The Dinner Church Collective is a nation-wide community of mealtime missionaries spreading the word about a simple, effective and historic approach to starting new forms of church.
Dinner Church Collective grew out of a problem that Verlon and Melodee Foster were facing in Seattle. Their robust, storied 90-year-old church was dying a slow and quiet death.
With this gift of desperation, they began to experiment with new forms of Church. After a few missteps, they stumbled into a simple practice.
It was a practice that piqued the interest of non-Christians and Christians alike.
It was simple and affordable.
It was a practice Jesus used with his disciples.
It was a practice that the Church Fathers developed to reach and disciple believers across the ancient world.
A meal, music and message.
In the next few years, their church reorganized around these simple principles. They now gather in 10 locations in Seattle, around a warm meal and the stories of Jesus.
Soon, Verlon and Melodee found themselves hosting church leaders and missionaries from around the country.
As word got out, they something similar: simple, effective, and powerful mealtime gatherings that were growing into churches!
Likeminded gatherings already existed in places like Detroit and North Carolina. They found immediate camaraderie with Fresh Expressions US, a movement of pioneering churches, experimenting with new forms of Christian community, created for people who may never go to an established church.
In 2018, these new friends banded together to launch the Dinner Church Collective and train a new generation of mealtime missionaries.
You have a stirring that God wants you to take some risks.
You have some ideas.
But there is so much else going on.
And you feel stuck, unsure how to move forward.
Sometimes it’s hard to move forward innovating mission and ministry.
Coaching can help you:
Dr. Verlon Fosner
Dr. Verlon Fosner is a movement leader who works with pioneering leaders and organizations to guide them through the process of starting their own network of dinner churches.
Verlon believes that new and effective missional movements will break out when leaders recapture Jesus’ methodology of sharing the gospel over a meal.
Verlon led an established Seattle congregation to reimagine itself as a multi-site dinner church called Community Dinners.
Along with his wife Melodee, Verlon has trained leaders from around the country to start their dinner church networks around the country.
Verlon holds a Doctorate of Ministry from Assemblies of God Theological Seminary. He is the author of “Dinner Church”, “Dinner Church Handbook”, and “Welcome to Dinner, Church”.
Melodee Fosner is a trainer, mentor and friend to who works alongside Verlon to pass on their hard-won lessons in how to start dinner churches.
Inspired by Hosea 11:4, Melodee believes that God wants his followers to join him in leading “cords of human kindness”, and bending down to feed the those who are hungry.
Melodee’s greatest accomplishment in life has been creating a nurturing home where their children were led in the ways of Christ. As the Dinner Church vision began to unfold, the example of their own family table served as the palette of what the church could look like.
Melodee holds a bachelor’s degree in Ministry Leadership from Northwest University.
Daniel Altimus is Pastor of Common Ground Church in York Haven, Pennsylvania.
Josh Gering has been involved with dinner churches for 4 years and has helped plant 4 Community Dinners throughout Lewis County, Washington.
Sean Peters is founding pastor of Mosaic in Palm Bay, Florida, a new church start planted through an initiative of the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church in partnership with Community Dinners to plant multiple Dinner Churches throughout the state of Florida. Mosaic offers both a Brunch Church and Dinner Church weekly with plans to start others soon. Our mantra at Mosaic is “there’s a place at the table for you.” We welcome everyone to the table, especially those who are not usually invited (Luke 14.15-24). More information can be found at www.mosiacpalmbay.com or Facebook.com/MosaicPalmBay
Isaac Olivarez is from Fort Collins, CO, and is a huge Denver Broncos fan. He also enjoys skiing, running and hiking Colorado’s 14ers.
He and his wife Jaime founded Urban Outreach Denver in 2012.
Shawn is on staff at Community Dinners and leads two dinner churches in Seattle, WA.
Heather is the Director of Reach and Fresh Expressions at Grace Church in Cape Coral, Florida. She leads the dinner church initiative for the Florida United Methodist Conference and has been pastoring Eat Pray Love dinner church in the second largest mobile home park in the United States for the past four years.
Brian grew up in the humble and cultural city of Pueblo, CO. He felt the call on his life to be a pastor from a very young age. Growing up he and his family attended church at least twice a week and soon realized he knew a lot about God but didn’t “know” God. At the end of Brian’s teen years, he was looking to the world for the answers to life’s problems. After a decade of taking the prodigal son route, he found himself sitting at a dinner church in Pike Place Market while visiting Seattle by the invite of a friend. The very next morning he heard the loudest call from God he had ever heard and decided then and there to move to Seattle to be apart of The Community Dinners. After being lead and mentored by his pastor Verlon Fosner, Brian decided to finally answer the call that had been chasing him his entire life. Brian is now the Pastor of that same dinner church in Pike Place Market and is currently The Seattle Dinner Church Initiative Leader with a focus on growing the dinner church movement throughout Seattle and the greater Seattle area.
Tony has been with Community Dinners for almost 7 years. He has started a Dinner Church in Ybor City, Florida and has passed it off and is working to start another Dinner church in Lakeland, Florida. Tony graduated from Southeastern University in 2006 with a degree in Church Leadership and from Northwest University in 2013 with an MA in Missional Leadership. Tony has been married to his wife Ashley for 13 years and has 2 boys Noah and Micah. In his spare time, you can find him outside where he enjoys camping and hiking.
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