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The Rev. Dr. Letiah Fraser, an ordained pastor with the Church of the Nazarene as well as a hospital chaplain, disability rights advocate, activist and organizer who also recently began ministry at The Open Table, got to appear alongside the organizer of the new worshiping community in Kansas City, Missouri, Nick Pickrell, on a recent broadcast of “Being Matthew 25,” hosted by Melody Smith, associate director for digital and marketing communications in the Presbyterian Mission Agency, and the Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett, the PMA’s president and executive director.
The Rev. Dr. Letiah Fraser picked a very good week indeed to begin ministry at The Open Table, a new worshiping community in Kansas City that’s “committed to each other’s liberation,” as The Open Table describes its mission.
For seven years, Nick Pickrell, organizer of The Open Table in Kansas City, Missouri, has been hustling to keep the new worshiping community afloat. There was a lot of grant writing and developing — not to mention the community’s antiracism training business. Finally, this summer, Pickrell was able to take a break, thanks to Sabbath & Sabbatical Grants from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s 1001 New Worshiping Communities movement.
As the Vital Conversations series moved toward one of the most important marks of Vital Congregations — keeping the focus outward rather than inward — organizers landed four speakers for Wednesday’s session uniquely qualified to offer up their experiences and share their views.
Nick Pickrell, organizer of The Open Table KC, has never set foot in a seminary. But after five years co-leading this new worshiping community in Kansas City, he’s going through the process of becoming a commissioned ruling elder. “I wanted to be more connected to the PC(USA) denomination,” he says in the new 1001 Worshiping Communities video, “Becoming Presbyterian.”