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Baker, Writer, and Public Theologian
Filled with meals, the gospel story opens in a garden and ends in a feast. In fact, records of the early church suggest that believers met for worship primarily through eating meals. Over time, though, churches 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. Christians of every denomination, age, and race are intentionally gathering around dinner tables. People nervous about stepping into churches are meeting God in dining rooms, restaurants, and garden plots. The dinner-church model is reviving the beauty and possibilities of meal-centered worship.
Kendall Vanderslice—baker, writer, and public theologian—has committed her life to the study of food and community formation. Author of We Will Feast: Rethinking Dinner, Worship, and the Community of God, Kendall spent five years researching dinner churches across North America and discovered an ecumenical array of communities who worship together around the table.
Speaking at the intersection of her Master of Theological Studies (Duke Divinity School) and Master of Liberal Arts in Gastronomy (Boston University), Kendall will present an overview of the theology of eating and explain why it is genuinely nourishing for us to worship at the table. As host in your home or pastor in your church, Kendall will equip you with ways to use the table as a place of worship and address common barriers that arise when integrating dining and worship practices. Along the way, Kendall will make room for group discussion and personal reflection as we explore the embodied ministry of food for our communities and the body of Christ.
This event is offered In-Person AND Virtual.
Kendall Vanderslice is a graduate of Duke Divinity School (Master of Theological Studies), Boston University (MLA Gastronomy), and Wheaton College (BA Anthropology). She has committed her life to the study of food and community formation, successfully interweaving her theological scholarship and training as a professional baker who worked with several top pastry chefs in North America. In 2018, she was named a James Beard Foundation national scholar for her work bridging food and religion.
Kendall’s book, We Will Feast: Rethinking Dinner, Worship, and the Community of God, was born out of five years spent researching churches that worship together around the table. She speaks regularly at churches, colleges, and universities around North America. Her writing appears in Christianity Today, Christian Century, Faith & Leadership, and Religion News Service. Learn more about Kendall at www.Kendallvanderslice.com and www.edibletheology.com.