Welcome Table is a congregation of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), joyfully embracing the denomination’s statement of identity:
We are Disciples of Christ, a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world. As part of the one body of Christ, we welcome all to the Lord’s Table as God has welcomed us.
The Disciples movement began on the American frontier in the early years of the 19th century, when a Scottish Presbyterian named Alexander Campbell became disgusted with the artificial divisions in churches that divided who was “in” and who was “out,” and barred the “outs” from taking communion. It seemed to him that whenever Jesus hosted a meal, everybody was welcome, especially those who were most considered “out” by the people around them. So he announced he was dropping out of that game of denominations, announced he was just a Christian, and ended up joining forces with others who likewise were opposed to purity tests to determine who was Christian enough.
In the more than 200 years since then, many amazing things have happened in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). We were the first denomination in the world to confirm a woman in the top leadership role. In 2013, we voted to explicitly welcome people from the LGBTQ+ community into the life and ministry of the church. On July 9, 2017, the Disciples of Christ elected Rev. Teresa Hord Owens to lead the denomination. Rev. Owens is the first Black woman to lead a mainline Protestant organization in a solo capacity. Having become (against our better nature) another denomination, we have been active in the efforts to unite divided churches, including councils of churches and ecumenical organizations.
From the beginning, Disciples have declared that we are “Christians only, but not the only Christians.” In the 21st century, we gladly expand this identity, affirming that Christians are “people of God only, but not God’s only people,” honoring other faiths as well.
For Disciples, Christian identity finds clearest expression at the Lord’s Table where we celebrate communion—the Lord’s Supper—at every Sunday worship (and sometimes in between). At the Table, we experience the unconditional welcome of Jesus Christ. Welcome Table also treasures another characteristic of Disciples identity: the freedom of each believer to wrestle with the meaning of Christian faith for her or his own life. Our denomination has no creed, for Alexander Campbell felt the creeds were man-made, not given by God, and that each individual had the capacity to read the Bible and reach their own understanding. We gladly follow in that tradition.