Greetings from Open Table United Church of Christ in Mobile, Alabama!

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Our faith community was planted in 2009 by Rev. Ellen Guice Sims, our beloved founding pastor, who retired after eleven years of service to our congregation. We emerged from the pandemic under the care of Rev. Joshua Noah, who lovingly walked with us through two and a half years of transition. Like many churches, our attendance declined during the pandemic, and after a period of prayerful discernment, we have chosen to continue as a lay-led church.

Open Table recognizes that we are part of an emerging church movement that seeks to live our faith more authentically — a faith that in its 2000 years of existence has “swept out the attic” and reformed several times. We believe some of those reformations took us further away from the teachings of Jesus and the practices of the followers of The Way who lived in the time between the crucifixion of Jesus and the absorption of the church into the Roman Empire. We are attempting, in our own way, to return to those teachings and practices of community.

Our congregation meets twice monthly for worship. We take turns as worship facilitators and have incorporated many of our original worship traditions—-chiming the hour, lighting the Christ candle, beginning with a meditation or prayer or breathing exercise or reflective poem. For what would normally be a “sermon time” we instead have interactive discussions about a book chapter or video, sharing our joys and concerns for ourselves and our world.
Open Table continues to value service to the community and has been an integral part of “birthing” two local nonprofits: Prism United, a support service for LGBTQ+ youth and their parents, and Gulf Coast Creation Care, a faith-based climate action alliance. With financial gifts and volunteer commitments, we also support Family Promise (a shelter for homeless families), Belong (support services for immigrants), Soul of Somanya (a fair trade nonprofit in Ghana), and Alabama Arise (working to eliminate systems of poverty).

We love being a part of the United Church of Christ, and firmly embrace a God that is “still speaking.” We know that God is not finished with us yet! God is not finished with our church or our world or even finished letting us know more about God’s own compassion, restorative justice, hope, and truth. There is more good news to be heard! We would love to hear from our fellow Southwestern Conference siblings—please feel free to connect with us at: https://opentableucc.org, https://www.facebook.com/opentableucc, or office@opentableucc.org.