The Table Setters is a faith-based non-profit (501 (c) 3) that produces improved relationships across humanly created racial, socio-economic, political, and religious lines. We combine launch events in churches, schools, businesses, and civic institutions with customized plans for ongoing cultural accountability. Diversity training days are never enough. Ongoing relationships that nurture connections and share brokenness, hopes and dreams, can be mutually healing and productive.
Founded in early 2016 through the deep friendship of Marvin Wadlow Jr., an African-American Baby Boomer, and Matthew John Schmitt, a European-American Generation X-er, the Table Setters exist to remember that we are all invited to God’s Table through Christ, with none of us over or under-welcomed. Both founders had been leading another non-profit ministry together since 2012, and came to lament that though Jesus shares stories and parables through setting a variety of tables across cultures and classes, most of our country, including Christians, have a hard time stepping outside their zip codes. The Table Setters believe that reality is greater understood when we fully appreciate differences across the divisions of humankind, and we aim to start a movement of courageous and ongoing Table Setting: individuals, businesses, and congregations who are willing to continually meet with “the others.” We are called to mutually learn, question, and share experiences in vulnerable storytelling that ultimately moves us towards making better decisions together.
We believe that racial alliances, forged through respect, trust, and accountability are close to the heart of Christ, as referenced deeply in Romans 14 and Matthew 18, especially in the context of a meal! We also believe that these alliances are something the “American Experiment” is truly capable of producing, and are needed now more than ever. We will listen to the needs of your particular community and develop a format for an initial launch workshop that can lean on Sacred Texts or not, and can be framed in respectful interfaith dialogue when appropriate. We can also help develop plans for repeated table settings to nurture diverse relationships for the long haul in your community.