Welcome to
The Purple Zone

Ministry in the Red-Blue Divide


  Preaching in the Purple Zone by Leah D. Schade is a resource for helping the church understand the challenges facing parish pastors, while encouraging and equipping preachers to address the vital justice issues of our time. This book provides practical instruction for navigating the hazards of prophetic preaching with tested strategies and prudent tactics grounded in biblical and theological foundations. Key to this endeavor is using a method of civil discourse called “deliberative dialogue” for finding common values among politically diverse parishioners. Unique to this book is instruction on using the sermon-dialogue-sermon process developed by the author that expands the pastor’s level of engagement on justice issues with parishioners beyond the single sermon. Preaching in the Purple Zone equips clergy to help their congregations respectfully engage in deliberation about “hot topics,” find the values that bind them together, and respond faithfully to God’s Word. 

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Why the Purple Zone?

We need tools, courage, and compassion to be the church in this divisive time.

Listen with hospitality,

engage with integrity and prayer, 

tackle tough topics with intellectual rigor.

When we enter into The Purple Zone . . .

we emerge with new insights,

build healthier relationships within the church,

and model civic and public discourse in our communities and our country.

It's time . . .

To be courageous about the gospel,

listen to the guidance of the Spirit,

and trust in the God who empowers us to speak the truth in love.

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The Rev. Dr. Leah Schade

Assistant Professor of Preaching and Worship

Lexington Theological Seminary

Lexington, Kentucky



Leah is also the author of Creation-Crisis Preaching: Ecology, Theology and the Pulpit (Chalice Press, 2015)