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Featured Book: Setting a Spacious Table: Preaching as Reflection— A Model for Preaching an Expansive Theology


Never judge a book by its cover! The cover of this one is black and blank. Be that as it may, this one should be required reading hereabouts: it’s Nancy Steeves’ thesis, and, if you read it, you’ll better understand what she’s about on those Sunday mornings she preaches to us. More, still, it’ll acquaint you with the congregation and the views we hold about religion and such.

Almost a decade ago, it was this dissertation that helped Nancy earn her doctor of divinity degree in preaching from Chicago Theological Seminary. In it, she describes preaching as reflection, in “a postmodern, post-theistic, and progressive community of faith.” Such discourse “sets a spacious table which values diversity, honours experience, is inspired by a variety of different sources, and practices hospitality.” 

As a bonus, 30 pages are given over to the survey, and results from it, with which congregants’ views were sought—a remarkable 178 questionnaires were turned in. (Along with other inputs, this survey was “of no small significance in my learning journey,” Nancy notes.) You’ll see how and why the survey sparked conversations “in ways we had never imagined.”