Word of the Week

Let me introduce you to a great story of what the ministerial life is all about from my pastor and writing friend MaryAnn. Check it out here:

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/35585025]

After watching it again this week, I was reminded again of one of my favorite Barbara Brown Taylor quotes from her book Leaving Church:

“. . . the call to serve God is first and last the call to be fully human . . . Like every believer I know, my search for real life has led me through at least three distinct seasons of faith, not once or twice but over and over again. Jesus called them finding life, losing life, and finding life again, with the paradoxical promise that finders will be losers while those who lose their lives for his sake will wind up finding them again.”

How are you being human this week?

A season of Sabbath is upon me and I'm gonna take a nap. Might even turn off my phone next week . . .

In my journey toward becoming an author, I've found it important to build community with other writers. Not only because these are the type of folks whom I really want to read my own work (because they provide such helpful feedback), but for the sake of having encouragers for the journey. Other writers, for me, really do know what makes me tick in ways others don't. I am spurred on by their love of our shared craft.

Several months ago now, I was invited to join a group of fellow Writing Revs who live in the DC region. This group meets a couple of times a month to read each other's stuff and talk about writing. Of course, I was intimidated at first, but after spending a week at Collegeville Institute last summer, I knew it would be good for me. And, I'd have to just get over any insecurities I might have. I'd experienced the gift (and the terror too) of a writing workshop for the first time. And, while it is incredibly vulnerable to put yourself out there like that-- "Here, be the first eyes to my  work. Tell me what you think"-- I learned my readers would thank me later.  And, it has been fun to regular meet with other pastors who feel the same way.

Two of the group members of this Writing Rev group are soon to publish their first book. Excitement has been all the buzz with us lately and I couldn't help but take this opportunity for a shameless promotion for these friends. The church needs thoughtful thinkers and MaryAnn and Ruth are two bright lights with some really great stuff to say on Sabbath and pilgrimage. I've read their books and I'm thrilled about you reading them too.

Sabbath in the Subburbs: A Family's Experiment with Holy Time by MaryAnn McKibben Dana is available for pre-release on Amazon right now. It officially comes out on September 30th.

Books on Sabbath are easier to find these days. For, slowing down, stopping and finding ways to get out of the rat race seems to be a topic that we all want to talk about. But how many of us actually do it? This book is a journey alongside a family with two working parents, three kids in a very overcommited region of the country to find such rest on a weekly basis.  You'll find thoughtful theological reflections over the course of this family's year-long journey with practical ideas about how they put their faith into practice.

Chasing the Divine in the Holy Land by Ruth Everhart is also available for pre-order right now. It comes out on November 30th.

Many pastors or other serious faith seekers come to the Holy Land in search of something. But what happens when such an adventure begins to shake the foundations of your faith? What happens when you begin to see the life experiences of others in a way that you didn't expect? What happens when you wrestle with such deep life questions that you come home from the Holy Land with new vision for the world? Ruth explores these questions and more as she takes you a long for the journey that she a several colleagues made to Israel several years ago. Join her for the spiritual journey.

Both books will ready and available for spring study groups of all kinds. Order yours today and support these wonderful writing Rev friends of mine! You can thank me later.