Relaxing instrumental music plays softly in the background. People sit around tables in small groups, happily tucking into a variety of breakfast foods and engaging in animated conversation. Every now and then, someone gets up to refill a plate or get a glass of juice.
“Come sit with us,” urges a woman, beckoning me over to her table. “And make sure you have something to eat—there is plenty!”
It’s a laid-back atmosphere where people can eat delicious food and learn more about each other. But it’s not a café—it’s church.
“Sabbath Brunch is somewhere you can escape from the hustle and bustle of the busy working week,” says founder Andrew Perry, who notes that, for most Adventists, Saturday is a rushed and busy day while Sunday brunch is usually the time when we relax and connect with our friends and family.
He sees Sabbath Brunch as an opportunity for people “to unwind, chill out and forget all about your worries”. In other words, reclaiming what Sabbath should be.
"Sabbath Brunch is somewhere you can escape from the hustle and bustle of the busy working week."
Visitors are invited to show up around 10:30am on the first Sabbath of every month. During brunch, people take time to get to know one another by responding to thought-provoking question cards on their tables. Past questions have included, “If 40 was the average life span, how would you live your life differently?” and “What is something you love, and what actions have you performed recently to demonstrate that love?” There’s also a short but challenging talk by a guest speaker and the whole event usually wraps up around midday.
Sabbath Brunch has proven successful so far, with attendees stating that this is the type of event they can comfortably invite non-Christian friends and family to. It is an initiative of the Parramatta Central church plant in western Sydney.