I adored Cari from the night I met her. We cheerfully bantered back and forth and I may have talked her ear off. I felt certain I’d made a new friend. Cari has that effect on people: they want to know her, listen to her, spend time with her, learn from her. Her life is rich soil for growth–she always has a new story to share of what she is learning and how she is growing; and she provides soil for others to plant their seeds and grow. Her tables are quite often set outside, in a garden, and that is fitting. Relationships grow around Cari’s tables. People grow around Cari’s tables. You’ll want a seat at Cari’s table. But better yet, learn from her and set your own table. Invite others to gather with you and watch what grows.
Create Challenge #30: Cari Jenkins
I create by drawing people to the table.
I set tables with beauty to proclaim the value of the one who sits at the table.
Each element of the table is important as the table tells a story.
When individuals gather around tables, they cease to be a lone character, but instead they become a member of a collective.
I design tables to inspire people to remember their Creator.
I set each table with purpose to express, through beauty, an element of God’s character.
I create through theme, light, glass, food, weaving relationships and asking a question.
Every table I set is a collective of people who gather together to be given dignity, shown love, and inspired to replicate.
The beauty of the table is experienced when each invitation inspires an invitation.
The creative process begins with the guest list and moves to a theme that invites each guess to consider an aspect of God’s character. The theme dictates the beauty and the beauty invites people to feel valued. Leaving the table valued, evidences the fact that the image of the Creator was spoken through the creation. Each element from invitation, to menu, to participation and inspiration is included in the creative process.
Every year I have a goal of inviting 500 or more people to sit around tables, created with purpose, to weave an even broader tapestry of relationship around the city. The more individuals gather around tables, the stronger and more beautifully diverse the collective tapestry becomes.
As I prepare to set a table for nearly 100 people this coming Saturday, I am in mid-process of watching another table lead to the strengthening and diversifying of the relational tapestry in Denver.
With over 25 years of relational ministry both in and beyond the local church, Cari uses her gifts to make the Kingdom of God tangible through relationship as she pastors those without a pastor. In partnership with Urban Skye, Cari shares the story of Jesus and His invitation to live into our truest identity as children of God. Cari loves to see individuals formed by Jesus for the transformation of the places where they live, work and play. Cari lives in Englewood, Colorado, where she loves to host, redecorate daily, play often and create beauty. It is an annual aim of hers to host over 500 people for meals in various forms and to encourage true hospitality in others. You are always welcome at her table.