Table Grace Ministries

"Nourishing Hungry Bodies and Souls"

Segments of  TGM

TIMELINE

History of Table Grace Ministries
Table Grace Ministries is an Omaha based non-profit that seeks to increase the number of people served with its “pay”-what-you-can model, job-training, and community fellowship
  • Founded in 2008

    1. Beginnings

    Co-founded by Matt and Simone Weber; a hybrid of Matt’s culinary education and Simone’s mission and music outreach vision. Seed funding came from Grace Hansen of First Lutheran Church in Omaha.

  • 2008 - 2011

    2. Personal Chef Service

    This was created to serve single parent families with healthy and ready to heat and eat meals so that the family can focus on sacred time around the table. Operations took place out of the First Lutheran ELCA Omaha church kitchen in cooperation with the food pantry.

  •  March of 2008 - 2009

    3. CD release of "Transformation"

    CD release concert at Holland Performing Arts Center
    Music tour to Chicago in 2008
    Music tour to Utah in 2009
    Raising funds and awareness for Hunger Outreach

  • 2011

    4. Cafe

    Table Grace Ministries expanded into its community Café based on the community café model of the SAME (So All May Eat) café in Denver.

  •  January of 2015

    5. Live from Green Bay

    Concert at Scooters in West Omaha
    Raising funds and awareness for Table Grace Cafe

  • December of 2015

    6.  Simone Weber Christmas album

    Released in concert at Morning Star Lutheran Church
    Raising funds and awareness for Table Grace Cafe

  • April of 2016

    7.  Table Grace Cafe album

    Recorded in Nashville with Producer Dennis Dearing
    Supported by many including Karen and Kim Hawkins Sr.
    CD release held at Joslyn Castle, Omaha
    Raising funds and awareness for Table Grace Cafe

  • March 2017

    8. Table Grace the Musical

    Scenes from Table Grace the Musical presented at St. Thomas Lutheran Church for
    the annual fundraiser for Table Grace
    Raising funds and awareness for Table Grace

  • Spring 2018

    9. Food Truck

    Table Grace Café is experiencing growth in its catering and strong requests for expansion of its model to other areas of the metro. The addition of a food truck capitalizes on the needed mobility to serve both North and South Omaha and enhances support for its already successful catering operations.

BOARD MEMBERS

Matt Weber

CEO, Director, Chef

Chef Matt Weber grew up in his Grandmother's kitchen. He took his love of food and cooking with him in 2002 when he followed his Wife Simone to New York City where he attended Culinary School at the Natural Gourmet Institute for Food and Healing. He interned at the James Beard House and Aquavit before taking a Garde Manger position at Candle 79 on the upper east Side of Manhattan. In 2005 Simone and Matt returned to Nebraska to start a family. After a short time at Dish restaurant in Lincoln, Matt took the Executive Chef position at Carol Joy Holling Camp, conference and retreat center (NLOM) in Ashland, NE. Matt co-founded Table Grace ministries in 2008 and opened Table Grace Cafe in 2011. In addition to being the Chef of Table Grace, Matt serves as the Executive Director of Table Grace Ministries. In partnership with Family First Chiropractic, Matt teaches healthy cooking workshops at Natural Grocers several times a year. Matt also leads the catering service of Table Grace Cafe. He also enjoys playing music with Simone at Table Grace, Morningstar Lutheran Church, and beyond. "Table Grace is able to nourish hungry
bodies and souls because we facilitate an environment that incourages a give-give approach to hunger outreach. We bridge the socioeconomic divide. We are a venue where authentic relationships, mutual respect, and an all-around healthy environment help people to be the best versions of themselves every day and take that positive energy with them into the community."

Simone Weber

COO, Musical Missionary

Simone Weber co-founded Table Grace Ministries in 2008 with her husband Matt and has served as Table Grace’s COO since 2014. Simone’s calling and vision is in music, ministry, hunger outreach and development. She obtained her BME degree and ESL endorsement from UNL with highest honors in 2002. While in college, she worked at Hudson Bay company as a professional fundraiser and traveled on several oversees mission trips to serve in various third world countries. She then went on to sing professionally, teach ESL and work in many restaurants in New York City. In 2005 she returned to Nebraska and worked fulltime as First Lutheran Church’s Director of Music Ministries until 2013. Simone is a Nashville recorded singer and songwriter who has created seven CDs, and part of a musical to date. She has a passion for taking the church outside of the church walls and using music as a vehicle to bring people together, raise funds for Table Grace and inspire all people to use their talents to serve one another. She currently also serves as worship leader at Morning Star Lutheran Church in Omaha.

Cory Lienemann

Chair

Cory has been a Financial Associate with Thrivent Financial for the last 10 years. He is a co-leader of Rejoice! Men in Mission at Rejoice! Lutheran Church where he’s been a member for over 20 years. He is married to Nancy and they have 3 children.

Vanessa Schmidt

Treasurer

CPA, CHFP, MBA
Client Services Manager
Vanessa has worked extensively in the healthcare and not-for-profit industries since joining the firm in 2012. She received her Masters of Business Administration from Southwest Minnesota State University and graduated with Magna Cum Laude from South Dakota State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Economics with a minor in Accounting.

Vanessa has experience in providing auditing and accounting services to a variety of governmental, manufacturing, professional, and not-for-profit organizations as well as audits of employee benefits plans. Vanessa has been instrumental in all phases of the audit, accounting and consultation processes associated with these types of entities.

Vanessa is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Nebraska Society of Certified Public Accounts. Vanessa is a licensed Certified Public Accountant and is active in civic organizations, including serving as Treasurer on the Board of South Dakota State University Alumni Association, Omaha Chapter.

Kathleen Hughesa

Member at Large

I believe in the mission of Table Grace as we are helping the homeless and near homeless. I admire the work of feeding the hungry. I volunteer weekly at the Open Door mission and Sienna Frances house. I have helped with Food Not Bombs off and on for 10 years.

I am a retired RN, having spent most of my career at Methodist hospital and Boys Town. I serve on two OTOC (Omaha Together One Community ) teams; environmental and housing. 

Melissa Carlberg

Member at Large

Nebraska Medicine
Internal Communications Sr. Coordinator 
I first heard of Table Grace at church, when Simone and Matt came and spoke to Bethel Lutheran a
couple years ago. I immediately was impressed with the mission of the organization and the services it
provides to our community. I had a chance to visit with them briefly at the ELCA Synod Assembly in
2017, and of course enjoy some delicious food. Most recently, Simone led worship at Bethel again, and I
was excited to hear about the growth, including the new Mobile Grace Café. As she discussed how the
board of directors came together and dreamed of this new branch of their mission, I thought, “What a
neat group to be a part of. I wonder if that might be something that I should look into someday.” Then, I
received an email newsletter shortly afterwards asking if recipients had ever considered serving on the board. It almost seemed like it was written just for me.

Ben Tiffany

Member at Large

Branch Manager – Hawthorne
Great Western Bank 
I’m a 34 year old husband to a beautiful wife and a father to 3 kids, ages 6, 4 and 2. I became aware of Table Grace and their Mission a few months ago.  Holy Spirit driven, something inside me wanted to learn more about the organization – so I visited their website.  I learned the Mission of Table Grace the Restaurant Internship Program which I loved because of the idea of no free handouts which can compound the problem and keep people trapped in their current situations. Now being part of the Board I can be more invovlved in this mission.

Jay Gish

Member at Large

I have been a Table Grace board member since the organization's founding, working mainly in areas of video/audio production, with some graphic design. My work life began with HuskerVision and KMTV3 in college. Now I continue to independently write and produce video and animation, and also teach and perform improvisational comedy.  I support the work of Table Grace because you can see without question how it has helped people at the end of each day. Also, it is an innovator in bringing sustained improvement to the community, and a visible daily model on how to truly value both people and resources.

Denise Olson

Member at Large

Denise is an insurance professional with a passion for serving others with a focus on food insecurity, mental health awareness, social justice and homelessness. She is a member of St Thomas Lutheran Church serving in the music ministry and in leadership positions. She and her husband Chris have three children. In spare time, she enjoys cooking, playing golf and spending time with her family.

Patrick Gregory

Secretary

Pat Gregory is recently retired from serving as Administrative Manager at St. Thomas Lutheran Church and as an Informational services Manager. He and his wife, Elaine, have two grown children and four grandchildren and another grandson to be born in June. Pat has been involved in theater and music since high school, college, and community theater in Blair, NE. Pat has been connected with Table Grace through various church and Nebraska Synod ELCA activities and now serves on the board of directors as a member at large.

Bob Sall

Member at Large

Bob Sall spent 45 years as treasurer at Dultmeier Sales a wholesale distributor of liquid handling products. Prior to Dultmeier Sales he taught math at Lincoln Pius X high school. He and his wife Suzanne have two grown sons and five grandchildren. He is a member of St Thomas Lutheran and serves on the Stewardship team. He enjoys reading, traveling, outdoor activities hiking, skiing and golf. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Carol Joy Holling Camp an is active in a service club.

Pastor Stephen Pera

Member at Large

Steve has served as an ELCA parish pastor in congregations in Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa. He most recently served in Missouri Valley, IA, prior to retirement in 2016. He is enjoying the opportunities retirement affords to travel with his wife, Ruth, while still maintaining involvement in the church and community in a variety of volunteer capacities. Steve has a background in music, sings, plays piano and guitar and has done some composing. He is one of two Steve Peras in Omaha, the younger one is his nephew, also involved in church, ministry and part-time music. Steve and Ruth are the parents of four sons, have one grandson and a Yorkie named Beeker.

Lauri Muller

Member at Large

Lauri is an Assistant Director at RISE Services Inc., a non-profit facilitating in-home supports for people with disabilities and has had a career in the non-profit and ministry fields. Although Lauri currently resides in Oregon with her wife, Whitney, her roots are in Nebraska. She has been on the team from the early years and brings a passion for making a positive difference in communities. Lauri gravitates towards endeavors that create opportunities for people to realize God's loving embrace and their individual potential. Lauri is inspired by the feeding of hungry bodies and souls that Table Grace Cafe achieves.

Thomas Bentley

Vice Chair

Tom serves as a Board Member at large for Table Grace Ministries who readily recognized something special in how lives are touched through dignity and kindness over the sharing of a meal at the Cafe. Bentley studied at the University of Nebraska College of Architecture and has been in professional practice for over 20 years. He is a landscape architect for the consulting firm Vireo in Omaha with an emphasis on park, recreation and natural resource planning design projects. To find work-life balance, Tom can otherwise be found in the wood shop making sawdust or sauntering down a trail with his wife Mel and their rowdy Coonhounds.

Dan Allen

Member at Large

Project Harmony
IT Manager 
Hello! My name is Dan Allen. I live in Omaha with my wife and 2 girls and have made the decision to serve a greater good and focus efforts towards working with non-profit organizations that serve a great cause.  I was exposed to Table Grace in 2016 during a leadership retreat in Omaha where Simone presented to the group. I then worked with Matt to have Table Grace come to First National Bank and share their story with my team. This, combined with the warm and welcoming spirt of Simone and Matt sold me on the cause and their mission.

Programs of TGM

Information on our programs. 

Cafe

2011

Table Grace Café affordably offers healthier meals than many quick-dine cafés, making it the feel-good lunch destination in Omaha. The menu for the Café fluctuates based on food donations from Whole Foods, farmer's markets, and others but primarily serves soup, salad, and pizza that best utilizes the food donations and serves as a simple lunch café downtown.

Volunteer

Helping out

Volunteer experiences for people and mission teams from all over Nebraska are often an eye opening experience in systems of poverty. Volunteers work with, serve, and are served by the community so that everyone walks away with understanding and empathy for each person that experiences life in various socio-economic statuses, which is different from simply “cooking meals for those poor people over there”.

10- Day Job Training

Teaching people “to fish.”

10- Day Job Training teaches people “to fish.” The Café utilizes its environment as basic job readiness programming. This model is based on the job programming Chef Matt Weber experienced at he Natural Gourmet Cooking School and is similar to technical colleges, but modified for people who have difficulty maintaining entry level employment or who have dropped out of the workforce for so long that they need a stepping stone into entry level jobs. The focus is on attendance, appropriate appearance, skills, workplace communication, and customer service skills. 

 Fellowship programs

Music with a Mission & Open Faith Discussion

* Music with a Mission plays once a week with patrons bringing their musical talents to share with everyone. With music in a small environment, emotional connections are made between the artists and patrons, much like coffee house and open-mic experiences.  Open Faith Discussion brings people from all walks of life, faiths, and without faith that come for open, no-strings-attached dialogue once a week. This gathering around a common table to share a meal and the journey of life offers a support group for whoever walks in the door on any given day to truly be a part of a welcoming group of fellow patrons. This assists in building compassion, life skills, fellowship and support for a community that may otherwise be facing life alone. 

Catering

For a cause

Reserve a dinner at Table Grace Cafe for 10-30 people, or we will come to you with a menu of your choice. Just give us a call and we'll be happy to work out all the details for your event. We've done everything from women's and corporate luncheons to hors d'oeuvres parties to brunches and more! Whatever your event, Table Grace will work with you to accommodate your catering needs. And best of all, by choosing Table Grace, you'll be helping us continue our mission in downtown Omaha of 'Nourishing Hungry Bodies and Souls'.
Need musical entertainment? Our band, 'Simone G. Weber' can provide inspirational music and programming that will inspire you and your guests.
Rates vary according to the details of each event, please call to inquire. Email: info@tablegracecafe.com Call: 402.965.1276

Food Truck

Nourishing Hungry Bodies and Souls 
Through Mobility

The operation of a food truck is expected to run in general congruence with the operations of the Café’s current activities. This includes ordering, receiving, food prep, and administrative functions. It is recognized that additional staff time will need to be added to certain positions.