A Changing Landscape
Morning Session: Verlon and Melodee Fosner
Afternoon Session: Kris Beckert
Recording Date: November 4, 2021
Verlon and Melodee Fosner
Verlon & Melodee Fosner have been in church leadership for 35 years, and for the past 18 years have served a 93 year-old church in Seattle, Washington. In 2004, their long effective church began to decline, and they were faced with the decision: move to the suburbs or become an urban church. They felt called to not only stay, but to dive further into the urban neighbourhoods of Seattle – especially the ones with a sparse church presence. After numerous failures, they decided to try the Agape’ Feast church model talked about in the New Testament. And to their great surprise they found an immediate intrigue among the unchurched Seculars living in Seattle neighbourhoods. Within a year, they had hundreds of Seculars as friends, gathering around their tables, and talking about Jesus. What began as an urban Dinner Church spread into a multi-site Dinner Church, and then expanded into a national Dinner Church Network. In 2014, Verlon received a Doctoral degree for his research on “The Dinner Church of the Apostolic Era”, and has written three books on the subject – all of which are available on the Fresh Expressions website. Then in 2016, Verlon and Melodee joined the Fresh Expressions US team to lead the DinnerChurchCollective initiative.
Kris serves as the Coordinator of Operations for Fresh Expressions US. She is the lead pastor at Table Life Church in Harrisburg, PA. She completed the M.Div. at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC and has served at churches in the Baptist, United Methodist, and Nazarene traditions. Prior to being called to ministry, she received an M.S. in environmental science from the University of Maryland, where she also worked in the field, researching coastal environments and enhancing science communication. Kris is an avid runner, cartoonist, and archer and enjoys playing hockey.