Rachael A. Keefe is the pastor of Living Table United Church of Christ (UCC) in the Twin Cities. Since being ordained by the UCC in 1992, Rachael has served in many different ministry settings both traditional and decidedly nontraditional, in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Minnesota. She has a Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological School, another Masters degree (ThM) from Princeton, in Christian Education and Counseling, and a doctoral degree (DMin) from Andover Newton Seminary at Yale Divinity School, formerly Andover Newton Theological School. Rachael is a pastor, an author, a painter, and a poet. On sunny afternoons you might see her with her easel at a local park or river walkway.
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"Rachael Keefe has offered us a fearless telling of her own story of struggle and hope, of pain and healing, and of betrayal and redemption. She has used her experiences of suicidal thoughts (and an attempt), a persistent eating disorder, and a deep “psycheache” to weave a theology of the Church and its purpose of saving lives. Her story serves as both a spiritual and practical guide to congregations as they seek to be a healing and hopeful presence to all they serve, especially those struggling with suicide, addictions, and a sense of separation from God, neighbor, and self. The book includes practical suggestions as well as multiple resources in the appendices."Christie Neuger, Ph.D.
"Rachael Keefe courageously tells her story of pain and woundedness and the miracle of transformation that she found in her faith community. This is not just her story. She provides several concrete suggestions for mental health ministry and congregational care. She offers options for preventing and responding to suicide that move beyond platitudes or clichés. She is witness to Christ's promise that exposing her wounds to her faith, community, the body of Christ, will lead to redemption. Once redeemed, Rachael's pain became wisdom. She has been able to use her personal flaws as tools to understand and offer healing, compassionate space to others."David W. McMillan, Ph.D.
"This book weaves the power of Rachael's personal story with theological and psychological wisdom. Suicidal behavior, self-harm, eating disorder, depression, and adverse (abusive and neglected) childhood experiences are realities that connect with her experience of the embodied love of God. This book breaks the silence with her honesty and the depth of her faithfulness and guides faith communities to embody the unconditional love of the divine. 'God is not a fan of suicide,' is a wallop of grace that engages us in the conversation."Rev. Alan Johnson
"This lovely volume is a unique blend of scripture, poetry, and theological reflection that will enter your heart, stir your soul, and speak to your mind. Keefe is a fresh voice beckoning from the horizons of faith, the daily rounds of ministry, and deep spiritual longings. She brings a keen mind, poetic flare, and unfailing compassion to her work, and she writes with passion, vision, and an accessible style that will appeal to a wide audience."THE CHRISTIAN CENTURY
"Rachael writes with a keen intellect, a gift for creative phrasing, an idiosyncratic scriptural perspective that is both insightful and challenging, and an impressive invitation to trust in the absolute truth, love, and goodness of our Creator and Redeemer God. Sometimes the reader will have to reread and review a meditation in order to grasp its profound spiritual nuances. These meditations will guide many to a deep and meaningful spiritual Lenten journey."Merle R. Jordan, Th.D.
"Rachael Keefe offers individuals and communities of faith a fresh, timely, and authentic invitation to the season of Advent. Her readers will find thought-provoking verses with references and images that confirm the complexity of modern life. Through her poetry that resonates with Scripture, she opens up multiple layers of a lived faith that keeps hope alive in the midst of doubt. Readers will find the courage to dream again. This book is a valuable resource for personal reflections and public worship."Rev. Sharon G. Thornton, Ph.D.
"I can walk through Barefoot Theology rapidly to get a feel of the ground covered, then slowly to experience its textures and to return repeatedly to the beginning of the pilgrimage. Dr. Keefe's pastoral heart and theological mind unite as she invites us to reverent, rejoicing, realistic reliance on the God who guides and loves us all the way to the heart of life-giving love."Rev. Walter Wagner, Ph.D.
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Keefe is the pastor of Living Table UCC in Minneapolis. Sunday worship is 10:30AM - noon and you are welcome any time. If you are in the Twin Cities area, please stop in and join us for worship some time.
Living Table UCC
3805 East 40th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55406