Four characteristics of their Communion practices would leap out at us, traits that are scattered throughout the New Testament, but that often go unnoticed: how the meal was part of a full evening together, promoting intimacy; how it was a mostly inclusive affair, everyone welcome at the table; how it was typically festive, more like a dinner party; and how afterwards they enjoyed a lively conversation on a host of topics.
But Table Talk explores more than just Communion practices, because a new way of doing church is happening around the world, gatherings more horizontal than vertical. For two thousand years Christians have oriented themselves toward God in the presence of others; now a growing number of congregations, part of the dinner church movement, are orienting themselves toward each other in the presence of God. This book tells their story and helps us rethink our own.
""Table Talkis a very important book, one every pastor, priest, and lay person would do well to read. Professor Graves invites the reader to rediscover the Jesus meal and, in the process, to reconsider what Christians do when they gather for worship. An excellent, helpful, and inspiring book!""
--Adam Hamilton, Senior Pastor, Church of the Resurrection, author ofCreed: What Christians Believe and Why
""Graves's voice is wonderful--appealing to lay persons of a diversity in age, but also one that will be appreciated by clergy and students. The historical and theological information is woven in a palatable way (to use a dining metaphor) that keeps us engaged and fascinated. It is--as it should be--conversational in a way that makes us want to chat with each other around a table (Eucharist and otherwise), break bread, look into each other's eyes, and know we are better because we did.""
--Marcia McFee, Creator and Visionary of The Worship Design Studio
""InTable Talk, Mike Graves brings together a scholar's mind with a pastor's heart, and reintroduces us to the table at the center of Christian spiritual formation and worship. The appendix alone is worth the whole price of the book, offering us fresh ways to frame the meaning we find in a meal of bread and wine, thanksgiving and fellowship, remembering and joy.""
--Brian D. McLaren, author ofThe Great Spiritual Migration
""Mike Graves's inviting and conversational tone sets the stage for his exploration of the dinner church movement that is springing up around the country. He knows the power of sharing a meal and the possibilities that emerge from talking about Scripture around a table instead of listening to a traditional sermon. In this compelling book, he urges the church toward gatherings that are intimate, festive, and inclusive, where people come together to share bread, insights, and stories. In a time of great ecclesial change, Mike Graves offers a joyful, egalitarian, and missional vision of worship--one that could transform the church.
--Kimberly Bracken Long, Editor ofCall to Worship: Liturgy, Music, Preaching, and the Arts
""Biblically rich, filled with stories, and accessibly written, this fine book offers a wealth of material on the Eucharist for those who preach and lead worship every Sunday and provides for laity an informing conversation that will enrich the practice of this central sacrament. Even more, Graves offers an introduction to the 'new' dinner church movement, replete with examples from across the United States along with his own reflections on this innovative movement. Do yourself a favor and read this book.""
|Publisher:||Wipf & Stock Publishers|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.34(d)|
About the Author
Table of Contents
Food for Thought ix
Introduction: An Invitation 1
Chapter 1 The Meal 13
Chapter 2 The Guest List 40
Chapter 3 The Ambiance 68
Chapter 4 The Conversation 93
Conclusion: RSVP 115
Appendix: Different Words of Institution 139
Recommended Reading 145