A. The Southeast Raleigh Table (SER\T) started worshipping weekly on Sunday, September 11th, and since then, we’ve enjoyed the consistent rhythm of finding our “worship voice” from week to week. However, SER\T isn’t simply a Sunday depot. Who we are and what we do is determined by what’s happening in our east downtown, southeast Raleigh parish. When St. Augustine’s University plays Shaw University, we show up and tailgate…with a deejay because we dance a lot as a community! When city council hosts a major conversation regarding affordable housing in southeast Raleigh, we show up and offer our voice. When a
violent act takes place in one of the neighborhoods in our parish, we show up and pray and weep, and offer our presence. When something or someone is worthy of celebrating in our parish, we show up and we bless, bless, bless like it’s our full-time job. We’re a worship community compelled by life giving life and live it out in real and tangible ways in the midst of life and loss already happening around us. This way of being makes the year ahead exciting and totally unpredictable.
Q. Who are you gathering into communion?
A. We started out with individuals from Edenton Street UMC who committed themselves to meeting regularly in a pilot missional community. My task was that these folks be wholly invested in the God-sized vision God has given eStreet to become a multi-site church and also compelled by the idea of being a part of a parish-focused community. Now, who’re gathering into our communion is based on our parish. Here are the three key demographics who are important to us: 1. African-American millennials because we’re committed to the two historically Black Colleges in our parish. 2. Individuals who live in the established neighborhoods in our parish, but who don’t already go to church. 3. Individuals anywhere who’ve experienced church hurt.
Q. Where are you celebrating communion with your community?
A. Our parish boundaries are from South Park to College Park, or another way of defining our boundaries is from St. Augustine’s University to Shaw University. We’re deeply committed to the east downtown, southeast Raleigh parish within a two-mile radius around Edenton Street’s original campus. We’re currently searching for a permanent location within this geography, but we worship weekly at 301 W. Jones Street (Bulla Youth Building).
Q. Why does it matter?
A. This work matters because we’re deeply in love with our city. This work matters because it’s Kingdom work. This work matters because people matter. Ultimately, we want people to experience life-giving life in Jesus and then to share the overflow of that life with the world. This abundant life became a possibility for us all because Jesus became flesh and blood, came near to our experience and contextualized himself on our behalf. I’m grateful for Edenton Street and for our Annual Conference’s belief that multi-sites can be a compelling reflection of Christ in the parishes we’ve been called to love and serve.
To follow Southeast Raleigh Table and their progress visit: http://www.esumc.org/southeast/ and on Facebook
Watch a video about Southeast Raleigh Table