The Table: a place for feasting, hanging out with friends and now, in true Northwestern fashion, a place to receive Christian formation credits. The Table takes place in the Commuter Lounge, located in the basement of the science building, during community hour on Thursdays.
The Table is a collaboration between the Bridge Center and Campus Ministry. Last year, the Bridge Center and Campus Ministry attempted to have a Bible Study with the commuters. “We had a grand total of one person show up,” Leo Costa, commuter liaison for the Bridge Center, said. As commuter liaison, Costa helps commuters connect to the NW community, and The Table is an opportunity for commuters have a voice and gain some Christian Formation credits.
This year, the Bridge Center and Campus Ministry collaborated again, and an idea was formed, giving students another opportunity for chapel credits. No longer dubbed as a Bible study but is now named The Table. The title “The Table” fits well with certain NW visuals, as Jesus and his disciples are often depicted around a table, and there is a table in the commuter lounge, “so it fits,” Costa said.
This semester, The Table is going over the “Amen” series, “walking us through the genres of Scripture and the character of God,” according to a student-wide email sent from the Bridge Center. Christian formation credits are available for attending multiple sessions. Each study focuses on a certain chapter that has specific scripture written on the left-hand side and open-book discussions questions on the right. “We want to give an option for people to interact, (and) focus on the Bible.”
About eleven people have been regularly attending during community hour. The hour focuses on the study and encourages group discussion, ideas and insight. “It is a way to connect with people.” Costa emphasized the importance of the discussion, as it is different from the one-way path that students face during chapel. “If you are going to spend four years here, you cannot spend all of them in the chapel, even though chapel is very nice,” Costa said. According to Costa, the small size of The Table gives attendees the comfort of being themselves, which may make people more comfortable to express their testimony and ask questions.
Costa is attempting to be more committed to the Bridge Center and his faith this year. Which is why he hopes to bring more people, more speakers and more food to The Table, which attendees seem to enjoy. “We are here to grow together.”
The Table used to be student led, but now has faculty leaders as well. Faculty speakers include Kristin Brouwer, director of discipleship; Dr. Jason Leif, professor of biblical and theological studies and Dr. Erika Vonk, assistant professor of business. Worship has been led by Kelsey Joseph, associate director of intercultural development, and senior Abigail Sutton. “It is nice to have different people talking,” Costa said.
Commuters are encouraged to attend, but The Table is open to all. The Table happens during community hour, from 11 a.m. until noon, on Thursdays. Rumor has it that there may be snacks available.
If students want to receive more information, contact Costa (firstname.lastname@example.org), Joseph (email@example.com) and Martha Draayer (firstname.lastname@example.org).