The Common Table is a gathering of interfaith leaders and practitioners who are committed to learning more about one another, trusting one another and standing together – even in the midst of our differences – by taking the following steps.
Highlight the public work of faith communities in Oregon.
Taken in the aggregate, the service work of our faith traditions represents a substantial social safety net that largely goes overlooked. The Common Table will build a “Faith Impact Map,” to better understand the role of faith communities in Oregon. Participating faith leaders and traditions commit to supporting this mapping project and helping all Oregonians better understand the role of faith.
Deepening relationships between faith leaders and elected officials in Salem.
Common Table participants commit to participating in this process through a variety of means (this might include a prayer breakfast, and/or different opportunities to educate legislators about the true impact of our faith traditions here in Oregon).
Stepping into the public sphere as peacemakers.
Common Table leaders commit to exploring opportunities for peacemaking around issues that have otherwise been divisive in American public life. “Common Table Hubs” will be established in key regions throughout the state, building relationships between local leaders and their communities, and curating critical conversations of mutual respect and understanding across the political divide of our times.
Public Advocacy and Witness.
Common Table leaders commit to an ongoing process of discernment around a shared calling in the public sphere. A few open questions include: How might we make space to lift up the voices and stories of marginalized communities we feel called to respect and protect? How might we work toward a future where those voices are treated with respect and compassion?
RECKONING WITH RACISM
Reckoning with Racism is a deliberate process of dismantling racism inside one’s own faith community or institution, as well as out in the public square. During 2020 to 2022, Common Table facilitated two nine-month sessions for those who wished to grapple with Oregon’s racist legacy, alongside other faith communities throughout our state. It was a unique opportunity to learn, to listen and to engage. Over 230 individuals representing 44 faith communities participated.
By learning from a broader range of community partners about their unique experience of life here in Oregon, participants deepened their understanding of the complex and intersectional truths they unveil. This experience prepared participants to accompany faith communities in discerning what repair and reconciliation looks like in their local context.