Dear sisters and brothers at The Table,
As 2023 draws to a close and we look forward to 2024, it’s worth pausing to reflect on the goodness we’ve experienced this past year. For the first time since 2019 (!!), we had a whole year without social distancing, moving buildings, or leaving denominations. It was in many ways a blessedly ordinary year.
This stability and a modicum of normalcy has enabled us to grow and mature as a congregation. God has been powerfully present with us and faithfully working among us:
- We continue to worship in the Chapel at Broadway UMC, our home for the past 21 months.
- We welcomed seven new members to our congregation in February (and six more on Nov 5!).
- We partnered with Trinity Episcopal Church to bring Liturgical Folk in for an evening of folk worship.
- We baptized four people at Pentecost (and five more on Nov 5!).
- Several new families have found The Table this year, some through neighborhood proximity to our worship space, and some through relationships with current members.
- We started a new Table Group in Carmel, with members coming from as far away as Lafayette.
- Fr. Ben took a pre-planned “mini-sabbatical” over the summer.
- We continued to find ways to share life together: after-church potluck meals, harvest parties, movie nights, and many informal gatherings.
- Our College of Preachers developed three new congregants to proclaim good news through preaching.
- We spent most of the year in a provisional status as an affiliated congregation of The Episcopal Church (TEC) while we (Ben, Spencer, and Matt) worked through the process of having our ordinations received into TEC. The diocese will vote to receive The Table officially during the Convention on November 11, and our ordinations will be received during an ordination service on Saturday December 16th at 10am at Christ Church Cathedral downtown (you’re all invited, by the way).
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 2024.
In addition to all the ways we already seek to be and become the Body of Christ for the Indianapolis area, 2024 will be a big year for us as we become a Mission of the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis. This relationship will benefit us in many ways, and will require new financial commitments as the church begins to pay an apportionment to the diocese, as well as fund a clergy pension plan.
Additionally, we are discerning how to secure a permanent building for The Table in 2024. We have been worshiping at our current location since February of 2022 and it has served us well. But our weekly attendance is already beginning to stretch the capacity of our little chapel, and we will need a long term solution so we can grow into sustainability in every way as a church.
We’re writing to ask you to take time over the next month or so to sincerely pray about making a pledge to partner with The Table through giving over the next year.
Most of you already give faithfully and sacrificially, and we are deeply grateful for your partnership in the work God is doing through The Table. So many of you have beautiful stories of the redemptive and transformative work God has done in you through your participation in our life together as a community.
We started The Table eight years ago because we wanted to cultivate a worshiping community drawn together in following Jesus and creating a particular form of life together in Indianapolis:
- In a reactionary world, we are cultivating a resilient, non-anxious Christianity that’s not afraid to wrestle with deep questions of faith.
- 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 captive to “us vs. them” ideologies, we’re cultivating a generous “big tent” spirituality grounded in the deep well of the Anglican tradition.
- In a world where patriarchy has silenced and oppressed women and gender minorities, we’re seeking to resist patriarchy and empower all of God’s children to fully lead in our midst with every gift the Spirit has given in mutual submission to one another.
- In a world languishing under the legacy of White colonialism, we’re activating the Body of Christ to engage in social, economic, environmental, and racial justice, standing in solidarity with marginalized and oppressed communities, and working for liberation for all.
We do this by singing together, hearing God’s word together, praying together, breaking bread together, sharing life together and inviting all to join us in following Jesus.
As we participate in this mission together, it transforms us. We steadily become more recognizably the Body of Christ, welcoming one another and the stranger in love, listening to God and one another in grace and truth, proclaiming good news to one another and our neighbors, and going to join in solidarity 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 worship gatherings, DNA Groups, and meals together in Table 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 2024. If you have a partner, pray with them 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 3rd.
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 2024. Your pledge helps us be realistic and plan wisely.
We are so thankful for what God is doing in our 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-Rectors at The Table