opentableJesus’ ministry was characterized, even by his critics, in terms of who he ate with—the prestigious (Simon the Pharisee) and the marginalized (the woman who washed his feet with her tears). And they were at the same dinner!  Who Jesus ate with—and who we eat with—matters!

That’s why on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 I am inviting you to host an “On The Table” community conversation.

Through its Chicago Urban Strategy, the Northern Illinois Conference is partnering with the Chicago Community Trust’s annual On the Table forum. On the Table is designed to elevate civic conversation, foster new relationships and inspire collaborative action across the region.

On May 16 tens of thousands of Chicago-area residents will gather in small groups to share a meal and discuss the challenges and opportunities we face in our communities and nation. This act of people coming together to discuss the issues that matter most to them has never been more important. These conversations can inspire new ways we can work together to make our communities stronger, safer and more dynamic. When we come together as a community to learn from and with each other, we have the power to impact both neighborhoods and lives.

The goal is to host at least 20 tables throughout the Chicago and Chicagoland area.  A table consists of 10-12 people breaking bread and engaging in a guided conversation. To download a host kit and flyer, and to register your church, go to:  When you register, be sure to select “United Methodist Church” as the partner organization. Fifty dollars to offset the cost of the meal is being offered to the first 20 United Methodist sites which register.

“We need to talk…” are often the four small words that can kill a relationship. In this case, however, I believe these are the words that can renew and strengthen your congregations’ relationship with the people in your neighborhood.

Register today!

Bishop Sally Dyck



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