St. Mark's UMC in Ocala plans new Community Dinner night

St Marks UMC in Ocala St. Marks is adding a new Wednesday night community dinner organizers are calling The Family Table.

“In times of crisis, families can be left behind,” Rev. Jill Beck said, “We want to give families an opportunity to not have to think about preparing a meal one night a week and coming together with other families for mutual support.”   

The Family Table community dinner begins August 4 at 6:30 p.m. The gatherings will feature a meal, live music, story sharing, and activities for kids and youth. All are welcome to attend.

“We know that sacred things can happen around the supper table. We envision this as creating one large community dinner table, where we all gather together as a big, blended family” Pastor Michael Beck said.

The hope is that community dinner can lead to connection, conversations, and deepening relationships. Local musicians are excited to offer their musical talents and will stay after the dinner for coffee house-style jam sessions.

“We love this city. We want to spend the rest of our lives here. But we want to see this community thrive and become whole. We will give ourselves to that work as long as it takes. They can bury us right here in the backyard,” Michael Beck said.

The church also offers shelter called Open Arms Village for men experiencing homelessness, a food pantry, and daily recovery meetings. The church has dedicated two buildings entirely to the anonymous recovery fellowships that gather in those spaces around the clock. 

The Wednesday night community dinners are open to all. For more information, contact the church office 352-622-4475 or email

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