Follow Friday: St. Lydia’s Dinner Church, Brooklyn


by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free

Today I want to introduce you to a pastor and a church that might be characterized by some as “nontraditional,” but that seem to me to be modeling  a very ancient way of doing church. 

St. Lydia’s is a dinner church in Brooklyn. On Sunday and Monday nights, the community gathers to cook and share a sacred meal, just as the first followers of Jesus did. Affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, St. Lydia’s brings together ancient Christian practices with modern, urban living and the results are super-inspiring. 

“We do church this way because people are hungry,” explains pastor Emily Scott. “People in New York have hungry bellies that may be filled with home-cooked food. They have hungry souls that may be filled with holy text, holy conversation. And these hungers are sated when we come together and eat.” 

I had the pleasure of meeting Emily when I was last in New York, and I am very excited that she will be one of the presenters at the “Why Christian?” event this fall, hosted by myself and Nadia Bolz-Weber. I also feature St. Lydia’s in Searching for Sunday, along with several other churches that are reimagining the ancient sacraments of the church in a modern context. 

The other cool thing about the St. Lydia’s community is they have a rather awesome Web site, which really gives you a sense of how the dinner church model works. (Check out the “guided tour” for more on that.) You can also follow them on Twitter and find them on Facebook

...Oh, and how great is it that their patron saint is one of the most interesting women of the New Testament?! 

So, are there other faith communities on your radar that are living out the sacraments of the church in some cool ways?  Share them here. 

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