Our current “car cd” (Bliss gets to get cd’s from the library for the car) is Welcome Table from Dan Zanes and friends. The title track was recorded at Dan Zanes house, around his dinner table, with his daughter and the Blind Boys of Alabama. Yeah, its as awesome as you think that sounds.
Bliss has taken to the song. She requests it at song time (which is, oh, most of the time in our house honestly. Girl likes to sing.) She requests it in the car, even when the other car cd is her favorite local children’s group. This makes me very happy because Welcome Table captured two visions I have in one.
Someday (here is the daydream part) I would like to host a cooking show and it would be called Welcome Table. My family – maybe like yours- is full of folks with different dietary restrictions. Gluten-free. No processed sugars. Heart-healthy. Vegetarian. Oh, and your average picky 5 year old. For years, when the family gets together, I’ve loved to find recipes that everyone can eat and enjoy, and not feel like anyone is missing out or left out because of how they need to/choose to eat. Food should celebrate being together! And making life difficult for each other is not much of a celebration. So, I’d have a show about cooking for different diets and keeping everyone reasonably happy, and call it Welcome Table.
Last fall, while on retreat, I started thinking of Welcome Table as a guiding image for ministry with children and youth. How do we do church in a way that brings people of all ages to the table together? Two of my mentors have books with ideas along these lines. They each have a whole ministry of it too – a big part of who I am today in the church is because they welcomed me first, as a child.
At today’s General Convention session, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori asked folks to think about their dream for the church. Watching the convention thus far, I’m encouraged that my dreams of the Welcome Table are alive and well, if not fully realized.