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When I began reading, Friendship at the Margins by Christopher L. Heuertz and Christine D. Pohl, I quickly realized that it would be a valuable resource for deacons and others engaged in "word and deed" ministries or missions with individuals on the margins of society. I have gained a much greater appreciation for the importance and priority of and need for developing genuine friendships with those we serve.

From the back cover:

In our anonymous and dehumanized world, the simple practice of friendship is radically countercultural. But sometimes Christians inadvertently marginalize and objectify the very ones they most want to serve.

Chris Heuertz, international director of Word Made Flesh, and theologian and ethicist Christine Pohl show how friendship is a Christian vocation that can bring reconciliation and healing to our broken world. They contend that unlikely friendships are at the center of an alternative paradigm for mission, where people are not objectified as potential converts but encountered in a relationship of mutuality and reciprocity.

When we befriend those on the margins of society by practicing hospitality and welcome, we create communities where righteousness and justice can be lived out. Heuertz and Pohl's reflections offer fresh insight into Christian mission and what it means to be the church in the world today.

Visit the InterVarsity Press website to learn more about the book's contents, read reviews and, if you choose, purchase at a 20% discount.


To stay grounded when "helping/interacting" with ALL people I remind myself "There but for the Grace of God go   I."

People on the margins can and often are closer to God than I perceive because I look through my own filters. 

Thanks for your thoughtful response. I too have discovered that many of those on the margins often have a faith in and relationship with God that is not only present but often more vital and real than my own. These experiences challenge my assumptions and remind me that we are all broken and in need of God's shalom . . . it's just that some brokenness is more visible or more difficult to hide.

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