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June 11 , 2010

Good Fences

The Boundaries of Hospitality


Hospitality and inclusion are important to the Church. Monastic communities are held up as a model, opening their doors to those who need a place to rest. But they also place boundaries on that hospitality, asking guests to observe house rules, and maintaining a cloistered area where guests are not permitted. "Good fences make good neighbors," wrote Robert Frost. Drawing on her training as a biologist and church consultant, Caroline Westerhoff explores the theological questions raised by boundaries. Filled with stories of actual families and communities, this book is excellent reading for church leaders and for individuals who want to be inclusive and yet maintain boundaries in their lives. John Westerhoff’s study questions make this a helpful resource for parish study groups. "This is a balanced, honest account in which the author generously shares much of her experience in her own ministry in order to assist Church leaders and others in this complex society in which so many live." —Sisters Today Caroline Westerhoff, previously the Canon for Congregational Life and Ministry in the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, and former senior consultant with the Alban Institute, is an author and retreat and workshop leader. She lives with her husband, John Westerhoff, in Atlanta.
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