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, as an effort to unite divided churches, and this commitment to living beyond the artificial boundaries that separate Christians is still part of our DNA. Disciples demonstrate such commitment in a number of ways, including support for councils of churches and other ecumenical organizations, leadership in efforts to overcome the racism and other forms of discrimination that have so distorted Christianity in the United States, and a special partnership with the United Church of Christ. The ministry that Disciples carry out overseas is done jointly with the UCC.
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.” In Jesus Christ, we have seen the incarnation of God’s amazing, saving grace, and, therefore, seek to bear witness to him through our words and our actions. But Disciples have always known that we belong to God, not that God belongs to us. And this frees us to give thanks for the way God is at work in our neighbors of other faiths.
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 and hear the call to deep discipleship, treating others as Christ has treated us. Such discipleship is also expressed in the way we approach the sacrament of baptism. Disciples congregations welcome persons who have been baptized, at whatever age, in other churches; but our own preferred practice is to baptize persons who can make their own decision to follow Christ–even when it isn’t easy or popular to do so.
There is another characteristic of Disciples identity that is treasured at Welcome Table: the freedom of each believer to wrestle with the meaning of Christian faith for her or his own life. We are grateful for the community of the church that helps shape us as persons of faith. We are grateful of the witness of Scripture that provides an indispensable foundation for Christian living. But we also celebrate the gift of intellect that enables us to look for signs of God in human experience and to name God’s presence in our lives without creeds or hierarchical authority.