The popularity of my posts over the last couple of days on community, hospitality and food made me realize how many people are looking for resources to help them form community in this way. As well as that today is the celebration of the Celtic saint St Brigid of Kildaire who was known for her generosity and hospitality. Like many of the early Celtic saints she believed that hospitality was a doorway into the kingdom of God.
So here are the resources I would recommend as a starting place.
Making Room: Recovering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition, by Christine Pohl is the best and most challenging book I have ever read on the Christian art of hospitality.
Friendship at the Margins by Christine Pohl and Christopher Heuertz. This is a great complement to Christine’s book and just as challenging. They contend that when we welcome those on the margins of society by practicing hospitality and we create communities where righteousness and justice can be lived out.
Take This Bread, by Sara Miles is a delightful look at what can happen when we take remember Jesus when we share the bread and the wine of communion.
A Year of Plenty by Craig Goodwin. I love the way that he talks about the connections that were made in their church parking lot as they established a farmer’s market there.
A Meal With Jesus by Tim Chester. This book is a great look at how the sharing of a meal can be an opportunity for mission and community.
Everyday Justice: The Global Impact of Our Daily Choices by Julie Clawson. This book is not directly related to the topic but I found it challenged me to as many of the justice issues Julie looks at are related to food.
Babette’s Feast. If you have not yet seen this film then I suggest you start here. Get some friends together, share a meal, watch the film and discuss its images of the kingdom
Obviously this is not a complete bibliography but I gives a good place to start. If you are aware of other must read books in these areas I would appreciate your comments. As you can see I discovered more that address issues of community and hospitality than community and the growing of food so I would be particularly interested in any books that talk about this. To be honest I hate the word self sufficient that is the cry of the sustainability movement. Our goal should not be self sufficiency but interdependence.