Services have begun at a new church in Hendricks County called Open Table United Church of the Christ.
The church gathers for worship at the Brownsburg Hampton Inn, 41 Maplehurst Drive, Brownsburg, at 5 p.m. each Sunday.
The church offers a progressive theology that honors and affirms Scripture and tradition, but believes that “God is still speaking” and continues to offer words of wisdom and inspiration. One of the church’s frequently used phrases is from a quote attributed to Gracie Allen: “Never put a period where God has placed a comma.”
The congregation has declared itself to be an open and affirming congregation and welcomes all people, regardless of sexual orientation. The name, “Open Table,” was chosen to indicate the extravagant hospitality that is offered.
“We have read the Gospels and encountered a Jesus who didn’t turn anyone away,” the Rev. Richard Clough said in a press release. “We will seek to do the same.”
Open Table places an emphasis on following Jesus and downplays creed and doctrine.
The United Church of Christ was formed in 1957, but has roots extending back to the pilgrims and Plymouth Rock. It is a church of “firsts” and was the first mainline church to ordain an African American, in 1785; a woman, in 1853; and an openly gay person, 1972. It has consistently been at the forefront on issues of social justice.
Clough has many years of experience in ministry. He was most recently pastor of First Congregational United Church of Christ in Indianapolis. Leading worship with him is Sarah Frische-Mouri, a third-year seminary student at Christian Theological Seminary.
For more information, visit the website at www.opentableuccin.org.