Sunday Supper Church began in early 2017 to provide a space that each of us were unable to find elsewhere—a church that was safe and fully inclusive of women, BIPOC and the LGBTQ+ community.
We believe that Jesus’s table is wide and long and available to all, and that white men are not the only ones with valid views and opinions about church, faith and Jesus. So we created a dinner church in which communion, dinner, a short sermonette, naming circle and cake benediction is led by all. It’s been life-changing for many of us who once felt marginalized in church. A beautiful meal shared around the table provides the perfect opportunity to learn from each other and see the divine image of God in one another.
Throughout 2020, we have strived to translate our in-person gatherings into virtual gatherings. We’ve been surprised and delighted to discover that—even virtually—the table is wide and all are welcome.
During the night we engage together in communion, dinner, a short sermonette, naming circle and cake benediction.
We gather intentionally around tables of food to nourish each other through meaningful spiritual conversation.
We build a community for all people by creating a sacred church experience.
We arrive, set the tables together and prepare the space for dinner.
After the tables are set, we enjoy a beautiful plate of fruits and vegetables, chat and experience Jesus as we connect with others. It’s fun and lively, and feels like the start of a great dinner party.
We gather in a circle around the communion table as the host welcomes and gives an overview of the night. Then we share communion (warm homemade bread and grape juice), reminded that Jesus’s presence is near, and that he is alive in each of us.
The Pastor Chef presents dinner and we all “ooohhh” and “ahhh” over the meal. We take our food to the tables (5-6 people at each) to eat and discuss a guiding question of the evening. We want everyone who attends a gathering to be able to enjoy the same meal, most weeks we prepare a vegetarian meal, typically dairy-free. On the special occasions that we serve meat, we make sure to also provide a vegetarian option.
Still gathered around our tables, we hear a 10 minute sermonette that gives common language for the group centered around the guiding theme. After the sermonette, each table discusses a second guiding question that builds off the sermonette. We do so believing that our faith is expanded as we learn from others by hearing their unique perspectives.
We end the night by gathering again as a whole group for a naming circle, in which we take turns saying this to each other, "I saw the image of God in you tonight when…" Finally, we conclude our gathering with dessert benediction, in which we raise our sweet treat and declare a blessing to each other.
Just as we set the table together, we end the night together packaging leftovers and cleaning up the space.
All are welcome and honored. We are an affirming church. We do our best to be an anti-racist church and we celebrate all genders and abilities. You are a wonderful expression of God’s goodness, and we would love if you joined us for our next gathering.
The generosity of those who regularly attend Sunday Supper Church, as well as the generosity of donors outside of Sunday Supper Church, makes each of our gatherings possible. We take seriously Matthew 25 and believe that to enter the kingdom of heaven we must: feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, invite / welcome the stranger, take care of the sick and visit the prisoner. Join us in our mission to share the love of Jesus with all.
Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann shares her journey from growing up on the south side of Chicago to her decision to found Mishkan Chicago, a spiritual community "reclaiming Judaism’s inspiration and transformative essence,” and which seeks to “resonate with the next generation, as well as people who have felt on the fringes of the Jewish community.”