Open Table

Reveille UMC

Open Table Update

Join Open Table
Help Foster Care Graduates

Do you have an hour on Monday evenings to help mentor a young person graduating from foster care?  These children ''graduate'' from foster care without any family or community to provide support and guidance as they transition to adulthood. No special skills needed, just life skills!  

The Open Table model allows a group of adults to provide this support.  We are currently in need of one or two more people to serve on a table that will be meeting with their ''brother'' or ''sister'' on Monday evenings for a year.  

If you are interested in serving or would like more information, please contact Miriam McAtee.  

Welcoming a Sister | New Open Table

On May 9, six Reveille members gathered with their new sister, “AC,” around the dining room table in the Hampton-Downs home to break bread, share life stories, and officially begin a year’s journey together as a family. Reveille members, Judi Denny, Bob Downs, Angela Elliott, Rob McAtee, Mary Michael Schweiker, and Ellie Speer trained specifically to work with someone like AC, who is a youth aging out of the foster care system. 

Most of us have had the benefit of family who have been there to give advice, encouragement, moral support, and much more. We may have had multiple mentors throughout our lives. That is not the case for many youth in the foster care system. Our table will be that family and those mentors for AC during the coming year as we help her discern and work toward positive, attainable goals.

Table members have quickly been immersed in medical, housing, employment, and transportation issues. One issue impacts another, and all together they may seem overwhelming. However, the beauty of Open Table is that AC not only has six table members with knowledge and life experiences, but she has the benefit of their friends, family, and associates, and all that they may offer and all of the knowledge and experience that our congregation may offer. A table member may contact you for your opinion on a particular challenge. Please keep AC and our table in your prayers.

Open Table is a national organization that seeks to engage faith communities with government agencies and other organizations in the community for the benefit of an individual in need. Open Table works to ignite human potential one person at a time.
Contact Miriam McAtee or Ellie Speer for more information about Open Table.

Learn more about Open Table

From Poverty to Community
Open Table trains congregation members to form communities – called tables. These groups of 10-12 individuals can transform their own vocational and life experiences into tools that our brothers and sisters in poverty can use to develop and implement plans that create lasting change. 
UMFS  launched this new ministry in 2016 and Reveille began its first table in 2017. They are searching for congregations to make a transformative difference in someone's life. 

A New Concept
Open Table is a new concept in ministry where the intellectual capital, work experience, and networking skills found within a congregation are employed to help an individual or family coming out of poverty. UMFS has been selected for a pilot project in the Richmond area and is looking for faith communities to form tables for individuals facing a variety of difficulties. Working in tandem with government agencies, each table of 10-12 people would commit to assisting and individual or family for one year.

Beginnings
Jon Katov, the founder of Open Table, drove by people in poverty in his native Arizona, every day for more than 12 years. He preferred to operate what he called an “upholstery” ministry from the safety of his church. He sent stuff – not himself.  It wasn’t until the youth from his church wanted to  distribute energy bars at a homeless shelter that he came face to face with the reality of poverty and the barriers we have set up to protect ourselves from this reality. Not only do we have geographical barriers, but even at the feeding program there was a ‘wall’ between the givers and the receivers. We rarely "come around to the other side of the table."  Jon realized that an energy bar or a used pair of blue jeans was not enough to overcome poverty.
Open Table breaks down the "wall" and enables us to walk with a person who needs help to get their life started.

The Giant Vault
Jon Katov, the founder of Open Table, realized that every church has untapped resources that could be used to help a person in poverty restart his life.  This giant "vault" contains hundreds of years of education and hundreds of years of work experience, intellectual and social capital, family and networking capabilities.  It came to him that, “this is how WE build our lives."  
 What would happen if you lost your job?   Naturally, you would call upon all these assets and support systems to get you through.
What would happen if you had none of these?  Many people in poverty are in this situation. At Reveille we are blessed with a "vault" full of  "riches" that could be utilized to assist someone  experiencing obstacles to restarting  his/her life.  Open Table provides an opportunity to do that, by the formation of a table of 10-12 people who are willing to commit one-three hours a week to walk alongside a person in poverty.

What are We Willing to Sacrifice?
Did you know that the average person spends 53 minutes a day on Facebook?
Members of an Open Table meet for one-three hours weekly for one year. 

Open Table is an innovative solution to assist an individual or family out of poverty. 

This new ministry concept was started in Arizona by Jon Katov, a United Methodist, who befriended a homeless man at a shelter and witnessed the challenges and obstacles experienced by someone trying to get out of poverty. He concluded that the solution to poverty must be a wraparound partnership between local government services and faith communities. The initiative lives within the faith community–this is where Christian love and support are given–but it must be connected to local systems of care. 

After training, a "table" of 10-12 persons is formed and, using their own skills and tapping into others within the congregation, they are able to be in relationship, assist, and walk alongside a person as they start, or restart, his or her life. The table, with the brother or sister, meet weekly for one year.

UMFS is one of six pilot projects in the country and hopes to create several tables within the Richmond faith community this fall. The initial goal is to help and support young people aging out of the foster care system.

Open Table gives congregations an opportunity for discipleship that creates sustainable change "one sheep at a time."

At Reveille, the Outreach committee is presenting Open Table as another opportunity to put faith into action. We hope you will feel called to be part of a new transforming ministry.