Summer experiment at Holy Innocents, San Francisco

On Sunday, June 14, Holy Innocents offered its first dinner church, modeled after St. Lydia’s, in Brooklyn, New York. The gathering was small and intimate. The Rev. Joseph Peters-Mathews preached and presided, and the Rev. Jane McDougle assisted and led song. McDougle, Peters-Mathews, and his husband Brandon Peters-Mathews cooked the meal for the gathering.

In the introduction to the service, Peters-Mathews said “Everything that Jane is doing tonight can be given away!” The diner church model necessitates divisions of labor among the entire gathering of people, with some cooking, some setting up, and everyone cleaning together. Holy Innocents is experimenting with this format through the summer — on the second Sunday of June, July, and August — to wonder with God if the practice is tenable for Holy Innocents, its young adults, or its neighborhood.

The next Holy Innocents dinner church will be Sunday, July 12, at Holy Innocents, 455 Fair Oaks Street, San Francisco. Those wishing to share the work, conversation, and meal should arrive between 6:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. For more information contact the Rev. Joseph Peters-Mathews,

Photo: the Rev. Joseph Peters-Mathews preaches on Sunday, June 14. Photo courtesy Beth Ann Hopkins.