On October 21, Christ Church will launch The Table, a new Sunday service during the 11:00 hour in Wilson Chapel. Robbyn Abedi, Lead Pastor for The Table, has collaborated with worship leader Josh Smith to provide a service that blends ancient and modern styles of worship in a special way. I recently interviewed Robbyn about this exciting new development at Christ Church:
1) Robbyn, what led church leadership to consider launching this new service?
First, we felt that we do traditional/high church very well, as well as contemporary worship, yet there was something missing – a blended worship style of both. So many of our people at Christ Church (and outside Christ Church) asked for us to consider creating a space for this kind of worship on a regular basis for Sunday mornings.
Second, the last year at Christ Church has been an incredible time of growth in our worship services and we felt starting a new and exciting space for this type of worship would help give other options for those who want to switch from 9:45 (contemporary) or 11am (traditional) services.
Third, as a church, we’ve always been progressive in our hope and desire to reach those who’ve never heard or confessed Jesus as the true King of this world and their lives – this service is created for nothing less than that!
2) What does the blending of ancient and modern entail?
“Ancient” is the familiarity of traditional liturgy and worship – the creeds, hymns, and time to partake of communion.
“Modern” is the means, by which we want to make all of these wonderful elements the church has always used the past 2,000 years, accessible and relevant.
3) From the name “The Table” and the choice to have Communion weekly, there is clearly a Eucharistic emphasis in this service. Why?
Without the Eucharist, we have nothing to truly empower our people with each and every Sunday. The Eucharist is the invitation for the followers of King Jesus to come and interact with his presence each and every week. EVERYTHING intertwines through the table – the body and blood of Christ – and that is why we’ve made it the central reality for this new worship community.
4) How will this service, as distinct as it is, maintain a connection with the larger Christ Church body? For instance, will the sermons correspond with those of the other services? And will it also incorporate special segments like Serving Spotlight? What about baptisms?
This was very important to Shane and myself – for The Table to be different in it’s worship but the same through its mission and values. I will preach through the same sermon series and topics as Shane – rarely, if ever, deviating on a sermon here and there.
There will be no Serving Spotlight, but we will emphasis serving at Christ Church very highly. The fact we will be a little small as a worship community, there are some outreach initiatives that will be easier for us to give emphasis and serve together with.
As for baptisms and memberships – yes, we will do all of those things during The Table.
5) Do you anticipate that The Table will provide us with a opportunity for bringing people into the Christ Church community for the first time?
6) Lastly, what is the main reason you would give to regulars of Christ Church for participating in The Table?