1001 New Worshiping Community Residency Program at The Open Table KC

Applications, including letters of reference,
are due by March 15, 2019.

The Open Table is a community of peace and reconciliation in a city divided.

The Open Table has been re-envisioning worship and what it means to be a faith community as a part of the 1001 New Worshiping Community movement, an initiative of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The Open Table and its partner church Second Presbyterian of Kansas City and the 1001 NWC movement are thrilled to invite applicants for a special pastoral residency at the Open Table.

The Context

The Open Table, one of the PCUSA’s 1001 new worshiping communities, is a community of peace and reconciliation in a city divided.  We offer hospitality and conversation; a place of rest and beauty. Everyone who has imperfections or struggles with deep questions is welcome. Our gatherings are simple and our theology is earthy. We gather for shared meals, songs, and short topical discussions about the intersections of spirituality and life. Our inspiration comes from a first-century Jew named Jesus Christ who birthed a new society in the shell of the old, a society full of outcasts whose faith and actions were wholly integrated. 

We curate spaces and experiences meant to challenge and inspire, so we can rediscover ourselves and experiment with ways to care for the world around us. Our gatherings are community sourced so many perspectives can be included, and our hospitality grows out of conversation with those around the dinner table, regularly taking us into the community. We gather every second and fourth Sunday from 6:30 – 8:00pm for food, music, and conversation.

Residents who are interested in collaborating with our community will be exposed and immersed in a New Worshiping Community that is committed to experimenting with ways to be the church in the 21st century. All residents can expect to have many opportunities to engage with the larger KC community, interact with local social justice organizations, collaborate with the Curators on various large and small gatherings, and empower various Open Table participants to lead through creating discussion groups, social gatherings, and service opportunities.  Our community’s leadership structure is flat and we operate using consensus.  Also, as leaders, we see ourselves as organizers instead of teaching pastors, as we bring in many voices from both inside and outside our community.  Our community is eclectic, as we have folks from a variety of socioeconomic, ethnic, sexual orientation, and religious backgrounds participating in our gatherings.

Residents will report directly to the Curator and Assistant Curator, and will take part in our leadership team meetings.  There will be weekly meetings to discuss short, medium, and long-range goals for the community.  At these meetings, there will be accountability for tasks assigned to the residents.

Ideal Applicants

At The Open Table, our core values are community, hospitality, rest and beauty. We are looking for residents who embody these values. We also don’t shy away from speaking about controversial social issues, as we recognize that this is where the church can become a truly prophetic voice in helping both religious and nonreligious people draw the circle wider, creating a more just and inclusive community. Because of these values, we are looking for residents who are drawn to grassroots organizing, have a passion for social justice, and a commitment to loving both friend and enemy.  We are also looking for residents who are creative self-starters.  Our constant at The Open Table is change, so creativity and adaptability are a plus.  Above all, we are looking for residents who are followers of Jesus and want to be co-laborers in the building of the community of God’s people on earth.

As the leadership team of The Open Table, we are excited about the possibility of hosting residents for 1,001 New Worshiping Communities.  The Open Table would provide fertile soil for developing the next generation of pastors and leaders.  With our consensus-based flat leadership, and our community organizer model for running a new worshiping community, we would be an ideal location for anyone looking to gain leadership experience in a creative setting.

Any resident that partners with The Open Table can expect a culture of mutuality and respect. We hope to learn from any resident just as much as we hope to share our journey and experiences with them. Residents at The Open Table would provide us much needed support as we continue to grow and develop more service opportunities and small group offerings.  We hope to learn new insights about our community from residents, and we hope they learn from our story and systems for an expression of church in the 21st century.

Selection Process

A discernment team selects candidates for the program.  In addition to possessing the qualities described above, an ideal candidate for the NWC Residency will possess an interest in journeying with a community to see them grow in awareness of God’s work and presence in their lives.  She or he delegates and equips people to take responsibility for their faith practices and has excitement and enthusiasm about starting things from scratch.  He or she is an unapologetically Christian leader who is savvy about loving and meeting people where they are.

Financial Support

The total package available for support of this residency is $40,000 for the year, to include salary and at least a $1500 health insurance reimbursement. We will work with the successful candidate to organize the package to be most beneficial to the resident. Residents also will take part in an advanced national training (costs covered by the Presbyterian Mission Agency) with 1001 apprentices and other residents this summer in Kansas City. Applications, including letters of reference, are due by March 15, 2019.

Apply now

For more information about 1001 New Worshipping Communities follow us on Instagram @1001nwc and contact Sara.Hayden@pcusa.org

 For more information about The Open Table KC, go to: theopentablekc.com