Presbyterian pastor and author Henry Brinton believes that when Christians live in a hospitable manner with one another and the strangers in their midst, their congregations receive multiple blessings; namely, growth in “reconciliation, outreach, and ever-broadening perceptions of God.” Brinton begins his discussion of congregational hospitality by looking at the biblical vision of alternative community and its history. He then considers the impact of the shared meal, the importance of “bridges” in building relationships, and reviews small groups and hospitality. Along the way, Brinton shares his insights from his own research and exploration of how hospitality is demonstrated in various faith communities, offering hints and helps for making hospitality a part of a congregation’s ethos. This book is written with a Christian perspective, and a variety of traditions interested in building “a house of prayer” will find it practical and useful.
Reviewed by Janet Hoover