WE ARE BELIEVERS, SEEKERS, & SKEPTICS.
WE ARE OPEN TABLE.
Our church is a diverse group of people looking for a more expansive faith. We believe what unites us is stronger than what divides us. There is a place for you here at Open Table.
No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.
We Welcome All
Several years ago Open Table’s founding pastor, Rev. Ellen Guice Sims, began gathering together a core group of people eager to support each other in a life of faith and to work together to discern God’s direction. Since 2010 we have been a ministry of the United Church of Christ, a progressive denomination uniquely suited for a future-oriented church. This diverse and growing group shares a commitment to see where God is at work in the world and to join in that work.
Our Faith is 2,000 years old. Our thinking is not.
Open Table is a congregation of the United Church of Christ, a progressive and inclusive denomination. Our members and active participants come from wide-ranging church backgrounds – some from no previous church background at all. While most of the congregation self-identity as progressive Christians, what unites us is the love of God. For us, the life of faith is not about ascribing to certain doctrines, but instead about aligning our lives with God’s love, following in Jesus’ hopeful ways, and being guided by the Spirit of peace.
We’re a young, diverse, progressive church in south Alabama. We’re pro-green, pro-LGBTQ, pro-science, pro-art, pro-questions, pro-YOU.
We think of worship as a spiritual practice that helps us assess what is of highest worth.
Our Spiritual Practice
How We Worship
Rooted in the Old English word for “worth,” worship is what we do when we sift through all that tries to claim our loyalty in order to seek what is truly worthy of contemplating and pursuing. Each week, through visual art and songs and poetry, through conversation and prayer and silence, through reflections and sacraments and scriptures, we as a community try to discern what is of ultimate worth. We find Jesus’s life and death and amazing life-again worthy of study and emulation. We don’t think Jesus ever asked anybody to praise him—only to follow him.
Our Principles of Service
Putting Prayers into Action
We are called to see Christ in those we serve and to be Christ to those we serve. As God is working for shalom in our world, we are called to join in that ongoing work, which then opens us to ever deepening experiences of God.
As a result, we seek to challenge ourselves to be open to fresh understandings, be in new relationships with diverse people, listen humbly to others, and get outside our comfort zones. We do this to follow in the ways of Jesus, who ministered to those who were marginalized; to cultivate and strengthen community both within and outside of our congregation through love and service
We are people trying to make a difference in our community and the world.