If you’ve been part of our journey for the past few years you know that we have looked for help in giving a name to our project here in Clontarf. And if you thought we were exaggerating how difficult it is for us to come up with names, remember that for the first week of her life, Brenna was simply called “Number 3.”
As as we’ve worked through trying to come up with a name for our project here, there would be times I’d think “this will work,” and then a week later I hated it.
Beyond something that wasn’t tired after a week, we wanted something that communicated who we were, what we were dreaming, and invited a conversation.
All that said, today I want to:
- Let you know that after a long process of discernment, we’ve settled on a name!
- Explain a bit about why that name.
- Explain briefly, the purpose in having a name at this point
All that said, the new name of our project is The Table.
When you see it on the web (which will begin happening over the next several weeks) and other places, it will usually be followed by the phrase: A Jesus-Centred Community
The Table | a Jesus-centred community
Okay, so why The Table?
The gospels show us so many pictures of Jesus at the table. I don’t think that is by chance…I think that it important. I have always believed that eating together is necessary to build real relationship, and that eating together is a spiritual experience. And in the three ministries we’ve started, eating together has been a central part of the life of that community.
In the gospels, the table is a place of teaching, it was a place of prayer, and it was a place of healing.
The table is a place of invitation, and of challenge.
The table is a place of ritual and rhythm.
The table is a place where life happens.
The table is a place of hospitality.
And two of my favourite things about the table are that the table is a place where Jesus is remembered and where Jesus is revealed.
Then he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. Then he said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. For I will not drink wine again until the Kingdom of God has come.”He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.”
Luke 22:17-19 (NLT)
By this time they were nearing Emmaus and the end of their journey. Jesus acted as if he were going on, but they begged him, “Stay the night with us, since it is getting late.” So he went home with them. As they sat down to eat, he took the bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to them. Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognised him. And at that moment he disappeared! They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?”
Luke 24:28-32 (NLT)
There is a lot more to this, than I will go into at this point, but over the next several months, we’ll be developing these ideas a bit more and sharing that here. Each one of these aspects of the table stirred our hearts and really lined up with who we are, and what we feel is at the core of what we are doing here.
So, why not the word church?
My last two blog posts (here and here) both deal a bit with the word church and the baggage it carries…especially in our context here in Dublin. So we don’t feel like it is a word we need to lead with. And “Jesus-centred” and “community” communicate much more clearly what we are wanting people to understand.
We believe that while ‘church’ tends to stifle conversation, ‘Jesus-centered community’ not only invites questions and conversation, it also more accurately explains what we are dreaming.
One final thought.
Based on my last couple of blog posts, you might think, “after saying all that, you come back two days later and announce the name of your church? How does that make sense?”
This is not us putting out a ‘church sign’ and trying to get people to come to some type of church service…(especially since we don’t have one:-)
However, it is to one extent us planting a flag in the ground here.
One of the key things we’ve been trying to do over the past 2 years is to recruit a team to come Dublin and work with us. That has not borne any fruit. This is one way of inviting people in our area (or who are new to our area) who are not currently part of a faith community, and are looking to be part of something like what we are dreaming, to connect with us and have a conversation.
In addition, since we still hope to have people from the States come and work with us, having an organisation established here will help in that process.
So, like I mentioned, we’re still going to be developing this more and sharing both here and on the Table’s web site when that is up and running. In the meantime, thank you for your ongoing prayer and input these past couple years.
Also published on Medium.