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St. Lydia’s Dinner Church

St. Lydia’s Dinner Church, in Brooklyn New York, is a different type of church. They gather on Sundays and Mondays to “cook and share a sacred meal, just as the followers of Jesus did.”

From their website:

We eat, explore scripture, offer prayers, and sing together. Tied to the Lutheran and Episcopal traditions, our worship is rooted in the patterns of the Early Church.

More from the website:

Our life together is founded on three pillars:

  • Sharing the Meal: Our worship takes place at the table around a big, delicious meal that we cook together. Communion is made as we share food and ourselves by exploring scripture, singing, and praying together.
  • Telling Our Story: Jesus told a lot of stories, and so do we. We tell the story of Christ’s dying and rising, and through it, uncover the daily dyings and risings that comprise our lives.
  • Working Together: When you arrive at St. Lydia’s, you’ll be put straight to work preparing dinner or setting the table. Working together unites us as a community and brings us closer to God.

This is a community that has created a common culture — one focused on preparing and sharing meals and having genuine discussions about the role of God in their lives. The community focuses on group activity and communal experiences to grow together. How does the intentionality of the community affect its ability to recruit individuals and grow? What sort of individual is drawn to this type of congregation versus a more traditional worship service? How can your community learn from what St. Lydia’s is doing in their intentional community?

St. Lydia’s is looking to grow and expand its space.

Ellen Childs
About the Author
Dr. Ellen Childs holds a Ph.D. in sociology from University of Notre Dame. She is Website Director at StudyingCongregations.org