Catching up with life

Well, back from Hawaii Thursday morning. Napped most of the day then headed out to church for the institution of our new Rector. Very cool service, and I feel very privileged to have been there. Our new Rector, Marda, has been our Associate for seven years and has been our priest in charge while our parish figured out our options following the retirement of our former Rector. Really, it was a foregone conclusion, and I don't say that because Marda represents the familiar, easy choice. If anything choosing her as our new Rector is our way of saying, "OK, we know where we're going - let's get started." Besides, she's just an amazing priest and leader.

Speaking of priest and leader, I did something I don't normally do on vacation - I read "heavy duty" books (well, mixed in with other stuff.) First up were a couple of Brian McLaren books, The Church on the Other Side and A Generous Orthodoxy.

The first book is a really useful look at specific topics to ponder and then do something about. Fortunately it's not a cookbook - it's a series of provocative thoughts that invite readers to address for themselves. Some will be more important than others depending on the context. I look forward to working on some of the issues myself.

The second McLaren book is a more grandiose venture. A Generous Orthodoxy is an attempt to create a space for a theology that is postmodern, post-liberal, post whatever we have now. Brian's personal experience informs the entire book, and his breadth of experience and the generosity that has been a gift to him from all tributaries of the Christian river serves him well as he weaves his story. A few pomo bloggers will be blogging about the book over the next few weeks. Check it out if interested.

My final heavy duty book was Renee Altson's Stumbling Toward Faith. Wow. It's not exactly the most coherent book you'll read, but as a stream of consciousness memoir of a brutal, painful upbringing it has no equal. Renee's tale of sexual abuse at the hands of her church elder father and the blind eye turned by the church is heart rending. It's also a cautionary tale that every single one of us in the church should read and internalize because this should never happen.

Major kudos to Renee for being brave enough to share her story. Renee blogs at ianua and is also doing a virtual book tour through blogland that you can check out here. As Jordon Cooper noted on the stop at his blog, this is a book that I will buy to give away.

On top of that I managed to read the last three Kay Scarpetta Patricia Cornwell novels, a really old Donald Westlake and the eighth and final (sniff) book in Melody Carlson's Diary of a Teenage Girl series. Ah, the joys of the beach and pool...

hey there! thanks for the kind thoughts on my book. i love to come across postings that are so encouraging. thanks for reading stf -- for being willing to read it. i appreciate your thoughts.
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