The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Table grace

In Omaha, a Lutheran-run restaurant feeds the soul

Table Grace Cafe nourishes both hungry bodies and souls as it brings businesspeople and the less fortunate together in downtown Omaha, Neb. Professional chef Matt Weber serves lunch to anyone who walks through the door.

Table Grace has no cash register. Patrons with money pay what they feel their meal is worth and hopefully leave a little more to cover the cost for the less fortunate.

Joe Burns<BR><BR>A regular patron (name
A regular patron (name not provided) enjoys a meal prepared by Table Grace's Matt Weber and volunteer Jan Kammerer.

"This is social entrepreneurship that Lutherans are excited to be involved in," said David L. deFreese, bishop of the Nebraska Synod.

Gourmet pizza, soups and salads attract people to Table Grace at lunchtime.

Since the food isn't free, Kathleen O'Hara put an envelope of pennies into the donation box one day. She gave Weber a jar of peanut butter on another. "You don't have to be rich to give back," said O'Hara, a woman with disabilities who lives alone downtown in public housing.

O'Hara said she wouldn't have any social interaction if it weren't for Table Grace. "It gets me out," she explained. "They're nice people."

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February issue


Embracing diversity