From Courtship to Union - Res City and The Table
Nine months ago, in November 2021, we announced the beginning of a courtship between Resurrection City DC and The Table Church. As a refresher, Resurrection City DC is a church started by Pastor Tonetta and a team of others in 2019. When we had the privilege of hiring Tonetta as our pastor, we began exploring what it would look like for our two churches to become one.
Since February of this year, we've been engaged with a merger consultant and have had a variety of gatherings between our two leadership teams to facilitate relationship-building, conversation, and dreaming.
I'm honored to announce that our courtship is now becoming a union. The Leadership Team of Resurrection City DC and the Elders of The Table Church have co-created a Memorandum of Understanding. As it states, our desire is "to create one merged church out of two – Resurrection City DC and the Table Church – which shall be Jesus-oriented, justice-rooted, intercultural, and LGBTQ+ affirming."
Practically this is what that means:
- Resurrection City DC is dissolving its legal organization and donating the full extent of its cash reserves to The Table Church.
- Pastor Tonetta and I will receive equal pay moving forward.
- The merging of our two leadership teams.†
As I've stated before, it's important to remember that The Table Church does not perceive this as merely gaining more people and money. This is a merger and a union, not a takeover. However, from Resurrection City's perspective, this does feel like an ending. A closed chapter. But, as Tonetta's letter to Resurrection City states (full text below), "The end is where we start from." That means that while the legal work of merger may be finished, the much more challenging, richer, and fulfilling work of union continues. With that in mind, we will:
- Explore a co-pastorship model between Pastor Tonetta and myself.
- Work towards ensuring the vision, values, mission, beliefs, service style, and brand identity (name, logo) reflect the DNA of both congregations.
Like I said—harder, richer, and more fulfilling work. I have a firm belief that any local church is never done. There's no moment where it's arrived, where a church has it all figured out. That's why I am immensely grateful for the people of Resurrection City DC, giving us their passion for Jesus and for people—their wisdom and experience. They have catalyzed critical conversations for us as a church. I genuinely believe they are helping us become a more Christlike church through their presence.
† The merging of our two leadership teams. Technically, the current elders of The Table are in the process of selecting new elders based on the congregation's nominations. Our Memorandum of Understanding states that we will pursue, in good faith, a strong contingency of Resurrection City leaders in the elder team. The elder team is expected to grow to a total of 13 members—some of whom will be current elders; some of whom will be new elders who have been part of The Table for at least a year; and 5 of whom will be from Resurrection City DC. After this year's elder selection process, a distinction between "Table member" and "Res City member" will no longer be made.