Monday, April 14
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The Presbytery of the Inland Northwest
During a decade of moonlighting as a restaurant critic, I dropped into the hidden world behind the smiles of those who waited on me, and God ultimately used this experience to shove me out the door to launch a nonprofit to care for those working in the restaurant and hospitality industry.
Why? Three reasons: (1) food-service workers are the largest employment group in the nation; (2) they are incredibly isolated—most working when the rest of us are not; and (3) they face intense stress and have the highest rates of drug and alcohol abuse in the nation. In addition, the industry is the catch basin for the most vulnerable in our culture: at-risk teens, single parents, minorities, new immigrants, and ex-felons trying to put their lives back together.
What started as little more than a culinary diversion changed the night God woke me out of a deep sleep with this call: “I need a pastor for this industry. Are you interested?”
The vision for Big Table unfolded that night, inspired by Acts 2, where Luke describes the disciples eating together and caring for one another. This simple model—shared meals around an actual big table, and care without condition—has become a stunning way of reaching those in an industry full of people alienated from church and angry at a God they mistakenly believe offers only conditional grace.
The Presbytery of Inland Northwest serves 46 congregations and their 6,616 members.
—Rev. Kevin Finch, executive director, Big Table
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray
God, in your mercy, give us eyes to see beyond the smiles of those who serve us. Open our hearts to love those so easy to treat simply as tools, for you said that whenever we care for the least, we serve you. Amen.