Table Grace 2019: The Perfect Setting for Community and Creativity
Earlier this month, 400 women of all ages packed the Crosspoint Church gym in Bellaire for the 25th annual Table Grace Women’s Ministry event. The evening’s festivities centered around the stars of the evening…dozens of pure joy-to-your-eyes, take-your-breath-away, make-you-smile, uniquely-decorated dinner tables. Amongst lots of lively conversation, guests were treated to a fine catered meal.
Table Grace was created in the early ’90s by Charlotte Landrum, the former West U Baptist and Crosspoint Church Women’s Ministry Director and the wife of retired WUBC/Crosspoint Pastor Barry Landrum. From the beginning, Charlotte’s good friend, Jean Pennington, helped Table Grace happen every year. The Landrums retired in 2010 but, luckily, the event has continued. Jean was a church volunteer for many years and eventually became the Women’s Ministry Director at West U Baptist/Crosspoint Church. She and her team of volunteers have helped keep the tradition going strong.
The gym - that doesn’t look anything like a gym after everything is set up - is filled with approximately 45 tables and decorated by different women in any theme of their choosing. The themes range from traditional, seasonal, crafty, fun, quirky and everything in between. The doors open an hour before dinner is served so guests can walk through the gym for “table viewing.”
Guests never know what unique theme or decorations they might find. Some of this year’s eye candy and funny-bone-ticklers included blue twinkle fairy lights, college football complete with homemade table-size goalposts, glass ornaments hanging from golden branches, a moving rollercoaster and carousel made from Legos, reindeer fine china, Pac-man blob chairbacks, real five-foot tree centerpieces, mission trip photographs and mementoes, pumpkins made from recycled book pages, things to be thankful for including one table with bright copper kettles, warm woolen mittens, brown paper packages tied up with strings and every other item from beloved song, “My Favorite Things!” (Yes, they had crisp apple strudels!)
Table Grace is definitely church lady decorating at its best. Two dedicated decorators honored this year were Bellaire residents, Aurora Hafer and Rhonda Ward, who each received an award celebrating 17 years of consecutive table decorating.
Another fun tidbit that makes Table Grace special is that the three-course meal is served by the men of the church. Men volunteer and come dressed in black pants and white button-up shirts and take care of all of the ladies. The past couple of years, the young men of the Bellaire High School Lacrosse Team have volunteered to help serve as well.
Julee Patterson shared, “This was the first year that the men didn’t serenade us with an original song written by long time Bellaire resident, John Pickul. We were all wondering what happened to the song, but then we discovered that Mr. Pickul wasn’t available this year because he was on the Senior Adults cruise!” Julee continued, “I saw Mr. Pickul the next Sunday and told him we missed him. He said, ‘I’ll be back next year and it is always good to keep them wanting more!’”
Kim McAuliffe said, “Our beautiful table was Thanksgiving-themed with reminders about being grateful and giving thanks. Everyone at our thankful table is part of the ‘This is Us’ Sunday morning Bible class. Many of our husbands were waiters for the evening so that’s fun to watch. Our table hostesses sent us home with a gift of instant spiced tea mix. It’s always a special evening of fellowship and praise.”
Mary Lou Dale revealed, “Our ‘Women Seeking God’ Bible study has been studying the book The Power of a Praying Woman and our table decorations were inspired by chapters in the book such as Kindness, Gentleness and Joy.”
The night’s finale was being treated to an uplifting message from guest speaker, Laura Seifert of YES. ministries, which was like getting to have a second amazing dessert but without all the calories.
Table Grace is open to all but remember to buy your tickets early for the November 2020 event as it is always a sell-out.
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