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Whoever Comes to Me: Open Table, Missional Church, and the Body of Christ

Martha Smith Tatarnic

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Open Table practice is often discussed in terms of what it does. For some it communicates hospitality, while others believe it chooses an easy invitation over the more life-giving possibilities of formation, commitment, discipleship. The missional paradigm provides a different starting point: identity. This paper examines the practice of Open Table through a focus on identity. First it considers the missional premise that God’s activity in our world is concerned with “giving life,” and more specifically, that Jesus describes that giving of life as the feeding of human hunger. The essay then turns to an examination of this question: “Does Open Table cloud or clarify the church’s communication of this missional identity of the sacrament, the Christ, the church, at the heart of the eucharist?”

 
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