What is the Grace Tables initiative? In February 2015, Grace launched this initiative with 50 picnic tables. Households and ministry partners are using the tables to create and cultivate authentic community where they live…in their neighborhoods. We are just crazy enough to believe Jesus really meant that we should love our neighbors and believe Grace Tables can help us do that. Grace Tables are spreading out all over the city as places where neighbors can gather to experience and share God’s amazing grace. I hope you will join us in this movement to love our neighbors and our city.
How it all began…
It all started with one Grace family that was wrestling with knowing their neighbors. In the words of the mother, she said: “I have lived on my busy street in West Houston for eight years, and I don’t know anyone that lives around me. All of the 15 flyers I passed out on either side and across from my house went to people whose names I didn’t know and whose stories I’d never heard. That became unacceptable. And God basically let me know that He was proposing this as the solution. I felt like I was going to throw up as soon as we delivered those flyers.”
The “flyers” they delivered were actually invitations for their neighbors to join them.
You see, it all began with a trip to Lowe’s to pick up an unfinished picnic table and then spending a weekend with her triplets painting the table. She chose the “turquoise” paint for the top of the table and allowed her three five-year-olds to pick a color they wanted to use for the rest of the table.
They placed their table in their front yard and then placed the flyers at each home on their block inviting them to Monthly Mondays—once a month to simply gather around the table and get to know one another.
Once again, hear the words of the mother: “So there we stood, in the front yard, with ten boxes of pizza, a cooler of water bottles and juice boxes, and a bowl of name tags. Six families came. I could have cried. In one hour, six families on a busy street in a big city met and had dinner and shared stories.”
That’s what this initiative here at Grace is all about. We believe this is a ministry that takes “living to make Jesus visible” to an entirely new level. In fact, this is Grace in the neighborhood!
It started with one table and one family, but what if five other families placed a Grace Table in their yard – and created a meeting place for neighbors, friends, and even strangers to hang out and do life together? What if five more? What if 10 more; 20 more; 40 more? What if Grace Tables began to spur front yard revivals around this city and became welcome places to gather and love?
Our hope is Grace will be the catalyst for building community across the city – that we would take Grace into the neighborhood.
We had a successful block party in my neighborhood -Nottingham West. Grace members moved on my street last August. They decided to have a block party last Saturday to get to know all the neighbors on the street. They got…
My street has taken to the Grace Tables concept with open arms! The neighbors and their kiddos helped to paint the table. We had 22 neighbors at our first get together! They showed up with food and drinks to share with…
We had our first effort with Grace Tables last night. It turned out to be a great success. We had 21 adults and 12 children most of the evening. It was scheduled to last from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The…
We move to Houston January 1 and started ‘church shopping’ immediately. We went to Grace and several churches that folks recommended. On our second visit to Grace it happened to be the week Trey talked about Grace in the neighborhood and…
De La Rosa
Generation 1 Ministry
Grace Presbyterian Church Courtyard
Mission of Yahweh
Restoration Community Church
The Art of Neighboring is a great book to have on your shelf.
What if Jesus meant that we should love our actual neighbors? When Jesus was asked to sum up everything into one command, he said to love God with everything we have and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Most of us have turned this simple idea of loving our neighbors into a nice saying, putting it on bumper stickers and refrigerator magnets and then going on with our lives without actually putting it into practice. What would happen if every follower of Jesus took loving our neighbors literally? Is it possible that the solution to our society’s biggest issues has been right under our noses for the past two thousand years?
“Building relationships with our neighbors leads to better communities, better cities, and ultimately . . . a better world. I encourage you to read this book and to step outside your front door and start making a difference.”–Ken Blanchard, coauthor of The One Minute Manager and Lead Like Jesus
Wondering how to get your Grace Table started? Do you need ideas to gather people around your Grace Table? Please click on the picture below to download and print this helpful guide.
Use this Miscrosoft Word template to create invitations for your next Grace Tables event.
Check out the website by Kristin Schell who inspired the Grace member to put a turquoise table in her front yard that started the initiative with Grace.