Together at the Table

When I was an undergraduate student at Bowling Green State University, I had one of the coolest jobs on campus! I worked as a student leadership assistant for the Center of Leadership, creating and facilitating leadership workshops and retreats for student organizations. I learned so much from this job, made friendships that continue to this day, and had unique opportunities because of that role.

One of these opportunities was participation in a student leadership retreat before my senior year. Two representatives from many of the major offices and student organizations on campus were invited to gather together, collaborate, calendar for the year, and gain new skills to prepare us as we would lead and support our fellow classmates. One afternoon during the retreat, the activity we participated in was an etiquette class. We spent a couple of hours learning how to appropriately navigate a professional dinner situation. Well, they tried to teach us this, but I have to be honest, I am a clumsy eater and no matter how many times you tell me how etiquette looks at the dinner table, I am unlikely to be able to replicate it with such grace.

After the class, they had a surprise for us - deans, administrators, and trustees of the college would be joining us for dinner so that we could show off our skills. I was not excited about this surprise. As we entered the dining hall I searched for my assigned seat with anxiety. I breathed a sigh of relief when I got to my seat and every other chair at my table was also occupied by students! We all looked at each other and agreed that it was totally ok if we didn't do all of the fancy little things that we had been taught.

This week's scripture is all about a meal and its seating chart. Would guests feel as lucky as I did when they arrived at their seat? Would they be surprised? Would seats of honor end up in unlikely places? Together we will explore all of this and what this story of a meal has to do with our everyday lives.

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