• For All Who Hunger

  • Searching for Communion in a Shattered World
  • By: Emily M. D. Scott
  • Narrated by: Emily M. D. Scott
  • Length: 6 hrs and 2 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (23 ratings)

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For All Who Hunger

By: Emily M. D. Scott
Narrated by: Emily M. D. Scott
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Publisher's Summary

Emily Scott never planned on becoming a pastor. But when she started a church for misfits that met over dinner in Brooklyn, she discovered an unlikely calling - and an antidote to modern loneliness.

“I absolutely devoured this exquisitely written memoir.” (Nadia Bolz-Weber, New York Times best-selling author of Shameless)

As founding pastor of St. Lydia’s in Brooklyn, New York, where worship takes place over a meal, Emily Scott spent eight years ministering to a scrappy collective of people with different backgrounds, incomes, and levels of social skills. Each week they broke bread, sang hymns, made halting conversation with strangers, then did the dishes. In a city where everyone lives on top of each other yet everyone is lonely, these gatherings around a table offered connection and solace that soon would become their lifelines.    

When Hurricane Sandy slams into the coast of New York, Scott and her church members are faced with a disorienting crisis. Startled by the impact of the storm on their more vulnerable neighbors, they learn to work alongside one another, bailing water out of basements and canvassing emptied apartment buildings. Every week, they return to those steady, strong tables at Dinner Church. Together, they find community, even in the midst of disaster. Scott discovers how small acts of connection hold more power than we realize in a time when our differences are being weaponized and learns to create activism and justice work fueled by empathy and relationship. 

With tenderness and humor, Scott weaves stories and reflections from the life of her unlikely congregation while articulating the value of church as a place where people can hear not only that they are loved, but that they are good. 

For All Who Hunger is a story about a God whose love has no limits and a faith that opens our eyes to the truth. There’s a place for you at the table. 

Praise for For All Who Hunger

“In this intimate and openly heartfelt debut memoir, Scott explores the power of faith and community as strength-building resources for navigating difficult times.... A moving personal memoir and an accessibly reverent meditation on finding faith through unconventional acts of worship. Highly inspiring for anyone seeking solace in our modern world.” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)

“Lutheran pastor Scott asks in her exceptional debut: if you strip from church all ‘the creeds and the chasubles,’ what would be left? The answer, for her, became St. Lydia’s Dinner Church in New York City, which she founded in 2008 as a place for queer, marginalized, artistic, nerdy, and often lonely lovers of God to gather for bread, wine, and the words of Jesus.... Scott’s writing is leavened by a healthy dose of self-awareness, and her stories capture the humanity of her mission and community with a light sacramental touch.” (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

©2020 Emily M. D. Scott (P)2020 Random House Audio

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Inspiring

I liked how much you persevered all throughout the story. When you give your heart and soul in the service of others, you help yourself. Thank you to the people who support us all.

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excellent

excellent book. it was heartfelt and genuine. raw at times in the very best way.

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compelling memoir--both personal and pastoral

Many of the contemporary spiritual memoirs I've read walk the reader through the author's loss of faith followed by the rediscovery of faith through a different (softer?) lens. Those are helpful in their own ways, but I found Emily Scott's book refreshing in that this wasn't the story arc. Rather, this is a pastor who seems to have inherited a relatively healthy faith and translated it into creating a warm space in the world for people looking for connection and meaning. The story arc is about the joys and travails of starting such a faith community, St. Lydia's in Brooklyn; it is also about Emily's personal growth in relationship to that community.

Emily's gift for hospitality is on fully display in her writing. She sets a sumptuous table and pulls out a chair that is easy to plop down in to listen to her stories. What I most appreciated was the vulnerable sharing of her own spiritual journey. The Spirit stirred in her, inviting her to start a church that was outside the box of most mainline formats. The Spirit provided more than enough in times when it looked like there would never be enough. The Spirit gathered others to help. The Spirit led the church and taught them about justice, about being rooted in community, and about including the non-monied, young, outsiders (often queer). There's a prophetic summons here for the larger mainline churches, if they have ears to hear the voice of a younger, female clergy person. The beckoning of Jesus leads some to take risks for the sake of enlarging the tent, and these Spirit-led leaders need to be empowered through the lessoning of red tape and the loosening of the purse strings. I'm encouraged by Emily's journey. It challenges me to keep listening to the voice of the Spirit, to step out in faith, to look for others walking alongside, and to watch for the inbreaking of God's Good Realm.

Definitely worth the read. It's well-written and Emily has a lovely speaking voice.