The Welcome Table
Tuesday nights, at 6 PM sharp, the doors of our social hall open with the aroma of freshly prepared food. Guests are welcomed, seated at a table and served by a wait staff. Three rotating cook teams make every effort to offer tasty and balanced meals for an average of 125-180 guests plus a significant number of volunteer workers.
Purpose. To offer a free, nutritious meal once every week to our guests who are of every race, ethnicity, and economic status, singles and families, secure and homeless, working and those just getting by, seniors and children. All are welcomed with respect and warmth.
Focus. To feed both physical hunger and the hunger for companionship.
Goal. To become a place where “volunteers” and “guests” work and share side by side, meeting needs, increasing understanding, and strengthening the community.
Special Sharing. The guests and volunteers mingle to share concerns and joys. Guests are invited to bless the food and share joyous occasions such as birthdays and wedding anniversaries. Some guests even provide musical entertainment for the whole group. At the end of the dinner hour, you’ll find guests helping volunteers put away the salt shakers, wipe down the tablecloths and straighten the hall. Some guests become volunteers to assist in serving others.
Material Support. A majority of the food is donated by local suppliers via partners of the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank (including Farm Fresh, Food Lion, and Panera Bread), with some cost covered by donations to the church specifically for The Welcome Table.
Volunteers. Every week some 20-30 volunteers, most drawn from members and friends First Christian Church. There is a lot of laughter and joy shared during the Monday mornings initial food preparation and then Tuesday afternoon preparation, the dinner, and clean-up. Once the meal actually begins a varying collection of volunteers from outside the church and younger members from within the church assume the actual serving of the guests.
Invitation. You are invited to join us as guest or volunteer. All are welcome and needed in this effort to make God’s love known in this community.