St. Philip’s is joining the Open Table Ministry, an organization that is active in the faith community and currently is serving people in 17 states and over 50 communities. Catherine Lillibridge, wife of Bishop Lillibridge, is the Episcopal Open Table Leader nationally and is working with us as we begin this ministry.
Congregations use the Open Table model to create community and transformation with the homeless, working poor, young adults transitioning out of foster care, veterans, probation/re-entry or others who are experiencing difficulty in their lives and need support. The Brother or Sister to be served is referred by various agencies within the community or by individuals. That person is screened by Open Table to determine their readiness for change before they are accepted into the program. Congregations join together and recruit volunteers who are trained to launch “Tables.”
A Table is the platform through which the volunteers enter into relationship with a Brothers or Sister.
The Open Table Model
Each table is made up of a group of volunteers that make up to a year’s commitment to act as a team of life specialists, encouragers, and advocates for the Brother or and Sister and families. The Table members, together with the individual or family being helped meet weekly to establish goals, accountability and develop an overall plan and implement it. Table members are generalists, drawing from their own life experiences. They do not have to be specialists in any goal area in order to help. They may also network in their congregations and the community for resources to support the plan. The Table members receive training from Open Table that is done on-line, but in a group.
The Open Table for Uvalde
St. Philip’s can’t do this alone and doesn’t want to. The Open Table Model is designed to include people from different congregations and organizations across the Uvalde faith community. We are looking for community members to volunteer and serve along with St. Philip’s parishioners as Table members.
We are at the very beginning of our process but are already excited about the possibilities The Open Table brings to Uvalde. We are now licensed by the Open Table Ministry. Barbara Edwards is the Mission Leader from St. Philip’s and we are looking for a co-Mission Leader from another congregation. The steering committee is being formed and we’d like to have a membership that includes a couple of people from other churches in the area. And of course, we need several volunteers from our congregation and others to serve as Table members. If you would like to volunteer or know of anyone who would like to be a Table member, please notify Barbara Edwards. We hope to begin our first table in the next couple of months.
The Open Table doesn’t just provide assistance to the brother or sister. It empowers and supports the transformation of his or her life. Here’s how you be a part of that process:
- Pray for The Open Table Ministry in Uvalde;
- Serve in a leadership position or as a table member; and
- Make monetary donations to cover administrative fees, training costs, and operating expenses. Please make your check payable to St. Philip’s Episcopal Church with a notation “Open Table.”
Please join us in launching our first Table with the Open Table Ministry. For more information please e-mail Barbara Edwards or go to The Open Table website,