a world where patriarchy has silenced and oppressed women, we’re doing our best to be a repenting church where women are fully empowered to lead with every gift the Spirit has given them in mutual submission alongside men.
- In a world languishing under the legacy of White colonialism, we’re activating the Body of Christ to engage in racial justice and mission among the marginalized, learning to love and serve in the power of the cross for the sake of others.
As we participate in this mission together, it changes us. We steadily become more recognizably the church, welcoming one another and the stranger in love, listening to one another in grace and truth, proclaiming good news to one another and our neighbors, and going to be with the marginalized and oppressed in the name of Jesus.
This is what we do week in and week out. We consider every person who comes into our church as a gift from God, given to help our Body grow into mature love. Through our worship gatherings, DNA Groups, and meals together in neighborhood groups, God’s mission is going forward.
None of this good work happens without your generosity.
The work that we are doing at The Table is funded by donations from ordinary people like you who have decided to participate in sharing resources to see God’s mission go forward in our midst. We make every effort to steward resources wisely, to make the biggest possible impact for the sake of the whole gospel.
Pray about how God is calling you to give this coming year.
If you are already giving, please continue to do so (and THANK YOU!).
If you have not been a consistent financial partner at The Table, and you sense God’s call to be part of the work here, please take time this month to pray about what amount of time and money God may be calling you to give in 2022. If you are married, pray with your spouse about this decision. We strongly believe that God leads couples to make important decisions in agreement.
If you have questions about how giving works at The Table, check out our Frequently Asked Church Giving Questions page.
Make your pledge by December 5th.
You can make your pledge online right now or place a pledge card in an offering plate on Sunday. Over the next weeks, the vestry will track pledges and use them to set our budget for 2022. Your pledge helps us be realistic and plan wisely.
We are so thankful for what God is doing in our little church, and you’re a big part of that. Thank you for your partnership with us in the gospel!
Grace and peace,
Fr. Ben Sternke, Fr. Matt Tebbe, and Fr. Spencer Ruark, co-pastors