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New every morning is your love, great God of light, and all day long you are working for good in the world. Stir up in us desire to serve you, to live peacefully with our neighbors and all your creation, and to devote each day to your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

"A Liturgy for Morning Prayer,"" Upper Room Worshipbook

Reprinted by permission from the Book of Common Worship, © 2018 Westminster John Knox Press. All rights reserved. This prayer appears in “A Liturgy for Morning Prayer” in Upper Room Worshipbook.

Room at My Table

Preparing Heart and Home for Christian Hospitality

Evelyn Bence • October 2014

BUY Print $12.99

BUY eBook (Available in ePub or Kindle) $9.99

In this delightful collection of 52 devotions, Evelyn Bence reflects on gatherings at her table that have brought together friends, family, and neighbors. The anecdotal meditations ease the door ajar, gently inviting you to welcome others to your table. You see her planning a gathering, choosing recipes, thinking about how to make guests feel at ease.

For seasoned hosts, Bence provides encouragement and camaraderie. For novices, she offers gentle instruction laced with humor, realistic expectations, and recipes to try.

Many readers will remember Evelyn Bence as a frequent contributor to Daily Guideposts. Known for her warm, personal writing, she offers devotional gems and recipes in Room at My Table that will appeal to a wide range of Christian women. The book makes a thoughtful hostess gift.

Come along, Bence gracefully urges — you, too, can make room at your table for others to share a meal or even just a cup of coffee and dessert. Whether your table is humble or grand, you can reach out to others and enjoy offering hospitality.


Evelyn Bence, an editor and writer, lives in Arlington, Virginia. She is the author of several books and a frequent contributor to Daily Guideposts annual devotional. Bence has also served as religion editor at Doubleday, managing editor for Today’s Christian Woman magazine, and senior editor for Prison Fellowship Ministries. She is a graduate of Houghton College.

ISBN: 978-0-8358-1359-4

Kindle ISBN: 978-0-8358-1360-0

EPub ISBN: 978-0-8358-1361-7

Imprint: Upper Room

Pub Date: 20141001

Trim Size: 5.5 in (w) x 8.5 in (h) x 0.3086 in (d)

Page Count: 128

BISAC Categories: RELIGION / Christian Living / Devotional

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“Evelyn’s personal stories about her success in the realm of hospitality gave me the courage to try again, even if I’m just offering a cup of ice water. She invited me to think through the spiritual implications of a life of hospitality and what it could look like. I encourage you to take her up on the same invitation. As you read Room at My Table, I'm guessing God just might touch your heart too.” – Anita Lustrea Radio talk show host, speaker, and author of Shades of Mercy and What Women Tell Me

“What I loved about Room at My Table was that you could smell the food and feel the welcome. It made me wish I could be part of the delightful conversations.  Evelyn Bence writes about hospitality out of the real-life events where she has opened her home to friends, neighbors, and that inevitable child who somehow appears in all of our lives, just waiting to be invited in.” –Karen Mains, Director, Hungry Souls

“I have eaten at Evelyn’s table. What she has written is also what she has lived. Most of us make our major life decisions with others around food. Jesus did the same. This is a one-of-a-kind devotional — compelling; it captures Jesus’ life and invites us to discover the abundant life he offers.”
—Jo Anne Lyon, General Superintendent, The Wesleyan Church

"Room at My Table addresses an old subject with the fresh insight and unique slant readers have come to expect from author Evelyn Bence. Her 52 meditations on hospitality draw upon personal experience—successes and failures—fortified by scripture and illuminated by homey illustrations and apt quotes from a rich reservoir of writers. The meditations explore a wide range of practicalities—limitations of finance or space, conversational dynamics, social insecurity, table fellowship for friend and stranger, aesthetics of food presentation, tested and tried recipes—lifting the very act of hospitality from the mundane to the sacramental. For those who want to embrace people in hospitality but don’t think they can; for those who don’t want to but think they should—this is the book to read! "
—Miriam Huffman Rockness, author of Home: God’s Design and Passion for the Impossible, and blogger at ililiastrotter.wordpress.com

"In Room at My Table Evelyn Bence serves up a feast of vignettes from her life, glimpses of meals and conversations with friends, along with suggestions for being the welcoming host. As she calls us to engage more thoughtfully in hospitality, she weaves together the practical and the spiritual, the moments of friendship in her living room, and the mystery of God’s welcome to us. Bence’s insights and questions call us to reflect more deeply both on how we serve our friends and how we respond to Christ who has invited us to his table. A delectable collection of meditations."
—Kristina LaCelle-Peterson, author of Liberating Tradition: Women’s Identity and Vocation in Christian Perspective and associate professor of religion at Houghton College