(Quick version: we are raising an additional $10,000 this year to give Fr. Spencer a stipend as a Co-Rector at The Table. Click here if you already know you want to give toward that. Read on if you’d like to hear why we are doing this now.)
Ever since we started dreaming about planting The Table, we have envisioned not just one church that grows, but a multiplying community of churches all over the Indianapolis area. In other words, we’ve always wanted The Table to be a church-planting church.
We believe that God is present and at work in the Indianapolis area, and that God cares about church planting here more than we do. This leads us to approach church planting as an exercise in discernment, not just deciding.
Instead of creating arbitrary goals and then trying to hit them, we are paying attention together to how God is at work in our body and in the neighborhoods and relational networks we inhabit. As we notice God at work, we gather intention, resources, and action around that work to join God’s mission.
So while we feel a call to plant multiple congregations throughout the Indy area, we don’t want to force things to happen in our own timing. We are convinced that this is the best way for us to faithfully pursue planting a second congregation, it does present some practical difficulties.
One such difficulty arose this past October as Spencer Ruark completed the ordination process and was ordained as a priest. Instead of bringing Spencer on as an Associate Priest, we wanted to invite him to serve as a third part-time Co-Rector (Lead pastor) alongside Fr. Matt and I (we are all part-time and co-vocational), so that when the time does come for him to plant a sister church in the Bates-Hendricks/Fountain Square area, he will have had some experience leading as a Rector beforehand.
Fr. Spencer has been serving in a pastoral role at The Table for a few years, and we believe he was ready to step more fully into his calling as a Priest. However, we were not in a financial position to give him a salary as a third (part-time) Co-Rector.
We have a Bates-Hendricks church planting fund in our budget, and initially we had planned to use this fund to give Fr. Spencer a stipend in 2021, but after reviewing the budget, it did not seem wise to deplete most of this fund to cover a salary that would mostly be unrelated specifically to the church plant (again, because we are still discerning timing, and a global pandemic has stopped us in our tracks a bit!).
So we have a conundrum! But, after talking and praying about this, and seeking guidance and wisdom from our Vestry, we have an alternative solution that we wanted to present to you, dear church, for consideration.
We would like to give Fr. Spencer a $15,000 stipend in 2021, in hopes of providing time for The Table to grow into being able to afford to give a full part-time Co-Rector salary out of our normal budget next year.
We will take $5,000 from the church plant fund, and are thus seeking to raise an additional $10,000 this year for Fr. Spencer’s stipend.
We have a network of supporters from outside The Table that we are reaching out to about this as well, and Fr. Spencer will be reaching out to his extended network to do a bit of fundraising. But we also wanted to make this need known to our community here at The Table, and ask you to pray about contributing toward this need if you are in a position to do so.
Whether or not you are able to contribute, would you join us in praying for wisdom and provision? This is how we bear one another’s burdens, and share in the abundance God has given us.
If you’d like to give toward this need, you can fill out the form below. Thank you!