THE OPEN TABLE

PODCAST

Art as Community: Developmental Disabilities and the Arts

Art can be used as a tool of empowerment and identity formation. Join us as we explore art as community, identity and empowerment through the lens of developmental disabilities. Imagine That!– a local art studio that serves creative individuals with developmental disabilities– shares how they provide artists with the space and tools to define themselves.

Art as Advent: A Queer Christmas Story

Advent is a season of awaiting change: awaiting the birth of Jesus into a world of oppressive power; awaiting the birth of a renewed spirit & hope. The queer story is not unlike the story of Advent. To be queer is to be something outside of the world’s norms— to await a changed world that reflects the peace and power…

Weaving Hope into the Holidays

Hope is inauthentic when we fail to acknowledge the oppression and trauma that exists in the world. Listen as we discuss how to embody a more grounded and authentic hope this holiday season.

Visual Storytelling as Activism

Visual storytelling has been utilized throughout social movements as a means of documenting reality and disrupting systems. Stories invite us towards empathy, which has the power to shift narratives and change communities. It reminds us of our shared humanity, and calls us into deeper work together. Join us as we hear from KC Tenants the important role visual storytelling has…

Public Art as Protest: Stories from the Border

Public art plays a significant role in our world. It is an invitation for community involvement— where one is encouraged to question and discover. In light of our current immigration crisis, we have seen art used as a form of protest in public parks, urban spaces, and even along the US/Mexico border. What may seem like a paradox of hope…

Poetry as Activism: Healing Our Planet

The world is rapidly changing and disappearing at the hands of humans. Our easy consumption driven lifestyle has resulted in communities, such as those in the Amazon, being destroyed and ravaged. In the face of fast production and convenience, how can humanity participate in healing mother earth and one another? Join us as we hear from local poet & activist,…

Art as Activism

Throughout history, art has been used to tell stories, disrupt reality, celebrate identity, and invite us into a new consciousness. Art has become a sacred expression of liberation and freedom in social justice movements, which has inspired a paradigm shift in how we reclaim narratives today. It reminds us we’re not alone and that there is more to be seen…

Standing with Immigrants: IJAM

Our current political climate has become a breeding grounds of fear & hate towards immigrants and refugees. In the face of xenophobia, we must ask ourselves if our country’s history ever reflected a welcoming spirit to our immigrant neighbors. Listen to the second installment of a two-part series as we hear from local organization, IJAM on ways we can effectively…

Standing with Immigrants: AIRR

Our current political climate has become a breeding grounds of fear & hate towards immigrants and refugees. In the face of xenophobia, we must ask ourselves if our country’s history ever reflected a welcoming spirit to our immigrant neighbors. Listen to the first installment of a two-part series as we hear from local organization, AIRR KC on ways we can…

Singing Ourselves Together: Chickamauga Cherokee Spirituality

Indigenous spirituality is deeply tied to the earth. Through ritual, song, and dance, this connection to the earth is nurtured and sustained. Join us for an interactive conversation about Chickamauga Cherokee spirituality with Robert Francis, Uku ᎤᎫ at Daksi Gatiyo ᏓᎧᏏ ᎦᏘᏲ. Through discussion, song, and ritual, we will explore ways to reconnect with the earth, our communities, and ourselves.

Your Body Speaks

Our bodies are communicating with us all of the time, but we are often taught to ignore these messages or not trust what our bodies are telling us. Join us as we reclaim the body as an integral part of life and spirituality. Shana Puckett, local spiritual director, and Madi Parker, local performance artist, will facilitate conversation and experiences to…

The Space Between Us

Throughout Celtic poetry there is an emphasis on liminality and blessing, thin places and thresholds. This spirituality invites us to find God in nature and in those around us as we embrace our interconnectedness. Join us for a conversation about Celtic spirituality, led by Rev. Kristin Riegel and Rev. Paul Rock from our parent church, Second Presbyterian.

Queer Spirituality

Often the experience of the queer community is one of being hidden from view. In some cases, sexual and gender identities are completely erased. What does it mean to reclaim our story? When we own our stories we empower ourselves to be seen and known. Join resident Tony Beyer as we explore the spirituality inspired from the wisdom of the…

Seeking Simplicity

One of the challenges of the spiritual life is society’s pressure on us to become the most powerful, productive, and spectacular—often communicating that the number of followers we have determines our worth. God’s story calls us to a different way of life which instead emphasizes community, transformation, and authenticity. Listen in on a conversation about the spiritual practice of simplicity…

Calm Abiding in Community

When doing the work of justice and peace, we require a rootedness of purpose which helps sustain our attention and channel ourselves towards the good. A growing body of research shows that mindfulness can promote empathy, reduce stress and anxiety, help address depression and addiction, and teach us to respond with intention whenever we come up against difficulty. Listen in…

Easter: A Message of Hope

The overarching narrative of Christianity’s practices of Holy Week and Easter is one of speaking truth to power, bringing that power to the marginalized, and a life-and-death commitment to Love. Listen for an interactive, story-based celebration of Jesus’ journey and the message of Easter, as The Open Table KC community celebrates this important season in the church.

Decentering White Spirituality

When whiteness is centered in contemplative spirituality, the contemplative practices of black, indigenous, and other communities of color are minimized and ignored. Join us for an experiential conversation about contemplative practices of the black church with Dr. Amy Hartsfield, Counselor and Assessment Consultant at Central Baptist Theological Seminary.

Ashes and Stardust

The season of Lent begins this week, bringing with it the opportunity to reflect on the themes of death and life, in ourselves and the rest of the world. Join us for our next gathering as our Curator, Wendie Brockhaus, facilitates a conversation on Jesus’ journey into the desert and the spiritual practices which can help sustain us on our…

Wisdom from the Desert

In early Christianity, the desert taught the early church mothers and fathers many lessons about the spiritual life. Join us as we welcome Fr. Turbo Qualls, St. Mary of Egypt Orthodox Church, as he explores the spiritual practices of the desert mothers and fathers, and discusses how these ancient practices are needed today.

Integrating Action and Contemplation

True contemplation leads to action, and action can only be grounded by a rich contemplative life. Join us for the first installment of our winter/spring series, Local Spirituality. The Open Table’s Organizer, Nick Pickrell, will facilitate a conversation about balancing and integrating both action and contemplation. We will be having a potluck for dinner, so bring a main or side…

Christmas Eve Eve: Sacred Feminine

As we anticipate and reflect on the story of Christmas, we want to take time to honor Mary’s life and wounds as the mother of Jesus. Through her lens, we can be inspired to reimagine the story of Christmas. Join us for an evening of reflection, music and silence as we celebrate her wisdom. Artwork by Claudia Talavera Artworks IG:…

Racism, Feminism, and Liberation

When we talk about feminism, it’s important to ask whose power and liberation is being centered. White feminism focuses only on the comfort, empowerment, and freedom of white, middle to upper-class women at the expense of others on the margins, and doesn’t take responsibility for its own part in the oppression of Women of Color. We can’t engage with the…

Getting Our House in Order

The recent shutdown of Free Hot Soup has sparked an important dialogue about how we should serve and support the homeless in Kansas City. Nick Pickrell’s sermon, “Getting Our House in Order,” will help us consider “the feeding of the 5,000” — when Jesus and his disciples fed a large crowd with five loaves of bread and two fish. As…

Subversive Wisdom

We have much to learn from our wise foremothers– mystics, organizers and women of the Bible who have not been celebrated for the ways they’ve challenged patriarchal systems throughout history. It is through their work of resistance that we’re able to reimagine an alternative way, letting their stories inspire us to continue their legacy and spiritual work. Join us for…

Sex and the Sacred

Societal expectations can shame women for their sexuality. It is important to challenge these unhealthy narratives and reclaim them in a restorative and liberating way. Join us for a conversation with Jeanne Hoeft, Ph.D., professor at Saint Paul School of Theology. Rev. Dr. Hoeft’s works include pastoral care, human sexuality, feminist and womanist issues, queer theory, violence against women and…

Native Ecology & the Sacred Feminine

Instead of an ecology of domination and subjugation, Native worldviews point us towards an ecology of interconnectedness. Join us as we welcome Alex Kimball Williams, multicultural musician, writer, teacher, scientist, and a graduate of Haskell Indian Nations University, as they facilitate a discussion on how ecology and the sacred feminine are connected. “[Humanity] has not woven the web of life.…

Patriarchal Masculinity

Efforts to recognize and experience the sacred feminine are tangled up in the destructive epidemic of patriarchal masculinity that is revealed through male violence, misogyny, and sexism. This dehumanizing ideology is lived out and reinforced across every facet of society, including communities and institutions of faith. Join us as we welcome John Tramel, founding organizer of SURJ-KC and former trainer…

The Sacred Feminine: Mary and Eve

Eve and Mary, the mother of Jesus, are well known people from the Bible, but do we really know them apart from the archetypes placed on them by certain Christian perspectives? How do we read their stories and let them speak for themselves, without the harmful stereotypes of “vixen” and “virgin”? Join us for the first night of our Sacred…

Cultivating Authenticity

The human spirit is beautifully resilient, but that doesn’t mean we live a life free from suffering or pain. However, in the midst of our struggles we can experience a liberating shift within ourselves– one that embraces our imperfections, sheds our narratives of shame, and frees us to live wholeheartedly. Come join two of our leaders from The Open Table,…

Breaking the Cycle of Violence

Jesus’ ethos broke the myth of redemptive violence, and offered humanity an alternative way forward. He centered his life’s work around telling stories of redemption. Our storytelling hour will feature ways we have broken the cycles of violence in our own lives, and how that led to hope and resurrection. We’ll hear from several people in our community and then…

Economic Exploitation: Poor People’s Campaign

The Poor People’s Campaign was formed in 1968 because Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others saw how poverty was interrelated to both racism and the war economy. His analysis was that in order to remake the whole of American society, the nation’s poor would need to come together to tackle the triple evils of poverty, racism, and the war…

Systemic Racism: Poor People’s Campaign

Racism is the United States’ original sin, and it continues today, but in different forms. Slavery, lynching, segregation, Jim Crow laws, the war on drugs, mass incarceration, and unjust policing practices are just some examples of how systemic racism has shifted over time. Today, 23 states have adopted voter suppression laws, 25 states have pre-empted cities from raising the minimum…

The War Economy: Poor People’s Campaign

Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.” The current annual military budget, at $668 billion, dwarfs the $190 billion allocated for education, jobs, housing and other basic services. Out of every dollar in federal discretionary spending, 53…

Ecological Devastation: Poor People’s Campaign

Did you know that low income households spend seven times as much of their paycheck on water bills as wealthy households? And in areas like Flint, MI, the water that is getting piped in is still toxic? The Poor People’s Campaign recognizes that ecological devastation is ruining our planet and has a disproportionate effect on poor communities and communities of…

The Poor People’s Campaign: A Movement 50 Years in the Making

50 years ago, Dr. King launched a human rights movement that brought together folks around a common cause, to end the various forms of racism, economic exploitation, and militarism that kept many from living a life of abundance. This year, the Poor People’s Campaign is being resurrected! Join us for an evening of discussion, storytelling, and calls to action around…

Palm Sunday Political Theater

We often miss the political nature of Jesus’ actions on Palm Sunday, and the ways Jesus flipped the script on what a messiah looked like. Rev. Dr. Wallace Hartsfield II, professor of Hebrew Scriptures at Central Baptist Theological Seminary, will join us for a discussion on the nature of Jesus’ actions on Palm Sunday and the message those actions hold…

Did God Kill Jesus?

As we begin our Lenten series, Breaking the Cycle of Violence, we are starting with a conversation about what Jesus’ death on the cross meant 2,000 years ago. Was Jesus’ death really necessary to appease an angry God, or did it mean something else entirely? Join us as we welcome Dr. David May, professor of New Testament studies at Central…

Gentrified

As more white folks are drawn back to the city, individuals and developers are buying up land, businesses, and housing stock. This development displaces people of color, resulting in a cultural & historical loss and perpetuating economic disparities. Are we breaking down the Troost divide or simply pushing it further east? Join us for a conversation with Hakima Payne, director…

A Spectrum of Injustice

Institutional discrimination and systemic oppression negatively impact marginalized people in myriad ways, from racism to sexism and classism to heterosexism. It can be dizzying to sort out all of the ways in which dominant groups leverage power that damage disenfranchised groups. It can be even more challenging to build connections between different oppressed groups. Join us for an important conversation…

Jesus the Liberator

Jesus was a person of color who was born under an oppressive Roman regime, and when Jesus launched his ministry at age 30, he started by declaring freedom for the captives! This message of liberation and hope has animated the church in poor and marginalized communities all over the world! This Advent season, we are continuing our series on race…

What We Say Matters: A Conversation About Microaggressions

Many in our country​ deny being​ racist, but​ our ​speech and actions can communicate a different message.​ ​Join us as ​Rev. Jose Martinez, founder of Missio KC, facilitate​s​ a conversation about the ​ways our language and actions ​can ​perpetuate unhealthy narratives and racism.

Taking a Knee: A Racism Primer

Colin Kaepernick took a knee on an NFL field to protest structural racism, which sparked a national debate about what racism is, especially in the post-civil rights era. It is vital for communities to have a common understanding of what racism is and how it is expressed i?n order to move forward in the work to undo structural forms of…

Owning Our Past: A History and Theology of Race

Racism has been deeply embedded in both society and religion, so how can we take part in the righting of the wrongs of generations both past and present? Join us for the first installment of our fall/winter series on race, a conversation about how racism has evolved over time in both the church and society. We will be joined by…

From Behind Bars: Stories of Faith and Protest

Social movements have dramatically changed how governments operate around the globe, yet some question the use of grassroots organizing and protest to achieve reform and revolution. Join us for a storytelling hour where we will be joined by Rev. Susan McCann, Rev. Nia Chandler, Rev. Dr. Vernon Percy Howard Jr., and Rev. Eric Garbison who will speak about their experiences…

Songs of Resurrection

Wendie Brockhaus, Riley Brown, and Nick Pickrell shared stories of how music served as a source of resurrection, of new life, at various stages of our lives.

Peacemaking From the Monastery

Thomas Merton, the Trappist monk, deeply cared for those affected by war, poverty, and marginalization. From the walls of his monastery, he influenced a generation of Christians to walk alongside the poor while maintaining one’s inner life through practices like solitude. Sr. Therese Elias, OSB, will offer her reflections on Thomas Merton’s life and spiritual practices, from solitude to solidarity.

Categories

Nick Pickrell recently spoke at Redemption Church in Olathe, KS.  Listen to hear about how humanity’s propensity to categorize people is actually a double-edged sword.

Salt and Silence: the Gandhian Program

Seventy years ago, Gandhi inspired a nation under occupation to gain its independence through noncooperation and nonviolence. What lessons can we learn from this historic social movement, and how can the Gandhian program inform our own spiritual formation in the Christian tradition? Join us for a conversation with Adam Campbell, founder of the Peace and Permaculture Center and member of…

Rebels, Mystics, and Martyrs

Many mystics were once labeled as outcasts and rebels because they went against the norms of their time, but today we celebrate them as spiritual giants. Come take a journey with us through the history of Christian spirituality. Wendie Brockhaus, Assistant Curator of The Open Table, will kick off our summer series as we explore both old and new ways…

Proud to Include

Why does “all are welcome” only seem to apply to straight people in many churches? We all need a community that will welcome and support us throughout our life’s journey, but unfortunately the church has not always been a safe place for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ+). Join us for dinner and conversation with…

How Accessible Is Our Table

Environments speak just as loudly as words—just because we have a wheelchair ramp doesn’t mean we are truly accessible for persons with disabilities. How do we become the kind of church which invites all into community, engagement, and leadership? Join us as we welcome Rev. Letiah Fraser, local disability rights activist, who will challenge us to rethink what our words…

Build Welcome, Not Walls

God has called on Christians over the ages to welcome the stranger, but today our airwaves are filled with a narrative of exclusion and hate. Join us as we welcome Rev. Orlando Gallardo, Associate Pastor of Trinity Community Church in Kansas City, KS, as he shares with us about his own journey as an immigrant in America.

Who is My Faith Neighbor?

With the recent Muslim ban and attacks towards Jewish centers around the country, it is vitally important for people to come together to show how we can be in mutual, positive relationships with people of different religious and nonreligious traditions. Join us for a panel discussion where we will explore the ways faith traditions perpetuate division, and how we can…

When Our Welcome Ends

Most faith communities say they welcome all, but is that really true? Does there come a point when our welcome runs out? Join us as our Curator, Nick Pickrell, kicks off our spring series about various way folks have and haven’t been welcomed in the church. He will offer a reflection and facilitate dialogue about the welcome people offered Jesus…

The Most Segregated Hour Continued

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said that Sunday morning is the most segregated hour in America. 50 years after those words were spoken, his words still ring true as churches across the country remain segregated. Join us for a conversation about why this trend has persisted, and how the church can work toward being the multiracial, multicultural community that…

Walking with the Addicted

Our faith calls us to be our sister’s and brother’s keeper, but many times people find that call to be a difficult one to live up to. Even as we walk alongside people seeking recovery from addiction, it can be a confusing ride if we don’t know how addiction works as well as how to offer care. Join us as…

Context is Key

We often have one way of viewing things, be it a passage of scripture or a group of people.  Listen as we review the Parable of the Talents and how through studying the context of the first century, our single story turns out to be inadequate, and possibly wrong, just like what can happen when we refuse to review the…

Faith and Addiction

Faith plays a role in many people’s struggle with addiction.  It is something that can aid folks in recovery, but it can also be an obstacle.  Merritt Benz, LCSW, Certified Daring Way Facilitator and owner/director of the Bedford Therapy Group, will facilitate a discussion around the ways faith can help and hurt in the midst of recovery.

Addiction Panel Discussion

No one treatment method works for all people, but so many think only one path to recovery exists. Join us as we engage in a dinner discussion with these panelists about various new and old treatments that have helped lead people to recovery. On the wagon or off the wagon, let’s support each other and create a safe and compassionate…

The Science of Addiction

Addiction is something that affects many in our society, yet many people lack the understanding to be a good partner as someone walks the path toward recovery.  Join us in the first of a four part series on addiction as we learn about the science behind addiction and why addiction can be so hard to break.  We will be joined…

Sacred Stories

With the election cycle coming to a close, we gathered to share stories of orientation in a time that is so disorienting for many.  People shared favorite texts and how it had impacted them.

The Politics of the Table

To close out our political series, we looked at ways the church’s practices can transcend the narrower political systems that end at every nation’s geographic boundaries.  Rev. Dr. Mike Graves, Professor of Preaching and Worship at Saint Paul School of Theology, led us in a discussion about the political power of common practices like Communion.

Power, Privilege and Politics

In every political system, some people have more access, power and privilege than others. Rev. Dr. Wallace Hartsfield II joined us to discuss the United States’ recent political history, citing various ways our political system works (and doesn’t work) for white folks, black folks, and other minorities living in our borders.  Dr. Hartsfield is Pastor of Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church and Associate Professor…

Faith and Politics Today

Rev. Eric Garbison leads a discussion that seeks to expand our view of what can be considered political.  ***NOTE: There is some digital distortion on this track so please accept our apologies for this.

First Century Politics

Dr. David May helps us understand the first century political scene and how Jesus critiqued those in power.

Shedding our Political Baggage

Listen in as we have a discussion about America’s politic and narrative and contrast that to God’s politic and narrative.

The Open Table Primer

This is a quick who, what and why of The Open Table.  We talk about the past, present and future of our new community.

Realism vs. Idealism

Our political climate is putting people into two camps: idealists and realists.  Is one really better than the other?

The Poetry of Pilgrimage

We are all on pilgrimage, but can we see the poetry in the journey during the good times and the bad?

Interdependence Day

We celebrate our independence every year, but is independence what we actually want or need?

Love Over Fear

This sermon explores humans obsession with fear, and how love can overcome.

Contact / Location

CONTACT INFO

816-363-1300 x234
318 E 55th St. KCMO 64113
npickrell@secondpres.org

Events / Calendar