4 Big Changes
The only thing that's constant is change. That's no less true at The Table Church. Below I'm going to let you know about four significant announcements concerning the future of The Table Church.
The Table Church's worship ministry has been led by the inestimable talents of Jordan Jackson since 2017. It's because of Jordan that The Table was able to transition to having an online presence within a week when the pandemic first struck. He's moved the worship team towards heartfelt excellence and passion in lifting up the name of Jesus. Jordan has recently felt led to step down from his position. Jordan writes,
"I strongly believe that it is time for a fresh direction and a new leader who can continue to steward this talented team. In my years of serving and leading at the Table, I have watched this team grow tremendously in all aspects of worship and serving. I too have grown more as a leader because of this. I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity that was given to me and I’m very glad that each of you trusted me to lead this team. I truly know that there is more growth awaiting in the future."
Jordan will lead in his position through Easter 2022 (April 17). Over the next few months, Pastor Tonetta and I will routinely gather the worship team to hear where they want to take things next. We'll update you as we make future staffing decisions. When you see Jordan, let him know how much you've appreciated his leadership.
Worship Space Search
The Table Church is blessed to gather at gorgeous locations in D.C., including First Congregational Downtown and The GALA Theatre in Columbia Heights.
While we have an excellent relationship with The GALA Theatre, we are unable to use their space when they have an active theatre production. This means that our schedule at GALA isn't always consistent. And, starting after Easter this year, GALA will be unavailable to us for 2 months straight.
Moreover, part of the original vision of The Table Church was to be a "neighborhood church." That means we don't want to merely be a place where people gather on Sundays. We intend to make a positive impact on the streets and neighborhood where we gather. Because of the inconsistent nature of our presence at GALA, that's been hard to do.
With all this in mind, the Elders and Trustees of The Table Church have recently charted a Worship Space Search Committee (yes, it's a mouthful) to find a new location where The Table can meet each and every week and—Lord willing—move into the neighborhood in a more permanent way.
Our ideals are 1) that this location would be near or around the Columbia Heights/16th Street/H Street areas of D.C.; 2) we could find a long-term lease where we didn't need to setup and teardown each week; 3) it would include a safe space for families and children; and 4) we could partner with the neighborhood to join in God's work of renewal there.
If you have experience in real estate; leasing negotiations; or the requisite time, talent, and passion to invest in this significant step for The Table, please reply to this email and let me know.
The governance of the church is like plumbing—you don't think much about it when it's working; but you-know-what hits the fan when it isn't.
In early 2021, the Elders and Trustees hired a Governance Consultant and commissioned a Governance Team to overhaul the bylaws and governance structure of The Table Church to help ensure we don't get to a "hit-the-fan" moment. It has been slow, laborious work. But the work is nearing its conclusion! You'll soon hear about the proposed changes and be invited to give input on the work that has been done. Be on the look out for that in the coming month.
Courtship & Merger
Finally, Pastor Tonetta and I have been interviewing a few consultants concerning the courtship & merger of The Table Church with Resurrection City DC, the church that Pastor Tonetta founded in 2019.
It's worth remembering that there are two perspectives about this merger. From The Table Church's perspective, merging with the smaller and younger Res City could feel like a small change—a group of new folx have joined us? Great, let's keep doing what we're doing.
But from the perspective of Resurrection City, this change has felt cataclysmic! They no longer have meetings that are their own; and their founding pastor now works for another church (The Table)!
A merger consultant will help us navigate those conversations, helping orient The Table to the necessary adaptations we ought to make as community in order to be hospitable to our new friends. How do we share power? What needs to change about style of worship and preaching; how do we think about discipleship and justice?
Pastor Tonetta and I will continue updating you as we make decisions about next steps.
I know that the past few years have been a truly wild and unpredictable ride for us as a church. Pastoral transitions, pandemics, insurrections, and a never ending stream of reasons to deconstruct and divest ourselves from toxic expressions of Christianity.
But, through it all, The Table has held steadfast to a more beautiful Gospel of love, justice, and radical hospitality. Every week I hear stories of people who honestly would have given up on God, faith, or life if it weren't for the people of The Table Church. You all are truly representing Christ's presence here on earth; you have so much to be proud of as a community.
It may be corny or cliché, but I honestly believe the best is yet to come. God has so much in store for us; the story of The Table Church has only just begun. I can't wait to see what happens next.
With love and affection,
Pastor Anthony Parrott