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Rachel Held Evans

 

Church Matters:
An Interview with
Rachel Held Evans

 

I was excited to have the opportunity to talk recently with Rachel Held Evans about her excellent forthcoming book Searching for Sunday (which just received a starred review from Publishers Weekly).

[ Pre-order now: PaperbackKindle ]
 
ERB: One of the things that I really appreciated about your book was the deep love that was evident for the church. If I could oversimplify things a bit and summarize the book in only two words, I would describe it as “Church matters.”  In that vein, it seems like you are using your story to very gently and kindly push back on the “Spiritual, but not Religious” mentality. Is that a fair assessment of the book?

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LGFrancisStaying Awake

 

An Op-Ed on Ferguson and Faith

 

By Leah Gunning Francis,
author of Ferguson and Faith
(Forthcoming, Chalice Press,
Summer 2015)

 
In 1966, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered a speech titled Don’t Sleep Through the Revolution during a Unitarian Universalist General Assembly meeting in Hollywood, Florida.  King’s speech was a clarion call for the church to remain awake to the social injustices of the day, and join the efforts to eradicate oppressive systems in the United States and abroad.  It was one year after “Bloody Sunday” in Selma, Alabama where peaceful protests were lodged to lobby for African Americans to have the rights to vote, but were met with violent opposition from police and civilians. The images from “Bloody Sunday,” coupled with Dr. King’s invitation, compelled hundreds of clergy from around the country to come to Selma and join the struggle for voting rights.
 
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ERB-Header

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Our book trailer of the week, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day…

 

Vulnerable Faith: Missional Living in the Radical Way of St. Patrick
Jamie Arpin-Ricci
Foreword by Jean Vanier

Paperback: Paraclete Press, 2015
 
Pre-order now:  [ Amazon ]
 
Watch the book trailer…

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Simple Lessons from Small Talk

 

Why young mothers should read Amy Julia Becker’s newest book

by Jen Pollock Michel

 

Small Talk: Learning From My Children About What Matters Most
Amy Julia Becker
Paperback: Zondervan, 2014

 
 
She kept a list. She wrote reminders. Something to ask. A story to tell. An opinion to solicit. My friend’s list was our only real hope for sustaining thought in the sitcom quality of life during the years when our children were young. We suffered the constancy of commercial breaks: to change a diaper, to zip up a jacket, to retrieve Buzz Lightyear who’d been mercilessly thrown into the toilet. To think that our friendship survived the bleary-eyed years of that episodic sanity, when we were cycling and recycling through the states of pregnancy and nursing and potty-training is a testament to the great mercy of God.

 

I’ve almost forgotten how harried those days actually were. My friend’s list of conversational prompts remind me, however, that it was once an Olympic feat to finish a sentence, much less see to the cohesion and conclusion of a conversation. I can take for granted the long stretches of quiet I now have to myself to write and study in the middle of the day when the children (all five of them!) are off to school. I even make uninterrupted phone calls.

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Merton_Intimate-2

 

Tomorrow, January 31, marks the centennial of the birth of Thomas Merton!

If you are not familiar with Merton, the monk, poet and social activist, I highly recommend starting with his autobiography, The Seven Storey Mountain.
 

In honor of the occasion,
A number of Merton’s books are on sale for Kindle!
(via our sister site ThriftyChristianReader.com)

 
Here are some of our favorite posts about Merton that have run on our site over recent years:

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Rachel Held Evans
 

Rachel Held EvansVideo of a recent talk in which Rachel Held Evans overviews her new book:

 

Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church
Rachel Held Evans

Paperback: Thomas Nelson, April 2015.
 
Pre-order now:  [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

 

Keep the Church Weird:

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Lent is almost upon us again …

(Ash Wednesday is Feb 18…)

I’ve been asked a few times recently to recommend some books on Lenten themes that churches might read and discuss this year during Lent. And since, I think reading and discussing books together is an important practice for the health and well-being of churches, here are 10 new-ish books that would be appropriate for reading and discussion during Lent.  I offer each one with a brief explanation of why I have included it.

NOTE: I’m not recommending that any church or individual should read ALL of these books during Lent, but wanted to offer a range of options so that churches might have some flexibility in picking a book to read and discuss during Lent.

Lent 2015

Meeting God in Mark: Reflections for the Season of Lent


By Rowan Williams

I’ll start with the only traditional collection of Lenten reflections on this list.  Normally, I’m not a big fan of this sort of devotional-type books, but Rowan Williams is always thoughtful (and sometimes provocative), and this book’s focus on Mark’s Gospel challenges us to stay focused on Jesus, which is an important reminder in our age of ideology.

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[ This list as a 1-Page Printable PDF ]

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Ken WytsmaOur Book Trailer video of the week…

 

The Grand Paradox: The Messiness of Life, The Mystery of God and the Necessity of Faith
Ken Wytsma

Hardback: Thomas Nelson, 2015
(Book releases January 27th)
 
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
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Ernesto Cardenal

Today marks the 90th birthday of Nicaraguan poet Ernesto Cardenal…

Reviewing Pluriverse, the most through collection of his poems in English translation, Brent Aldrich described Cardenal as “[A] man who has been, at various times, a Catholic priest, a Sandinista revolutionary, Minister of Culture, and a contemplative after living as a novitiate under Thomas Merton.” [ This review is a great intro to Cardenal’s work! ]

In honor of Cardenal’s 90th birthday, we offer three videos that together offer a nice introduction to his poetry. The first video is a PBS interview, the second two videos are of him reading poems.

 

PBS Interview:




 

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