Intentional conversation about spiritual things
over really good food

Join us For Dinner

What to expect

You will not be the only first-time attendee! We have yet to have a gathering without several first-time guests, so don't worry about not knowing people.  When you arrive, there will be about 15 minutes of gathering time to grab a drink and mingle. (Introverts, this is the only unstructured time of the evening, so just hang in there. We got you.) We operate on a BYOB basis. People typically bring a variety of nonalcoholic drinks, as well as beer and wine, to add to our shared drink table. We'd love you to bring your own favorite drink to share.

After about 15 minutes, you'll be invited to sit in tables of six. You choose to sit with people you know well or people you've never met before. (Warning: you'll be talking to your tablemates, so choose wisely.)

A facilitator will give a welcome and lay some groundrules for the evening. Our groundrules are the following: 1) Watch your screen time (i.e., don't be more electronically connected to people you are not with than the people you are with), 2) Share the air (i.e., edit your story to the five-ish minute length), and 3) Don't fix each other (i.e., cultivate your curiosity more than your judgmentalism). 

Then the meal begins. There are three courses, and with each course the facilitator gives a brief reflection and a question for the table. The questions are answerable by anyone regardless of belief, and become increasingly vulnerable as the evening progresses. (We once asked participants if there was ever a question that made them uncomfortable. The overwhelming answer was, "All of them.")

The meal itself lasts about an hour and a half. A bit before 9, the facilitator thanks everyone for coming, gives any closing announcements, and then announces the location for Communion. At 9, anyone who chooses to attend may leave their tables and go to a brief service of prayer and Communion. Others may leave and get on with their evening, and others may continue talking at their tables or stay to help clean up. At some point we will kick you out, but we've had tables keep on talking through the entire clean-up before. Sometimes the conversation really is that good.

So that's it. If you love small talk, you will probably hate gastrochurch. If your favorite thing ever is talking about the weather, you will probably hate gastrochurch. But if any part of you thinks that sharing a piece of your story and listening as others share theirs sounds amazing (or terrifying in a good way), gastrochurch is for you.