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Shaping Worship Space
New Book Provides Theological Discussions and Practical Advice.

When faced with constructing or renewing their worship space, congregations are often overwhelmed with choices and unsure of the best way to proceed. A new book published by Concordia University Press, helps alleviate such concerns.

In Shaping Worship Space: How Christians Shelter and Adorn Their Liturgies, co-authors E.J. Potente and Dr. David Zersen offer theological discussions on the influences of Christian architecture, as well as practical advice for congregations that are planning to construct or renew their worship space. By examining the historical experiences of Christian people, the authors consider how and why Christian worship spaces have evolved and the relevance such influences have on today’s churches. Also serving as a worship space planning guide, the authors provide practical advice based on generations of experience. Each chapter concludes with thought-provoking study questions. In addition, a comprehensive strategic plan guides readers through the process of designing a beautiful, meaningful and functional place of worship.

Co-author E.J. Potente is the President of The Studios of Potente, a liturgical design company based in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Potente has spent the last 30 years focusing on ways to reorient or enhance worship space in hundreds of denominational settings. Much of what E.J. knows and practices, he learned from his father, Eugene Potente, Jr., Founder of The Studios of Potente and to whom the book is dedicated.

Dr. David Zersen is a theologian and educator at Concordia University Texas. Also inspired by his father, a pioneer in the field of illumination, Zersen engages readers with his passion for and extensive knowledge of Christian architecture. His discussions examine why the church building has become what it is today, and how these discoveries are meaningful for today’s Christian communities.

According to The Rev. Frank C. Senn, Ph.D., the book “is based on sound principles and extensive experience. Shaping Worship Space will promote considerable discussion about tradition and relevance in parish study and planning groups.”

The Rev. Richard S. Vosko calls the book “an ecumenical repository of information.” Vosko adds that, “It mixes just the right amount of history, theology, ministry, and design recommendations to make it a practical primer for any congregation building or renovating a place of worship.”

To purchase your copy of Shaping Worship Space, please call The Studios of Potente directly at 262-654-3535.

Download the Press Release

"The authors of Shaping Worship Space provide readers with sound direction to very important questions that need responsible answers for congregations looking to renew worship spaces or imagine new ones."

The Rev. William Set Adams Ph.D.

"It is based on sound principles and extensive experience. Shaping Worship Space will promote considerable discussion about tradition and relevance in parish study and planning groups."

The Rev. Frank C. Senn, Ph.D.

"It mixes just the right amount of history, theology, ministry and design recommendations to make it a practical primer for any congregation building or renovating a place of worship."

The Rev. Richard S. Vosko, Ph.D., Hon. AIA, sacred space planner

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