At the end of 2018, Auburn First Baptist received a grant from the Life is Calling Initiative at the Center for Congregational Resources at Samford University for $30,000. The Life is Calling Committee presented a proposal for the grant, entitled A Place at the Table, to the congregation, which was approved. The committee has been working on several projects. The primary project was a new communion table, which reflects our congregation, and embodies its calling.
We will dedicate this communion table on Easter morning, April 17. The shape of the table is round, where there is not a head of the table. It reflects the openness of our table, where everyone is invited to share in the grace of God. We all gather shoulder-to-shoulder, building community with one another.
But the table also sends us out, serving the community around us. We leave the table with the calling to share the grace of God we have received, like the Benevolence Offering our congregation has collected for over 100 years when we celebrate communion. The openness of the table reminds us there are others beyond us, which have a place at this table.
The table was handmade by an artisan in North Carolina. It truly fits the beauty of our sanctuary! The woodworker came to Auburn to meet with the committee and to hear about our congregation. He considered those conversations, our history, and our ministries when he designed the table for our sanctuary.
Along with the table, Dale Peterson has written a Preparation for the Table, which we will begin using on Easter. We will give thanks for the grace of God and for our calling to follow Jesus. We will celebrate the bread and the cup, and how this table shapes all of our other tables!
The Life is Calling Committee will continue to work on different projects, which the congregation approved in the grant. For example, our Vacation Bible School curriculum for this year, Partners with God, was written specifically for Auburn First Baptist about calling. They are also planning bridge events, which will allow us to invite our surrounding community to join us for panel discussions and other types of gatherings.
We give thanks for the table of grace, where we build community together, and where we are sent forth to serve the community beyond it.