St. Peter's in Dartmouth reimagines itself with new "Dinner Church"

Dinner Church Courtesy Photo St. Peter's Church in Dartmouth hosted their first "Dinner Church" program on Aug. 22.

St. Peter's Church is trying a new kind of worship with its new "Dinner Church" program. This worship experience involves people gathering together to prepare and share a meal, along with a contemporary Eucharistic prayer and service. Gabe Giella brought the idea of dinner church to the parish after he participated in a dinner church service out of state.

"Liturgy is the fancy word for the way we worship and it means 'the work of the people' but often when we go to church we don't feel like it reflects us at all," Giella said in an e-mail. "This experience makes everyone feel like they're part in the service is important whether it's cooking, lighting candles or setting the tables."

The Rev. Scott Ciosek, the priest-in-charge at St. Peter's, explained in an e-mail that the congregation was excited to try this new expression of worship that entails sharing Eucharist in the midst of a meal.

"We are finding here at St. Peter’s that there is great openness to the Holy Spirit in trying new things and it is really leading to growth," Ciosek said. He said that Dinner Church "really looks a lot like what Jesus envisioned and reflects how the early church must have gathered."

"I experienced the spirit of spiritual family, reminding me of Jesus eating with his apostles during the last supper," Dinner Church-goer Carol Xavier said in an e-mail. "Being with one another, breaking bread, connected me with my church family in a deeper and a more profound way."

--Bridget K. Wood