by Rev. Dustin McEwen
On August 2nd, Community UMC of Ruidoso launched a new worshipping body, Community Table, designed around the concept of a dinner church. We offer a meal where people in the community can eat together for free (although donations are accepted), then have a brief Jesus story shared by myself or lay leaders from the church. The stories are straight from one of the gospels about something that Jesus did or said. We then ask a few questions based on the story and have discussion around the tables. Thanks to support from New Church Development, we’ve been able to hire a person to cook each of these meals and get the ministry launched. While the month started more slowly, we’ve engaged more and more people from the community over the last several weeks. Last week alone we had 45 total people and 12 who were from the community. These dozen people represent a group of people who have never (and probably would have never) walked through our doors on a Sunday.
The greatest joy this month has been connecting with a younger Hispanic family (well outside of our normal demographic). They walked through the doors for Community Table not sure what to expect. We offered them a free meal and an encouraging word about overcoming temptations. Several of our leaders and myself were able to speak with them, then I was able to follow up with them the following day. We’ve seen this family return time after time and even walk through our doors on a Sunday morning (even though we never asked them to!). They’ve enjoyed it so much they’re bringing in new people as well! God is truly doing a new thing here in Ruidoso, and we remember the words of John Wesley, that “Best of all, God is with us!”