Looking for a simple but meaningful parish program? Consider revisiting Sharing Faith Dinners. Sharing Faith Dinners were popular a few years ago as a project out of the Diocese of Texas. The idea is that you gather eight to ten participants to share dinner and over the course of the meal, each participant draws a conversation card and shares a little bit about their faith using the discussion prompts on the card. More recently, our diocese used the model during the Epiphany season of 2019 to discuss Presiding Bishop Curry’s “The Power of Love” sermon from the royal wedding. Part of what was so great about these gatherings was that you didn’t need to be a Biblical scholar or prolific theologian to take part. You just had to be willing to share your experiences of faith or love and respectfully receive the sharing of others. It might sound a little crazy that people would open up on these topics over dinner, but they do. People have experienced a lot in the past two years. Love has grown, changes challenged us, and faith has deepened. People want to share these stories. As Brene Brown says, “We are hard-wired for story.” And it’s true. We are hard-wired to understand our world and make sense of our experiences through story. Our hearts long to share those stories because we become more whole when we share our faith and love with one another.
Sharing Faith Dinners can be done on the small scale of 8-10 participants at someone’s home or hosting hundreds of folks sharing a meal and reflecting in small groups. They can be a potluck, prepared by the parish, catered, or over pizza or coffee. Inviting friends and neighbors is highly encouraged as is it a low-stress event but allows us to go deeper into relationships by sharing and receiving one another’s stories.
Check out this outline for hosting a Sharing Faith Dinner. Prompt cards are available from the diocesan office.
Please do not hesitate to contact The Rev. Lydia Knizley Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or to explore how you might host a Sharing Faith Dinner soon!
Sharing Faith Dinners truly are a great way to reconnect with one another after two years of covid and join together back around the table.