Dear sisters and brothers at The Table,
2020 has been QUITE a year already, eh?
- The pandemic hit us in March, forcing us to adjust the way we worship and live together in very painful ways we are still grieving. Unable to share meals together or worship in our normal rhythms has brought about difficult disruptions in our relationships and our ability to participate in God’s mission together.
- George Floyd’s killing on May 25 sparked protests across the world, including one many of us participated in on Pentecost Sunday, May 31. For many, this “public lynching”, as Cornel West referred to it, catalyzed a new awareness of our desperate need for racial justice in this country, and has caused deep reflection and repentance for us as we think about what it means to faithfully follow Jesus in these times.
2020 has given us much to lament and grieve already, but we also have reasons to rejoice. God has been present and at work among us in the midst of this crazy year.
- Way back in February (which feels like a lifetime ago!), we had our first Congregational Meeting, and it was a WILD time of beholding and celebrating the beautiful work God is doing in our midst.
- Since then, our new Vestry has stepped up to take on leadership in needful and meaningful ways.
- We have been able to meet outdoors for in-person worship many times this summer and fall, which has been a balm of healing for our church’s soul.
- Several new families have joined the church (in a pandemic!), adding new vitality and gifts to our congregation.
- Our ministry to refugees through Anglican Immigrant Initiative continues, with those who are in our midst and those still seeking release from detention centers on our southern border.
- In October, Spencer Ruark was ordained as a Priest, another step in our discernment regarding eventually planting a new sister congregation near downtown.
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 2021.
We’re writing today to ask you to take time this month to sincerely pray about making a pledge to give to The Table as a partner 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 five 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 and emerging from a monolithic Christendom in the West, we’re activating the Body of Christ to engage in racial justice and mission among the marginalized, centered on Christ, learning to serve, love, and work 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 other 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.
The result is that our community is growing, both spiritually and numerically. God’s mission goes forward as we participate with him in his work, preaching the gospel and baptizing and making disciples and learning to love one another and multiplying communities and planting churches (even in a pandemic!).
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 (someday!) meals together in neighborhood groups, God’s mission is going forward.
None of this happens without your generosity
The work that we are doing at The Table is funded by donations from ordinary people like you. The truth is that without your generosity of time and money we would be unable to do what God has called us to do. We make every effort to steward resources wisely, to make the biggest possible impact for the sake of the whole gospel.
Please pray about how God is calling you to give
We started this church five years ago because we sensed a need for a church like this to exist, and now you’re a part of a community that comes from all over the Indianapolis area to worship, serve, and grow together.
So 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 2021. 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 6th
Please make your pledge by December 6th, 2020 (the Second Sunday of Advent). Because of the pandemic, all our giving is done online right now, and you can make your pledge online right now! During the month of November, the vestry team will keep track of your pledges and use it to set our budget for 2021. Your pledge helps us be realistic and plan.
We want to end by saying thank you. 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,
Frs. Ben Sternke, Matt Tebbe, and Spencer Ruark, co-pastors
P.S. Sometimes people outside our church are inspired to support our work. If you know someone who might be interested in giving, have them visit us online at thetableindy.org/give