Round or rectangle tables?

That was the question on the table – literally – as the Rev. Julie Coffman Hester and two ruling elders pondered the shape of tables being ordered for a newly spruced-up fellowship space.

The congregation already was used to rectangle tables that stored well and knew how to set them up to maximize space, Hester writes in “A seat at the table” published online  January 18, 2022 as part of the Regarding Ruling Elders: A monthly series for serving faithfully.

The round tables cost more but meant that everyone was visible and no one person was seated at the head of the table or at the margins, Hester relates.

“As in the best discussions between church leaders,” Hester says, “the conversation drifted from how much things might cost to the why behind our decision. Why did the shape of table matter to our church gatherings in that space? Was it just a question of the budget? Storage? What we knew already? What would look best? Or might there be something else at work? Something about our ecclesiology – what we believed about the church?”