A model of pastoral development built around a weekly table focused on preaching and practicing peace.



A Cohort-Based Grant
for Preachers and Teachers

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?”


A Cohort-Based Grant for Preachers and Teachers

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?”


Frequently Asked Questions


The following reflections emerge from the experience of the Preaching Peace table in Tacoma, WA. They are not definitive answers, but suggestions resulting from our lessons learned.

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?


What can the table work on together?


Weekly gatherings: Like Sunday worship for a church, this is the core habit.

Annual Urban Lecture Series: This is one of the table’s direct gifts to their city.

Annual retreats:  This is a direct gift to the participants of the table

Vision Trip: Go, at least once in 3 years, on a vision trip to experience God’s work in the community of another Preaching Peace table as well as local vision trips in your own city.

Joint Initiatives: The community formed around the table has a way of surfacing opportunities that churches can do jointly, such as pulpit sharing, joint youth ministries, etc.


Resources


These resources have been helpful at Preaching Peace Tables. Let us know as you find additional resources that benefit your tables.



The Revised Common Lectionary


The Revised Common Lectionary is a three-year cycle of weekly lections used to varying degrees by the vast majority of mainline Protestant churches in Canada and the United States. The RCL is built around the seasons of the Church Year, and includes four lections for each Sunday, as well as additional readings for major feast days. The online Revised Common Lectionary is a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library.


The Word from Below


Street Psalms’ weekly lectionary reflection, rooted in perspectives “from below” that embrace abundance and peacemaking.


An Introduction to Preaching Peace


A brief introduction to the history, model, and purpose, and effectiveness of gathering Preaching Peace Tables.



The Girardian Lectionary


This lectionary website offers an anthropological perspective on the deep-seated nature of human violence and the Christian answer to it: Jesus came to save us from our human origins in violence — opening the possibility to nothing less than a new Way to be human.


The Text this Week


Here you will find conveniently-organized links to a treasure of resources for study, reflection and liturgy pertaining to each week’s lectionary texts – both as individual pericopes and as a group of readings within their liturgical setting — a virtual study desk of sorts, laid out for your weekly exegetical work. Try the Art Concordance if you’re looking for lists of artwork indexed according to Biblical themes.