Image Credit: thetablenashville.org
The Tennessee Conservative [By Adelia Kirchner] –
A Lutheran church in Nashville that centers their mission around affirming the LGBTQ+ community is now in the process of launching an LGBTQ+ library, seemingly as a form of outreach.
Founded by Reverend Dawn Bennett, The Table is a church associated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and its mission is to promote spiritual well-being for the LGBTQ+ community and minorities in the “exploration of self, faith, community and the deeper issues of being and belonging.”
According to their website, “The Table is a LGBTQIA+ centered faith collective committed to the work of social justice and racial equity,” welcoming “those seeking God’s love and grace as a first timer or a lifer.”
Rev. Bennett herself is a self-identified queer, female, Lutheran pastor and attended seminary at Vanderbilt Divinity School, becoming an ordained Lutheran minister after completing one additional year at a Lutheran seminary in Minnesota.
When The Table first originated, Rev. Bennett spoke to the host of Out Loud: LGBT Stories of Faith, Greg Thompson, about what exactly the church was meant to be.
“We do not have, in the deep South, a ministry like The Table,” she said. “That is centering marginalized and vulnerable populations. Particularly LGBTQ persons and those impacted by incarceration.”
The Reverend also discussed her role as a Pastor Developer or Pastor of Ministry Development saying, “Part of my task as I see it, is to connect people who want a place to go to Sunday school who want a place to do potluck, who want a place to go to church, however you interpret church.”
Now around three years later, the church is fully up and running with various outreach programs including transgender support groups, monthly game nights, as well as a “Queer and Sober” alcoholics anonymous group.
Several other programs are currently in the works, including an LGBTQ+ singer-songwriter night and an LGBTQ+ youth group called Rainbow Connection.
On Monday, The Table posted to their Instagram announcing that they would be accepting book donations to help launch new their LGBTQ+ library.
The post also detailed what book genres The Table would like to receive, many of which dominate university reading lists across the country and fall hand in hand with critical race theory, queer theory, and feminism.
This includes books on queer theology, queer spirituality, anti-racism, black liberation theology, liberation theology, general spirituality, theology, poetry/prayer, liturgy, philosophy and ethics, LGBTQ studies, feminist theology, “womyn’s” studies, gender studies, indigenous communities, fiction/nonfiction, immigration/refugees, youth, the catechism, Martin Luther, and Bibles.
About the Author: Adelia Kirchner is a Tennessee resident and reporter for the Tennessee Conservative. Currently the host of Subtle Rampage Podcast, she has also worked for the South Dakota State Legislature and interned for Senator Bill Hagerty’s Office in Nashville, Tennessee. You can reach Adelia at email@example.com.