At the end of next month All Saints' will seek to open a new door to the community around us in the form of a new Sunday evening service called 'The Welcome Table'. It represents a hope that has been on our hearts for a good while, one that seeks for All Saints' to continue to be a beacon of light for a city whose people are becoming increasingly diverse in how they seek and experience the divine. The service will represent a change for us. The seating in the chapel will be reconfigured. The service will include plenty of music from across an array of Christian traditions. We will celebrate the Eucharist in the round. Clergy won't be vested and a preacher will preach from the floor. We will embody prayers at prayer stations and perhaps most sacrilegious of all, coffee hour will be at the beginning of the service! As the service ends, we will share a meal in the courtyard with those who attend. All of it is an attempt to express our deeply valued tradition in a new way that we hope will open up the faith we share to an even wider diversity of people.
I would like to invite you to be part of this endeavor to welcome others to this place. Each Sunday night, a different parish group is being asked to provide a simple family style meal. When your group is asked, I invite you to say yes with gladness! Perhaps there is someone you know who would love to be part of our community but isn't sure about our Sunday morning tradition. Tell them that you would be happy to join them one Sunday evening so you could both try out this new service. Maybe there are youth or young adults you know looking to express their spirituality in a new way. Let them know that we would love to learn how God looks through their eyes.
This century is the century when the church will either learn to adapt to a changing world or that world will pass it by. All Saints' has proudly remained at the corner of West Peachtree and North Avenue for 120 years. We are here to stay, and we wish to welcome this city in. Help us make that hope a reality.