AYERSVILLE — Ayersville United Methodist Church (UMC) will debut a new ministry Sunday when it hosts its first ever Dinner Church at 5 p.m.

The ministry is based on Acts 2:46 which reads: “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.”

Pastor Mo Dunn of Ayersville UMC explained the potluck dinner is free, and will be held the second Sunday of each month at 5 p.m., in the fellowship hall of the church, located at 27728 Ayersville-Pleasant Bend Road.

“This came about because we wanted to address the need people have to interact with each other, something many people have not been able to do very much during the pandemic,” said Dunn. “This is really an old method that goes back to Acts 2:46, in which people broke bread together.

“Jesus used this strategy when he was sharing meals and breaking bread with people,” continued Dunn. “What we’re doing is not an outreach, it is actually church. It’s a chance to sit around the table, in a relaxing atmosphere, and answer some questions when we’re eating. We look at it as more of a family meal.”

Dunn explained dress for Dinner Church is casual and that topics will be shared and discussed during the meal.

People who attend can talk about whatever is on their minds, but no one will be under any pressure to participate.

It will be about socializing and spending time in fellowship with the others in attendance.

“On Sunday morning in the sanctuary, we don’t always have the chance to get better acquainted with one another, and that has been especially true during the pandemic,” said Dunn. “The truth is, you can have church anywhere, and our plan is for Leanne (Dunn’s wife) and I to alternate in leading and bringing up every-day topics.

“We will use scripture, but it’s not a Bible study, it’s more like how the Bible applies to every-day life,” added Dunn. “For us, it’s time to come back together in our fellowship hall, which is where we serve our free breakfast, which we plan to bring back in October.”

The breakfasts, Dunn explained, were well attended prior to the pandemic. He hopes Dinner Church will be, too.

“While the breakfasts are an evangelical outreach to the community, we want people to know that Dinner Church is actually church,” Dunn said. “People who need a meal are more than welcome to attend, and anyone who attends is welcome to bring whatever food they want to provide.

“If someone doesn’t have a dish to bring, they are still invited to come, again, it is church,” continued Dunn. “We know it works because it’s been successful in other places ... it’s all about getting fed physically and spiritually. This is all about sharing a meal, sharing ideas, fellowship and spending time together with God.”

To learn more about Dinner Church, call Ayersville United Methodist Church at 419-395-1742.

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