Preaching Peace cohorts gather weekly to share a meal and discuss the Gospel Lectionary text, asking a simple question:
“How can we preach this text for peace?”
What are the basics?
- The text: Provide the gospel passage of the Revised Common Lectionary.
- A table: Set a table with enough space and chairs to accommodate your group.
- Food: Create space for people to eat. Participants typically bring their own meal.
- People: Invite a core, but remain open to anyone.
Who do we invite?
- Pastors and Others: Pastors (those who regularly preach) are the core audience that will likely find the time most immediately beneficial. However, our table also has benefited from the presence of a campus chaplain and another who works with refugee resettlement.
- Start with a core: It may be tempting to cast a wide net with invitations, but we think it’s better to begin with a core of people who already have some level of trust with each other.
Where should we meet?
- Accessibility: Find a location that can be easily attended by all participants.
- Consistency: Other than summer, we meet at the same place and time every Tuesday. This helps folks set a rhythm.
- Third-party host? Street Psalms hosts the table in Tacoma, WA, which provides a neutral convener. We’re not sure this is an essential element, but it has been helpful. During the summer months, participating congregations take turns hosting the discussion.
What is the facilitator’s role?
We have found the table to be a place where less is more. As such the facilitator typically does the following:
- Discern when to shift from eating to discussion, and find volunteers to pray and read the text.
- After the prayer and the reading, open discussion with a prompt like, “What grabbed your attention?” “How do we read the text from below?”
- As you sense your time drawing to a close, consider questions like, “How do you preach this passage for peace?” or “Where is the good news in this passage?”
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