The Abbey of the King’s Table, part of the Progressive Episcopal Diocese of the South, seeks to create a spiritual community, said co-founder Angela Duck.
“Just as important as having a church is having a spiritual community,” Duck said. “We want the church to be more like the original churches in the Bible, where people stayed together. We’re not asking you to sell what you have or anything like that, but what we do have, we offer to everyone.”
The Diocese of the South, which follows Episcopal liturgy in its services, seeks to create an all-inclusive atmosphere and does not discriminate against anyone, Duck said.
“We have a more formal service compared to some denominations, but we are also more inclusive,” she said. “Anybody is welcome to take all the sacraments and participate in the service. We just believe that everyone is a child of God and there is no reason for people to make you feel like you’ve got to be something else.”
The Diocese is guided by “historic Anglican traditions of the ancient Christian faith, and all clergy serving in the Diocese have been ordained by bishops of the Historic Episcopate,” according to a press release from the church. It “has the vision of becoming a fellowship of communities that proclaim and demonstrate a contemporary expression of the ancient Christian faith that is relevant to the modern life.”
Angela said she and her husband, William, who are both studying for ordination at Metropolitan Theological Seminary, felt the Diocese filled a void in the local religious atmosphere.
“We looked around here for a church that was inclusive of everybody and without judgment or requirements, and we didn’t find one,” she said. “It has taken us a couple of years to find where we are comfortable, but the Diocese fit what we needed, because it doesn’t rule with an iron fist. You have leeway in your practices, but you still have the backing of a larger community.”
Perhaps the most unique aspect of the Abbey of the King’s Table is that it provides five and a half acres of land as a community garden and livestock sharing space.
“We have the land, the equipment and the ability to care for whatever people want to put there,” Duck said. “We have some goats and laying hens, and we have basically set up a sustainable perma-culture community. We want to make sure people in our community have enough to eat and are taken care of in every way.”
Duck said the Diocese encourages its communities to use the “spiritual and natural laws that govern our lives” to improve physical, spiritual and emotional health.
“We want people to learn how to use their knowledge of how the universe works to make life better now, not just the expectation of life in Heaven,” she said.
The church holds a Sunday service at 10 a.m. at its location on Lock Four Road. Duck said they hope to grow and impact not just church members, but the entire community.
“We hope some people who have been pushed away will return to church,” she said. “We want people to feel free and welcome.”
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