“The tent is big enough for both sides to offer their views,” said Kendall.
In recent weeks, the world has experienced an influx in high-passion protests, unending posts on social media, and backlashes in the press, in light of the of the Trump administration and the abrupt and controversial changes that have followed. In an attempt to diffuse the tension here at home and invite open-minded and open-hearted conversations around one of the most divisive topics in modern history, locals in Fishers gathered for coffee and to share their thoughts about the recent developments that have surfaced in light of the new administration, and our roles as Christians and citizens of humanity in preserving the art of conversation and diplomacy. 

The gathering took place at The Well Coffeehouse in Fishers, a hot spot for locals looking for a space to meet, greet, work, and savor a good cup of coffee. Rev. Jared Kendall, the organizer of the Open Table discussion and Associate Pastor at Fishers United Methodist Church, said that what was needed to counter the escalation in angst and frustration is a window which would allow people from both sides of the political spectrum to speak freely and openly, without judgement or scrutiny — something that has rapidly become a trend this past election season. 

One of the main points carried throughout the conversation was the need for Americans to gain a better understanding, and perhaps even celebrate, our diversity as a nation —  a point that became quite apparent as we looked around the table. Jen, a mother, and career woman stated that she doesn’t sense that social progression is a main concern for the new administration. Jerry, a government retiree, and self-proclaimed conservative retorted that to strengthen our national security and foreign relations, we need to slow down and take a closer look at our current vetting systems.

“The tent is big enough for both sides to offer their views,” said Kendall, who plans to organize more of these open table conversations.  The next Open Table conversation is tonight February 8 at Four Day Ray Brewing in Fishers. If interested in learning more about the upcoming gatherings, please email Pastor Jared Kendall at jared.kendall@inumc.org.