The Big Table – Living in the Diversity of God’s People

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One of the things that pains me most is the acerbity with which Christians of diverse perspectives treat one another: the mocking, the name-calling, the refusal to talk civilly or to work together.  Since early on in the development of this Slow Church project, I have had an intuition that the act of slowing down and being attentive to those around us might be important baby steps in the direction of narrowing the deep chasms that divide the Body of Christ today.  One of the most exciting things about the recent Slow Church conference was the vast theological diversity of the participants: f … [Read more...]

The Table of Brotherhood: On Having Adversaries.

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"No man is my enemy My own hands imprison me Love rescue me"   - U2 I was deeply disturbed by this Religion News Service article that got picked up by Christianity Today: Top Three Adversaries of Christian Conservatives: Communism, Islam ... and the Emergent Church? Why do we feel, as Christians, that we need to have enemies?  And especially why are we identifying other Christians as enemies? And to think that I encountered this piece on the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech, and its words were echoing in my ear:I have a dream that one day out in the re … [Read more...]

The Anguish of Imperfect Communion [An Ekklesia Project Guest Post by Juila Smucker]

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[ NEXT WEEK, July 5-7, The Ekklesia Project will hold its annual gathering in Chicago, which will be on the theme of Slow Church.  Between now and July, we will be running a series of guest reflections here by folks connected with the E.P. We've asked guest posters to reflect on the meaning of Slow Church from their own local contexts. More info on the E.P. gathering.  ] Today’s reflection, the seventh in the series, is by Julia Smucker.Read the previous post in the series by John Jay Alvaro.For about the past five years, I have been a par … [Read more...]

Bonhoeffer on The Fellowship of the Table

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On Sunday, I was not attentive to my schedule and had it sprung on me that it was my turn to give the communion meditation at our church. So, I quickly turned to Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Life Together, which we are reading in our Sunday School class, and stumbled again upon the following brilliant passage.  I share it again here, because all the facets that Bonhoeffer locates in the Eucharist here are central to what John and I are calling Slow Church: gratitude, the centrality of Jesus (I'll have more to say on this point later this week), the unifying power of eating together, the joy and … [Read more...]

Robert Putnam – “Spend More Time Arranging the Church Suppers”

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Thanks to my friend Kevin Rains for calling this article to my attention... [ See also the Catholic News Service piece on this study, which spells out its results in greater detail... ] WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Harvard public policy professor Robert D. Putnam has a tongue-in-cheek suggestion for pastors: "Spend less time on the sermons, and more time arranging the church suppers." That's because research by Putnam and Chaeyoon Lim, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, shows that the more church friends a person has, the happier he or she is. [ Read the … [Read more...]

Setting the Table [Guest post by Jen Michel]

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Jen Michel is a new friend from Toronto that I met on my writing retreat in February.  She recently posted this piece on her blog, Finding My Pulse, and her reflections on the table were in line with our Slow Church image of "Dinner Table Conversation as a Way of Being Church," so I asked if she would mind my re-posting it here.Years ago, I read a great book by Danny Meyer called: Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business. At 27, Meyer opened what would become one of Manhattan’s best restaurants: Union Square Café. Since that time, he has experimented and inn … [Read more...]


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