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the order {Sunday Supper Church}

guys. we're really doing it {!!} we're creating a table-based, dinner environment that looks something like a new kind of church experience. 

a lot of people ask me what a night at Sunday Supper Church actually looks like. this is a really great question --- it can be hard to picture exactly what goes down when we gather. most people assume it's a type of dinner party-small group experience in which we eat and chat. yes + more!

keep in mind: we're in month 4 of 5 in our practice phase. meaning: we're following a similar gathering order each time as we practice so that we can tweak and edit in hopes of a public launch.  

Sunday Supper Church /// Practice Phase 

5-5:20: Prepare

Guiding Value: Expect to Experience Jesus and Engage with Others

during this time, we put a beautiful plate of fruit and vegetables around a common gathering table, and encourage folks to chat. it's fun and lively, and feels like the start of a great dinner party. we also have a babysitter onsite who helps gather the kids into the playroom during this time. 

5:25-5:40: Gather 

Guiding Value: Jesus is Present + Alive in Each of Us 

the gather time is one of my most favorites. we stand in a circle in the kitchen area as the host welcomes and gives an overview of the night. then, the communion leader passes out the bread and juice as we are reminded that Jesus' presence is near, and that He is alive in each of us. the kids join us for this time, too, which is absolutely the BEST!

5:45-6:15: Eat 

Guiding Value: Jesus is Beauty, Abundance, Goodness for All 

after the gather time, the food leader presents dinner and we all ooohhh and ahhhh over the meal. we take our food to the tables (3 tables of 8 people) to eat and discuss the first guiding question. at each gathering, we have a guiding theme that centers our time together. last month, our theme was the divinity + humanity of Jesus. the first question we discussed at dinner: what is the image of Jesus to me? at Sunday Supper Church, we believe magic happens when we eat a beautiful meal together and share our unique perspectives of faith around a diverse table. 

6:15–6:45: Discover 

Guiding Value: Jesus is found as we learn from others, and share our unique perspectives

after dinner, we stay seated at the tables, and hear a 10-minute sermonette that gives common language for the group centered around the guiding theme. last month, i did the sermonette and spoke on Jesus showing us who God is --- love, joy, peace, fixes what's broken, heals, calls out hypocrisy, creates beauty, forgives, and participates in community, and, that Jesus as human shows us our potential --- to be all of these things. following the sermonette, we engage around the table in the second guiding question that builds off the sermonette. last month: what is broken in my humanity, and what is my potental to become like Jesus?

note: leading into the question, i encouraged the group to take a risk as they answered the second question at the table. to consider the table safe + sacred by saying something new + brave. 

 6:45-7:00 Celebrate

Guiding Value: We’ve seen God in each other, and declare His goodness

we end the night by gathering again as a group in the kitchen. we do a naming activity in which we say, "tonight, I saw Jesus in you when..." and then, we conclude with the cake benediction, in which we raise our dessert and declare a blessing over each other. i love, love, love this part, and not just because i love cake, but because it reminds us that in the midst of our pain + heavy-hearts, God is good and love and abundance and beauty for all. 

after we say the blessing, we play a fun song and dance a bit, kids included of course! and then we clean up while chatting, kissing babies and saying goodbye. 

the night FLIES by and i'm always sad when it's over. in my opinion, church should be enjoyable and inspiring, leaving you feeling a little less burdened and a little less alone in the world, and a place where you know you'll see Jesus and your friends. and for me, this is church. 

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