Executive Minister's Desk

The Regional Synod of New York

Set the Table! Churches Learning Change fall retreat

Dear RSNY Family,

Prior to the retreat, I imagined so many thoughts about the meaning, Set the Table, and what God is saying to me, and especially what God is saying to the Church. I recall when family members would come to my house, I started preparing the menu for the occasion and setting the table so that it would be festive. I made preparation as if someone special was coming. I would clean the house and make certain that everything was nice and neat as if waiting for the guest of honor to arrive. 

At DeWitt, on special occasions, when we invited special guests the Ladies would ask, how should we set this table for our special guess? How should it look? What centerpiece should we use? And who from the RCA or the Classis or the community is invited. The table, a special place, at times can be a table of special celebration of birth and death. A table of plenty for our needy. A table of Christian Joy and fellowship especially during the holiday season. Or perhaps a table of justice and liberation. 

When I traveled to various mission sites with our denomination and with the National Council of Churches, I remember the tables in Cuba, Fort Apache Reservation, or places in Africa known for its poverties – lack of, and how they would welcome us to sit at the table as special guests, brothers, and sisters in Christ. The Table was set with an abundance of Christian Love.

I wonder, who should we invite to the RSNY table? A vibrant congregation? A church filled with excitement? A church that attracts and retains young and older persons, including families, persons of color, those of diverse ethnic backgrounds, gender identities and sexual orientation? A table which connects loneliness, separation, grieving individuals? Or a Table which values a transformed life in Christ Jesus. 

In this post Covid season, how lavish our table can be to welcome all, despite our human brokenness of spirit, our mental health, our physical disabilities, or need for emotional stability in our faith. At the end of the conference, I am thankful to God that we are a Synod with a huge heart and welcoming expression to “set a table” for people of all creativities. 

Be well, stay well…

In solidarity,


Rev. Dr. Micheal Edwards