Breakfast Church is a new way to gather we are trying out for the months of July and August. We meet in the Sanctuary, around the breakfast table, to connect with God and each other through song, Scripture, prayer, conversation, and Communion each week. Want to know more about what to expect? More details below!
Why Breakfast Church?
The earliest followers of Jesus, when they gathered for worship and to grow together as disciples, did so around shared meals and discussed around the table. In the Gospels we see this is one of Jesus’ favorite ways to teach– over meal-time conversation.
But we’re not just doing this because it’s what they used to do a long time ago. Priya Parker, in her book The Art of Gathering, says “When we don’t examine the deeper assumptions behind why we gather, we end up skipping too quickly to replicating old, staid formats of gathering. And we forego the possibility of creating something memorable, even transformative.”
The purposes of gathering at Breakfast Church are to connect with God, to connect with each other, and to grow together in our relationships, helping us to live lives that look more like Jesus. Christian discipleship is a team sport. We learn from each other, we carry one another’s burdens. We see and honor God’s image in one another and know that very often, God shows up to us in the face of people around us. Faith is not something we can do on our own.
If you also believe these things about the communal nature of our faith journey and how God shows up in community, the way we are gathering this summer may be better adapted to the values and the things we hope to see when we gather. Our hope is that at the end of this series of gatherings, we will look back and have made a little deeper connections with each other, and seen God’s grace shining through those around us and even ourselves in a new light.
So our physical set up– round breakfast tables instead of pews all facing forward– is one part of helping us align with what we hope to do together. And our format is also coming out of the values and things we desire to see– hearing the voices of each one of us, not just one person talking; having ways for all to contribute– to give and receive.
We hope that you will join us! There's a place at the table for you! Whether you love church spaces or are new to them; whether have been on a journey of faith a long time or are just getting started, there is a place for you! Whether you have visited us before, or are new or visiting the area, we'd love for you to join us!
What to expect when you come
Breakfast church is a laid back atmosphere- you don't need to dress up, but come however you feel most comfortable!
We'll have coffee, juice, and tea as well as a rotating menu of breakfast foods each week. Our breakfasts will always have a vegetarian, a gluten-free, and a dairy-free option. If you need other dietary accommodations please let us know!
Each week, after we get our food, we'll start with some gathering words to center our spirits for worship, an opening prayer, and an opening song that we hope will be easy for everyone to pick up and sing along.
We will then read a passage of Scripture and hear a brief introduction to the Scripture/theme for the day. 20-30 minutes will then be spent around the table, in discussion. There are reflection questions to guide the conversation and "Table Manners" to try to help everyone feel comfortable and be able to contribute (see below).
The remaining part of our time together consists of one to two other songs, sharing around the table ways we can support and pray for one another, our community and world and then sharing together in Holy Communion, which is open to all who wish to receive it.
For those not able to come in person, we do have a zoom option for participation online. Email us if you'd like the link!
Breakfast Church Table Manners
There’s a lot we may not agree on. In sitting down, we choose to agree on this:
I welcome you and your story and I thank you for welcoming me.
I will show up, be open, and contribute to creating a compassionate space.
I will speak and listen, agreeing or disagreeing with respect
Adapted from www.thepeoplessupper.org
At the table we will:
Respect the dignity of every human being—this includes one another, those who think differently in the wider community, and public figures
Keep it confidential. Others’ stories are not ours to share
Stick with “I” statements (“I had an experience when…”, “I feel...”). We honor and respect that your experience is yours and others’ experiences are theirs.
Listen to each other and the Spirit—listen to receive and understand, not to refute or plan a response.
Take space/make space–Quieter people are encouraged to speak up; folks who typically talk more are encouraged to be self-aware, making space for others to share
Agree to not “fix” other members of the group or give advice
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. (Ephesians 4:29, ESV)