By Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, May 19, 2017

Most people I know suffer from the same affliction… busyness. Our schedules are packed and our calendars unable to contain all of the things that we want to experience for our families. I look around my neighborhood and wish for more time to connect with the people around me. I was struck by the simplicity of one person’s answer to the need for more space for connections.

Kristin Schell was desperate for more intentional ways to connect with the people in her life. One afternoon, she put a bright turquoise picnic table in her front yard hoping to create a simple place to gather without the pressures of entertaining. It worked!

These eye-catching tables have become a symbol of hospitality, a safe place to sit down and connect over a cup of coffee or glass of sweet tea. A new concept of hospitality unfolded in her neighborhood, and before long The Turquoise Table led to a movement of Front Yard People—ordinary people who long to create community right where they live. What an amazing idea? What kind of opportunities emerge when we move from our backyard to our front yard?

What began in Kristin Schell’s frontyard has spread across the country. Today, there are Turquoise Tables all across America from California to Maine. In nearly all fifty states and in six countries and increasingly in more than a few churches.

Turquoise might not match our decor, but the space created at those tables might be the answer to our need for a new kind of communal space. How does the story of the Turquoise table inspire you? I want to know. Send me a message @thatjakehall about how you might create a new kind of space for neighborliness and community.

Let’s invite a few people to the table. ~ Jake

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