In an era of unprecedented division, strife and polarization, The Common Table offers a glimmer of hope. This last fall 28 state-wide faith leaders from all around Oregon gathered to put aside their spiritual and political differences to re-discover what they have in common. Tired of being turned against one another by a political landscape that seems to thrive on animosity and villain-making, participants gathered as wisdom keepers to re-imagine how Oregon’s wide range of faith traditions might demonstrate peacemaking in the public square.
In this historic gathering, the Common Table leaders committed to go on deepening their relationships and working together in the common square by creating a new meeting place between faith leaders, the public, and elected officials in Oregon. They recognized the potential to change the political landscape of Oregon by organizing across the traditional political lines and re-dedicating themselves to serving the most vulnerable populations in our state. By reframing an approach that isn’t rooted in “right vs. left,” but “right vs. wrong,” they knew they wouldn’t be able to address all the issues that have become hallmarks of faith-based politics. But given the untapped overlapping interests shared by all people of faith (who universally proclaim a love of neighbor, a love of enemy, and love of the disenfranchised), these faith leaders believe the Common Table can make a significant impact in Oregon while creating the context for deeper healing in the American public square.