Abbey Recap - September

Our first Monday night together, this round, was really an orientation to the Abbey, including what to expect this year, some favorite definitions of spiritual transformation, and some values for journeying together.


The definition of an abbey is a “building where monks or nuns live(d),” so we pictured the Abbey of Iona in Scotland (pictured) and wondered how our lives this year could also be safer, simpler, more strategic places to worship well. We also pictured the (alleged) “watch tower” at Iona, with rickety, ladder stairs leading to an arch cut-out overlooking the entrance of the monastery, through a small door with the words “Stand Fast” engraved on it. Here the monk on duty would sit and look down the road for the arrival of a stranger, in order to eagerly invite them in for a warm meal and place to sleep. So we also wondered how being part of the Abbey might increase our capacity and willingness to eagerly “watch for” others, down the varying roads of our lives, in order to share generously out of our (respective, holistic) wealth.

Worshipping well and becoming watchers and sharers in the world are a few ways to describe the Abbey’s trajectory. Another guiding image for the Abbey is of course the “heart,” with Academy tending the “mind,” and Apostolate looking to love God with the “hands.” What that means to me is that the Abbey is about growing in intimacy with God, partially through the cultivation of contemplative practices that situate us for a more “by heart,” experiential-knowing of God’s love. Hopefully one of the fruits will be increased awareness of and discernment around God’s heart too - for us, for our church, and for the world.

Some of the other things we hope to do this year are:

  • Slowly make our way through Discovering Our Spiritual Identity: Practices for God’s Beloved by Trevor Hudson, including a couple “Holy Experiments” a month

  • Craft (or refresh) a Rule of Life

  • Develop and lead “Solidarity Prayers” at Big Tables, using a reflection exercise and template to prepare prayers around current events, issues, or for people groups that we (each, individually) have a heart for

  • Explore Sabbath principles related to how we use our time and money

  • Share opportunities to sample individual and group spiritual direction

  • Work towards personal, creative “final projects,” perhaps through an evening of sharing art and stories and songs, planning and leading a retreat, or many other options….

  • And more!

The 5 values I shared for us going forward were:

  1. Experimenting - cultivating the imagination, trying things out, not worrying about “doing it right/wrong,” and viewing “negative” results as potentially useful (or revelatory) along the way

  2. Eating - a priority for really taking in and internalizing the ideas/practices, rather than trying to “cover” more or “get farther”; this requires some pacing and trust around the invisible process of “digestion”

  3. Enjoyment - remembering that living with God, and enjoying God’s presence (and being enjoyed) is a valid end-in-itself. Even though there are fruits to spending time with God and growing in intimacy with God, the relationship itself isn’t just a means to becoming better, or more spiritual, or less anxious. Remembering that it’s enough to “be” with God also gives us permission to let “enjoyment,” or delight, “lead” us, rather than thinking the “hard” or dreaded way must be the surefire way to growth.

  4. Experience - choosing to share out of our personal experience, and keeping the focus of our sharing on ourselves, rather than addressing/problem-solving, or advising another in their sharing

  5. Even now - a priority for the present moment, and what actually happens (when we pray, meet, worship, retreat), rather than what we had planned or think should happen

We just scratched the surface, but it was a good start!

Kaleo Post Retreat 2018: Part 4 - Give Thanks


We are indebted to Jessie Janzen who loves our kids and puts so much thought and energy into making it a meaningful and fun weekend for them. We also want to thank Kristin & Mercy for loving our kids well all weekend. This impacts everyone at camp and makes it something everyone looks forward to. 


Emily was A-MAZ-ING in the kitchen! Emily, thank you so much for not only keeping us well nourished and caffeinated but for doing it so tastefully! Every meal seemed to outdo the incredible one before. God’s love was truly made edible for us this weekend.

Olive Oil and Vinegar.jpg

—> Fun fact - Emily writes cookbooks! I found 5 of them on Amazon and you can too! Right here! Emily is always experimenting with new recipes and she tried some out on us. If you like what you ate, check out one of her books!

Kaleo Post Retreat 2018: Part 3 - What Shall We Build Next?



On Saturday evening at the retreat we asked ourselves, "What are some of the needs we have as a community?" And here's a list of what we came up with. Some of these need more thought and definition but they all point to real needs in our community that we are discerning together. If you are interested in serving at The Table and have not yet found that place to serve, consider the following as an invitation. Contact Andy if you'd like to think out loud together about these or other possibilities.


Community Connectors (Peninsula)

Community Connectors - people who love meeting new faces and having conversations with new people and learning about who they are and what they care about. These people are natural networkers, connecting people of common interests, experience and passions. They love nothing better than a good conversation.


Visibility & Connections (Peninsula)

Visibility/Good news-tellers - these folks are good advertisers and spokespeople. They get excited about something new and love to tell people about it. They’ve found a good thing and they want to share it with others!


Point person for Potential Musicians

Connect potential musicians at The Table with existing music teams. Be proactive in creating a culture that welcomes new musicians and integrates them into The Table’s music scene. This requires a good working relationship with existing Table music leaders and some experience with music.


Youth Group (Middle School) Ministry

Excited about working with teens? Also, see "Aunts" & "Uncles" below.


Resource Coordinator

What resources can we offer people in need? Everything from Bed, Bath and Beyond returns to Power of 10 to knowing where to find what services in the city can be a huge blessing to others.


Meal Organizer

Help us organize meals for The Big Table Gatherings


Major Gift Officer OR Fundraising Officer

Strategize ways to communicate with potential donors who are able to contribute one-time and regular ongoing gifts.


Care & Community Organizer

Organize and oversee the various needs within the community. Ranges from Meal Trains for new families to hospital visits & milestone celebrations. --> See also the next entry!


Finding ways to celebrate milestones for singles

We’re good at celebrating baptisms and marriages and new babies. We need to do a better job at recognizing a broader spectrum of milestones. We need a coordinator who can help organize celebrations for milestones for singles.


“Aunts” & “Uncles” for Kids Table - Mentors for ages 10-12

Build a relationship with one of our Table Kids. Get to know them, spend a little time with them, share Jesus. 


Older mentors for our younger adults

Build a mentoring relationship with one of our younger adults. Get to know them, spend a little time with them, share Jesus. 


Public Affirmation Coordinator - Get to know so and so

Organize and lead an interview style announcement during Big Table meals to help our community get to know its various members.


Testifiers/storytellers at The Big Table gathering —>

Be willing to share what you sense God speaking to our community - or a story of God’s leading or faithfulness.


The Story of The Table night

Archivists and Storytellers and Photographers

Kaleo Post Retreat 2018: Part 2 - LET US PRAY

20180824 Leadership Retreat Group Photo IMG_2164.jpg

We spent a significant amount of time in prayer together and for one another this weekend. And some things came up that we sensed needed a season of prayer at The Table.


  • For the gift of our Table Family
  • For genuine excitement for the coming year together
  • For a profound sense of peace and affirmation
  • For our practical list! (Coming in a Future BLOG Post!)
  • For the gift of prayer and the gift of safety in vulnerability



  • For Table leaders and the Christians in our community —> Grow deeper and for protection
  • That God would make us into an obedient people
  • That we would learn to trust God for the results
  • That we would trust God with the challenging bits of 1 Corinthians
  • That we would be open on our journey through 1 Corinthians (trusting God for Swamp Ferries*)
  • For DNA groups to deepen and meet the needs they were set out to meet.
  • That we would not distance ourselves from the audience of 1 Corinthians but to see that their needs met in the gospel are also ours.
  • That we would pay appropriate attention to our anxieties - and bring them before God and one another.

*Ask Tim Hardy about his encounter with a swamp ferry (swamp fairy?) at camp.


Kaleo Post Retreat 2018: Part 1 - God Speaks


Kaleo Retreat 2018 is in the books! 34 Kaleo participants, 16 kids, 3 kids program leaders and 1 cook (for a total of 54) took part in our weekend together! 

There was music, prayer, storytelling, reflection, lots of laughing, lots of amazing food, a few tears, a lost tooth, a few sleep deprived campers, swimming, goal setting, cinnamon rolls,technical difficulties, kayaking, games, fun, strategizing, naming fears, questions, ideas, pulled pork, good quotes, collaboration - and so much more!



What we heard….

A big part of the weekend was paying attention to what we sensed God was speaking to us as a leadership team. I wrote as much of it down as I could. The following is an attempt to articulate what was shared during our time together...

If food is the love of God made edible, then Kaleo Retreat 2018 was the love of God made into a camp! We reminded ourselves that we are a GOSPEL formed FAMILY of PRIESTS on MISSION. And in the sharing time we heard that it did indeed feel like being at home with our family. And this meant coming as we are without putting up walls or masks. It also means resting in God’s goodness, trusting Him with our physical and emotional needs. We have an invitation this year as we study 1 Corinthians to deepen our trust in God. To trust that His Gospel will form us into a Holy people. A called and called out people. And that it’s God’s work to bring about the results and not ours. Our work is to trust in God’s work and to obey out of that trust.

Here's more of what you shared:

  • Coming as you are --> Life is not what I thought it
  • I'm convicted of distancing myself this past year - I want to settle into who I am
  • To call on God in my vulnerability
  • Fear is the feeling of not being in control - we need to remember that God is with us
  • How radical would it be for Christians to be well rested - physically and emotionally
  • May those in their joy have compassion on those in their sorrow. And may those i their sorrow have grace for those in their joy.
  • Collaborating with God on the script for the next scene
  • God took me a different direction than I expected to prepare me for something bigger
  • I like the cadence of the retreat and how it fits on our church calendar
  • Nice to be together especially when you miss seeing people
  • I'm always hesitant about naming the will of God - an invitation to attribute more to God
  • Reminder to ask for our daily bread
  • When we come back from retreat what are we bringing back for change?
  • 1 Corinthians is a letter of love!
  • You are never living in a godless place if you are a Christian
  • I like everyone here!
  • I have a profound sense of peace. Feel really grounded
  • A sense fo urgency --> To pray for past leaders
  • God doesn't ask for results but for obedience
  • I missed "home" while away - this feels like family
  • So glad to be prayed for - saftey in vulnerability
  • Affirming weekend - sensed I heard God right!

What else did you hear?

Stay tuned! There's more that came out of our time together that will be posted here soon! Please add your thoughts to what you heard this past weekend or add your responses to what's already been said!

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