Caught up in a world of overscheduled calendars and a frenzied on-the-go lifestyle, I was desperate for more intentional ways to connect with the people in my life. One afternoon, I put a bright turquoise picnic table in my front yard, hoping to create a simple place to gather without the pressures of entertaining. It worked!
A new concept of hospitality unfolded in my neighborhood. The Turquoise Table® has become a meeting place—kind of like the old village well—for neighbors, friends, and even strangers, to hang out and do life together. The table has spurred a front yard revival in our neighborhood and had become a welcome place to gather and love. Before long The Turquoise Table® led to a movement of Front Yard People—people just like you and me who want to create community right where we live.
All across America, neighbors are getting to know one another at turquoise picnic tables in the most simple place of all — their front yards. From California to Maine, the Turquoise Table has become a symbol of hospitality and a welcome place to slow down and connect with friends and neighbors.
“The simplicity of the Turquoise Table embodies the kind of movement that all congregations must embrace. It encourages the people in our pews to leave their Christian bubbles, embrace hospitality, and intentionally form friendships with their neighbors. Anyone can do this and all of us should. If every Christian in America took these simple steps we would see our neighborhoods, cities, and nation transformed in amazing ways.”
Thomas Daniel, Senior Pastor, Covenant Presbyterian Church, Austin, Texas
“Here at ACC Pinnacle campus we were looking for a way for students and faculty to engage in a comfortable setting. A place where ideas could be shared and discussed outside of the classroom environment. The Turquoise Table has been the perfect answer for creating that community. It is a welcome place to meet new friends and connect.”
David Tucker, Austin Community College Campus Manager
“Once upon a time there was a basic social interaction we could count on called “knowing our neighbors.” Somewhere in the mix of social media and busy living, many have forgotten how to build community in even the most obvious places. The Turquoise Table is the simplest, most low stress, delightful, friendly, and approachable way to do life with the people around you again. It’s a no-brainer: cheery picnic table, front yard living, knowing the people who can loan a cup of sugar. It has become hands down one of my favorite spaces to do life!”
Logan Wolfram, author of Curious Faith
How Does It Work?
1. Get a turquoise table
Any picnic table will do. My original table came from Lowe’s and I painted it Nifty Turquoise by Sherwin-Williams. Now, we’ve partnered with Tuesday Morning stores, and you can pick up a table painted and ready to go. In Austin, we’ve partnered with ReWork Project, a local nonprofit serving men and women struggling with homelessness. Our friends at ReWork build amazing handmade Turquoise Tables.
2. Put it in your front yard
Find a spot in your front yard. No front yard? No problem. Think about where people naturally gather in your community. Rooftops. Community Centers. Church patios. Libraries. Apartment laundry rooms. Neighborhood gardens. The possibilities are endless.
3. Share the table
Invite a friend or neighbor over for coffee or tea. Keep it simple. Share the concept of The Turquoise Table® and ask her to help you organize your first neighborhood gathering. Everything is easier and more fun with a friend!
4. Share your story
Tell your community about The Turquoise Table®. Don’t be shy. Tell your friends and neighbors how you hope to bring people together around your Turquoise Table. Invite them to join you. Then, encourage others to get their own tables and begin a new cycle of community.
Share your stories with The Turquoise Table® community. Let us know what’s going on at your table! Your stories will encourage others — we are all in this together.
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