We Offer “Breaking Bread,” a New Dinner and Worship Experience

Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church has a new, casual worship experience on Sundays at 5:00 pm that includes dinner. This service is called “Breaking Bread,” because there is a full meal in the middle of the service, and also because participants of all ages and faith backgrounds are invited to share Holy Communion together.

“This is very different than our other worship services, and different than anything I’ve seen in other places,” says Pastor Wendy Steger. “There is no big sanctuary, no rows of seating, and we encourage talking during worship. We weave dinner right into the service, and follow dinner with the celebration of Holy Communion. This is actually a modern take on an ancient Christian tradition.”

People of all ages have found this experience very meaningful, and appreciate the opportunity to tailor it to their needs. Families with young children enjoy the freedom of letting the kids move back and forth between their table and a children’s table with activity bags. Teens through older adults can choose to sit at their own table, sit with people they know, or meet new people.

“We’ve seen three generations sitting together, singles and couples meeting for the first time at their table, and families able to enjoy time together,” says Pastor Wendy. “People seem to get just what they need to start their week, centered in faith and surrounded by Christian fellowship.”

The one-hour service features songs led by acoustic guitar, scripture and a message from one of the pastors, dinner with light discussion questions, communion, prayers, and a blessing. The church provides a main dish, and people are invited to bring a side dish or dessert as they are able.

A father with small children said, “Breaking Bread is like stepping back to a time when life was smaller, when faith and community were integrally entwined. There is strength of connection that deepens my faith and stills my heart when I have a meal, literally break bread, with my family. And the casual, comfortable atmosphere reassures me of the ever present nature of God’s love and grace.” 

“We hope Breaking Bread reaches people who don’t already have a church community. We know that traditional church isn’t right for everyone, but God’s grace is,” says Pastor Wendy.

Breaking Bread Dinner and Worship meets on Sundays at 5:00 pm at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church. For more information about this worship experience, or to see Shepherd of the Valley’s other worship times, please visit our website at https://sotv.org/worship/. Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church is located just east of the Minnesota Zoo at 12650 Johnny Cake Ridge Road in Apple Valley, Minnesota.

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