We Will Feast: Rethinking Dinner, Worship, and the Community of God
Releases May 14, 2019
about the book:
The gospel story is filled with meals. It opens in a garden and ends in a feast. Records of the early church suggest that believers met for worship primarily through eating meals. Over time, though, churches have lost focus on the centrality of food-- and with it a powerful tool for unifying Christ's diverse body.
But today a new movement is under way, bringing Christians of every denomination, age, race, and sexual orientation together around dinner tables. Men and women nervous about stepping through church doors are finding God in new ways as they eat together. Kendall Vanderslice shares stories of churches worshiping around the table, introducing readers to the rising contemporary dinner-church movement. We Will Feast provides vision and inspiration to readers longing to experience community in a real, physical way.
"A book about the work of the Holy Spirit and a church that is finding small ways of resurrection in some of the most unlikely spaces.
Catch a glimpse of the joy, abundance, and the holy imagination of what it means to feast together."
-D.L. Mayfield, author of Assimilate or Go Home
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“In her examination of the dinner-church movement, Kendall Vanderslice treats us to the written equivalent of a pleasant, nourishing meal. She's good, thoughtful company, and she sets a generous, inclusive table. Crucially, she reminds us that food and the table and the feast aren't just evocative metaphors or stirring biblical imagery. We need them—and we need each other—to live.”
- Jeff Chu, author of Does Jesus Really Love Me?
“The gospel is a story of meals and the church is those gathered at table – that’s the growing conviction of innovative new church leaders. And that’s the story told in this book. Vanderslice brings together her unique combination of culinary talent, anthropological observation, and passion for scripture to give us an inspiring picture of what is possible when Christians eat together.”
- Dr. Nancy Ammerman, Professor of Sociology of Religion at Boston University
"This book is like the meals Kendall writes about: simple, communal, generous, and satisfying. But like the best meals—like the eucharist itself—it leaves you longing to repeat it over and over again."
- Sarah Arthur, co-author of The Year of Small Things
“Meals as worship may seem like a new or trendy idea now, but Kendall makes the case for it to be a regular, ongoing church model; one that has the love of Jesus squarely in its center, one that welcomes the newcomer to the very long table of Christ.
A balm to the souls of readers who might be wondering how they can be a part of a kind of church that brings meals out of the afterthought space and straight into the heart of worship.
My copy of We Will Feast has so many margin notes and sentences underlined in bold; powerful words that nestled deeply into my heart, encouraging me, challenging me, and inspiring me. This book is a deeply treasured tome filled with brilliant ideas and insights about food and God and church and people; it will get read over and over.”
- Melissa D’Arabian, Food Network host and author of Ten Dollar Dinners
“In her tantalizing debut, Kendall Vanderslice saves us a seat at the table of belonging, where we encounter Christ as we remember him together. Through humble loaves and take-out pizza, our tired ideas about worship take a truer shape. We Will Feast is everything I want in a book – rich prose, decadent storytelling, the taste of possibility. I’m already hungry for more.”
- Shannan Martin, author of The Ministry of Ordinary Places
“Pull up a chair and your hungry belly to ‘We Will Feast,’ a book flush with a thickly embodied spirituality. With candor and delight, Vanderslice takes us through a tasting menu of dinner churches across the country where a meal is central and community is forged. ‘We Will Feast’ reminds us that to ignore food is to ignore God’s provision for our life and the flourishing of community. I finished this book more committed to and more hopeful for a Church where all are fed.”
- Rev. Laura Everett, Executive Director of Massachusetts Council of Churches and author of Holy Spokes