Letter: Kurt Aschermann, Leesburg

Editor: Monday night at Sterling Elementary School, Christian Fellowship Church, Beth Chaverim Reform Congregation and All Dulles Area Muslim Society served about 175 people a beautiful, elegant, dinner on beautiful placemats, with candles on the table and music in the background all guided by perfectly appointed waiters in black pants and white shirts.

In the kitchen, last night during various shifts, we saw women in Hijab standing next to people in yarmulkes, passing food across the counter to someone wearing a cross.

Together they provided a perfect meal and the radical hospitality that is Community Table to people of every race, color, religion, size and shape who came to us individually or in full families with lots of kids!  Oh, we had lots of kids last night!

In short, we did it again.

This dinner brings our third year together to a close.  This year alone we had dinners across our county in seven different places and we served about 700 people.  In our three years together we have served close to 3,000 guests at about 30 dinners.

And we did it all without becoming a new charity, without creating and managing a board of directors, without hiring staff…in fact we continue to be the most successful nonprofit operation in the world that has absolutely no central leadership, no budget, no annual meeting and no annual report.  This letter is as close to an annual report as we get each year.

But we have local leadership that surpasses anything I’ve ever seen before.  Each faith community and school creates their own leadership; each takes charge of their dinner, plans it, staffs it, cooks it and serves it.

And nobody, as in nobody, makes a dime on the effort and nobody, as in nobody, gets a tax write off for anything.

To say I’m proud of what we have created is an understatement.  I’m just as proud that it doesn’t look like we are going anywhere-we have commitments from almost every sponsoring group to continue in 2017 Community Table of Loudoun is alive and well and will continue to provide our beautiful dinners to anyone that wants to attend, anyone looking for a good meal or just a good conversation—they are welcome at Community Table and together we promise to be there for them.

In my faith tradition, Christian, there is a popular song that I think covers what I’m trying to say—the song goes “God has no body now on earth, no hands, no feet on earth but yours…”  We know, we all know, WE are God’s hands and feet.  And as President Kennedy once said: ‘here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.’

We are doing that work.

I pray during this time of celebration in all of our faith traditions and our public schools, that you and your family enjoy peace and joy and love in new measure.  You have done good work, my friends for which I am eternally grateful.

I love you all.

Kurt Aschermann, Leesburg


3 thoughts on “Letter: Kurt Aschermann, Leesburg

  • 2016-12-08 at 11:34 pm

    Magid and Jaka only break bread and invite those into their home whom are like-minded, hence the word reformist…. Perhaps they should do some community outreach to those non-reformist who don’t believe in the mission statement of ISNA, which Magid presided over in 2010 and is still extremely involved with…..

    • 2016-12-09 at 3:10 pm

      what are you talking about? Are you badmouthing this event? I was there and saw the many people enjoying a meal and companionship and all the volunteers, leesburgF. I hope you are not being negative about what neighbors did for neighbors

  • 2017-01-06 at 2:18 pm

    It is very difficult to bring an all volunteer organization together to host an event to support needy people. Working with Baptist, Brethren, and Catholic, Episcopal, Fellowship, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian and non-denominational churches can be trying, much less bringing an entire faith community together for a huge event. An organization that has no board members, no building, retains no paid employees and volunteers do all the work with goods received from local donations should get everyone’s attention. Similar to the Gospel story of the loaves and fish, Community Table touched the lives of 3,000 people with no annual budget. It appears their motivations are rooted in spirit, mercy and responsibility to others. I agree that we have local leadership that is exceptional and I have great expectations for the Church to network, teamwork, share resources and provide enhanced community awareness in 2017.

    “If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all and servant to all” (Mark 9:35).

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