Change your world & deepen your faith during this Lenten Season by helping Open Table serve lunch to the homeless and the poor near Dupont Circle on Sunday afternoon, March 30th. Lent is the 40-day period before Easter when Christians give up something important to clarify their calling from God. Why not give up some free time to serve those in need as you prepare your heart and mind to relive Christ's last weeks this Lenten Season?
Volunteering at with our Open Table group only takes about 75 minutes of your time, but it will make a big difference in someone's life! Open Table does more than provide a meal, it welcomes all guests with hospitality, respect, and a safe space as fellow members of God's extended family.
During this short 75 minute period, volunteers will help prepare a nutritious hot meal, fix sack lunches to go, serve the lunches, and be a comforting presence to about 15 to 20 homeless people who come every week. Volunteers can do one or all activities. Finally, you will also meet other volunteers interested in making a positive difference in their world.
Interested in contributing Food?: If you would like to prepare a pot of chili (not too spicy please), bring fresh fruit (like apples), or baked chicken pieces, please note that in your RSVP line. There is no expectation for folks to bring items, but if you are so moved to help in this way that would be great. If there's too much chili too, Open Table can just freeze it for the next week.
Supplies needed: We are going to try and get into the habit of helping Open Table supply personal products (such as toothpaste) to those in need who come for lunch. We'll send a list of products needed by Open Table closer to the time of our service project for those who are interesting in bringing supplies.
RSVP and starting time: please keep your RSVPs up to date, and please show up exactly at 12:30PM, we don't want to tell Open Table we are coming with 11 people and 2 people show up (or everyone is late!). If we have more than 11 people RSVP, we'll maintain a waiting list (meetup allows you to do that). As people change their RSVPs, people on the waiting list will move up into the "yes RSVP" column.
Here's a breakdown of the afternoon schedule:
1. 12:30PM: show up to help prepare the sack lunches
2. 1:00PM: hot lunch is served at picnic tables (using some ingredients from the urban garden), sack lunches are picked up for those just dropping by
3. 1:30PM: clean-up
Translate your faith into practical action & Justice: Large portions of the Bible (if you check out the Mosaic Law, the Prophets, and Jesus' teachings) say that God is concerned about the poor and those who struggle, so our community is interested in exploring how we might better serve our community in practical ways. This project is part of our attempt to put emerging ideas into practice as a Christian community, not just talk about interesting ideas at an abstract level with no practical component or real-life significance (as many have complained about). If there is interest, we will try and have a monthly service & justice project in the near future that will make a positive difference in our world while helping us foster a more holistic faith in our community.
More information about the concept behind Open Table: Since the mid-1980s, Open Table has offered lunch to the Dupont Circle area homeless and poor on Sunday afternoons. It's a simple program that makes a big difference in many people's lives. From 1:00-1:30 PM, Open Table serves a simple meal and provides a sack lunch. In addition to simply giving a meal, we provide our guests with welcome, respect, and a safe space. Open Table is a community effort bringing people and funding together from the Community Council for the Homeless at Friendship Place (CCH/FP), Church of the Pilgrims, Dupont Circle Friends Meeting House, and anyone else from the community.
Bee Farm information: please note that the urban garden has a few small bee boxes that produce honey. Just an FYI if you are allergic to bees!
Information about Kids: Children are welcome to participate, but parents must closely supervise their children. There is no outside childcare available, parents are the childcare!
Hope you can join us!
Best, Glenn & Lisa
Directions from Metro: Church of the Pilgrims is about 2 blocks west of the Q Street Exit (that's the north one) of the Dupont Circle Metro Station. Once you hit 22nd street, go south a block to the sanctuary entrance at P St and 22nd (you'll see the big bell tower). Now from the bell tower you have to walk along 23rd Street to the back of the church building and past 2 row houses that house local non-profits including Open Table. At the last row house, go to the front door and meet the others (or if the door is open go inside). If you are late, perhaps you should go past that last rowhouse driveway on 23rd that leads down into an underground garage. Go past the driveway and you'll see the urban garden in the back and a row house porch. Go to the porch and people will be in the kitchen preparing the lunches.
About Parking: People can park along 23rd Street up and down the street from where Open Table operates.