For All Who Hunger: Searching for Communion in a Shattered World

Emily M.D. Scott. Convergent, $25 (256p) ISBN 978-0-593-13557-0
Lutheran pastor Scott asks in her exceptional debut: if you strip from church all “the creeds and the chasubles,” what would be left? The answer, for her, became St. Lydia’s Dinner Church in New York City, which she founded in 2008 as a place for queer, marginalized, artistic, nerdy, and often lonely lovers of God to gather for bread, wine, and the words of Jesus. At Scott’s “dinner church,” everyone is involved in cooking and cleaning, and whoever arrives is provided with “holy food for holy people,” as Scott likes to put it. She details daily foibles and moments of inspiration that come with working with her congregation, including early years when she conducted services in a friend’s apartment, Christmas caroling adventures, and establishing a permanent home in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. Scott’s writing is leavened by a healthy dose of self-awareness, and her stories capture the humanity of her mission and community with a light sacramental touch, focusing mostly on the joy and solidarity found in the shared space. Fine observations (“We are holy not because we are good but because we are loved”) and the terrific use of quotes from Joy Harjo, Pablo Neruda, and Flannery O’Connor guide readers through Scott’s life within the church. Those who delight in the voices of Nadia Bolz-Weber, Katie Hayes, and Rachel Held Evans will welcome this powerful work. (May)
Reviewed on : 02/07/2020
Release date: 05/12/2020
Genre: Religion
Book - 1 pages - 978-0-593-13558-7
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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