Remove the Pews

Remove the Pews

Spiritual Possibilities for Sacred Spaces

Donna Schaper


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“When I saw the title, I wanted to shout from the rooftop: It’s time! Donna Schaper makes a compelling case for clearing space, both architecturally and in our ministry journeys. This little book is a gift to a tired and caged-in church!”—Paul Nixon, author of Multi and I Refuse to Lead a Dying Church

Pastor Donna Schaper takes the long view of religious institutions in an age of rapid change. The question of who the Church is today—and how it employs its buildings—is connected to the Church’s past identities and future hopes. Remove the Pews offers concrete suggestions on how congregations can open their church spaces to revive their spirits.

From welcoming local dance troupes to serving undocumented persons, Schaper demonstrates how the imagination is the only limit to what church buildings mean and can do. Her meditations on community use of sacred spaces serve as a springboard for a broader examination of how the church might be renewed for the modern age. The pews are only the beginning!


Donna Schaper:
The Rev. Dr. Donna Schaper was, until her recent retirement, Senior Minister at Judson Memorial Church in New York City. She is the co-founder of the New Sanctuary Coalition and the author of numerous books, including I Heart Francis: Letters to the Pope from an Unlikely Admirer.