After 30 years of teaching Christian ethics, I decided that I needed to express myself in something besides words. I wanted a fresh start and a fresh form, something that would go beyond nostalgia, some new symbolic form that would be congruent with my deepest convictions and aspirations. I decided to build a communion table.
Though I had always loved to work with wood, household and occupational claims had reduced this urge to making home repairs and constructing a bookcase or two. Then, a few years ago, I became familiar with the hardwood forests around my home in the southern Appalachians and the extraordinary woodcraft of the people here. Soon I found myself assembling a workshop in the basement.
William Johnson Everett, who teaches at Andover Newton Theological School, is the author of Religion, Federalism, and the Struggle for Public Life (Oxford University Press, 1997). His book The Politics of Worship is forthcoming from United Church Press.