Each week, on a rotating schedule, volunteers from local churches and other organizations serve a hot home-cooked meal at Open Table Ministry. Word gets around the community. To share a good meal and friendly conversation Open Table gathers each Monday at noon at Trinity United Methodist at 215 N. Church Street in Durham. All are welcome without regard to income or social status - housed, sheltered or not. There are no criteria to meet, no forms to fill out, no questions or requirements, all are welcome.
Why is the model of Open Table remarkably different? Because the food is not the main thing. Although we are often identified by Monday lunches, our meals together are the means by which relationships are developed. They are the start of our work together because the meals are not simply served, they are shared… and when food is shared, strangers become friends.
Homeless persons are welcomed into caring community that meets them where they are and as they are. These radical friendships make it possible for us learn of ways to come along side of our neighbors… to advocate for appropriate health care, emergency shelter, mental health support, addiction recovery, and prescription medications… each as appropriate to individual need.
Conversation flows naturally… People from the neighborhood become aware of the unique gifts of those who live without homes and homeless persons begin to see new hope and possibilities. Whether it is to offer hope, encouragement, a ride or help making appointments, we help our less fortunate neighbors to navigate a very complicated service system, to support our friends as they choose positive change.
Open Table Ministry got its start more than a decade ago when two Duke Divinity School students started bringing lunch to share with their homeless friends by the side of Highway 15-501. They learned that shared meals generate friendships, and friendship breaks down barriers.
In 2018, with the help of 22 churches, businesses, and other groups, Open Table Ministry shared 6,095 lunches!
Thank you to the more than 200 volunteers who helped make
All are welcome at Open Table Ministry's Monday lunches. Join us for a meal any Monday at noon at 215 N. Church St. and watch
your circle of friends grow.