Gathering At God's Table
The Meaning of Mission in the Feast of Faith
by Katharine Jefferts Schori
"A love story between the churched soul and the all-consuming work of God on earth ... will move even the most recalcitrant of us to greater humility and more gratitude."
—Phyllis Tickle, author, Emergence Christianity: What It Is, Where It Is Going, Why It Matters
In an insightful and powerful voice, Katharine Jefferts Schori explores the meaning of mission in the context of contemporary life.
Read more about the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church and author, Katharine Jefferts Schori.
Read what Phyllis Tickle, Walter Brueggemann, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, and other scholars, authors and clergy are saying about Gathering at God's Table.
The work before us—this mission of God's—is immense, cosmic, even...it's about seeing and responding to that corporate suffering, and beginning to understand our interconnection with the other parts of the body.
View a chapter-by-chapter list of discussion questions for deeper reading and engagement with Gathering at God's Table.
"Mission work is not so much about proselytization, but about transformation. Counting conversions is not the point - changing the world is - and it often happens one person at a time."
What is the meaning of "mission" today?
I can't help but read a certain push in the concluding chapters toward a more systematic approach within the church regarding mission and justice work. And with good reason, too.
What does it mean to “participate” in God's mission? Where does God’s action begin and end? Where does our agency begin and end? And what is God's mission anyway?
I see Jefferts Schori inviting her community and all those listening in to such a table: round, with multiple, equal points of access; laden with food to share; distinct dishes to sample, testing out the flavors and overtones of each. As a Presbyterian listening in, I found much on which to feast in faith.
Schori's nod to social justice helped reassure me that her approach to missions was less the “convert the heathen” model of what could be called “Great Commission Christianity” and more “Great Commandment Christianity.”
Jefferts Schori recognizes the need for making disciples, but is clearly uncomfortable with what she deems proselytism. In this she shares a common sense of understanding with many if not most mainline Protestants.
A friend of mine recently said, “The church acts as though John’s Gospel says, ‘For God so loved the Church that...,” but of course it says something very different, and that something different is exactly what Gathering at God’s Table seeks to address.
This is a great book to crack open on a daily basis for a short meditation that will keep you focused on different aspects of God's mission.