Open Table Communities was founded in 2019 as a New Venture with The Alliance in Canada. After a season of exploration and discernment, Open Table Communities relaunched as a faith based not-for-profit with the mission to encourage, nurture and create generous space environments that, helping people experience a healthy and wholistic spirituality anchored in the Jesus story.
As an organization, Open Table Communities is connected with people in different geographical regions and seeks to encourage healthy spiritual formation through generous space community gatherings (currently online) and individual coaching and resourcing.
Open Table Communities has a deep respect and honour for the stories, poems, letters and prophetic images which emerge from the Bible that can inspire a life of goodness, beauty, love and trust in a God who is at work in the world . At the same time Open Table Communities acknowledges the role that the Bible has played in inspiring horrific acts of injustice, pain and hurt in the world. The Bible is a complicated and diverse book which surfaces many emotions and feelings for those that either identify as Christian, once identified as Christian, or those who simply watch from a distance those who use the Bible in particular ways.
Our posture towards the Bible is one that seeks to let the Bible behave on its own terms, rather than seeking to make the Bible behave in ways that it was not intended to. We see the authors of these writings as inspired in their ancient environments to write out of their particular view of the world, the cosmos, humanity and God given the language, customs and understandings of their time. We see in this ancient library, real people grappling with existential questions and the full range of human experience. The library of the Bible is a gift to us today as we seek to reimagine God in our own time and place.
The Jesus story continues to capture our hearts and imagination as we learn what it is to be loved and to function from a place of love towards others who are different than us. We understand this story to be a guiding narrative and an invitation to see God through the lens of Jesus' life, death and resurrection. We celebrate the movement of deconstructing old and tired ways of thinking, believing and behaving, to embrace new ways of being in the world that reflect a loving, good and generous God who invites us to see the Divine through the lens of Jesus.
For those that are tired of systemic religion, dogmatic belief statements, and a transactional view of God, yet are compelled by the Jesus story and want to learn, live and grow with others on the journey, we would invite you to connect with us. We are spiritually passionate and intellectually honest and believe that community around an open and honest table fosters the kind of life that Jesus spoke about.
So that is a little about us! People who exist in different spaces geographically and who desire to be better versions of ourselves individually and collectively and who are completely inspired by the life and way of Jesus.
If you want to call that a church - have at it! We prefer community or network, but if church works for you we certainly won't object.
If you would like to learn more, visit our FAQ page below!