Friday, January 18, 2008
Friday Five: BOOKS--so little time
I am so thankful for Revgals Friday Fives. It keeps me writing when I don’t seem to come up with ideas of my own.
1. What book have you read in the last six months that has really stayed with you? Why?
Leaving Church by Barbara Brown Taylor. Barbara is one of the gurus of preaching in my denomination. I have always appreciated her sermons, her specific embracing of life where it is and calling that life to newness. I found this memoir of her leaving her parish and going into college teaching filled with many of the issues that I face in my last years of ministry.
Her being sick of the fighting that seems to characterize the Church these days is a malaise that I recognize. I would like to explore other faiths or religious practice rather than stay in the same box. But if I do, or worse—TALK about it, it is viewed as being disloyal, or by some, heretical. I am tired of others’ fear limiting my faith or education.
I did find that many of her reasons for being a parish priest were not mine and in my mind fairly shallow. But I have to confess that many of mine were there too. The book was speaking truths that sometimes I am afraid to explore.
2. What is one of your favorite childhood books?
Misty of Chincoteague. And all the rest of Marguerite Henry’s books.
3. Do you have a favorite book of the Bible? Do tell!
I love the wisdom literature. Ecclesiasticus/Ben Sirach. A book from the Apocrypha. Chapter 2 I read shortly after I came to know God. And it has stayed with me all these years. I return to it over and over. I love the Psalms. I don’t read Proverbs much but Ecclesiastes also has some good bits.
4. What is one book you could read again and again?
I don’t usually read books again and again. I read so slowly that most everything is imprinted in my brain that I don’t have to read them a second time. I would read The Spiral Staircase by Karen Armstrong again and Folly by Laurie King again because when I read those 2 books I devoured them. I do read Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers occasionally.
5 Is there a book you would suggest for Lenten reading? What is it and why?
I would recommend Taylor’s Leaving Church for all who are pastors. She raises questions for we who are clergy on how to take care of our own faith lives, about how we convey the message of God to those who pay our salaries and the delicate balance that we have to maintain.
And because we all love bonus questions, if you were going to publish a book what would it be? Who would you want to write the jacket cover blurb expounding on your talent?
There are several books I would like to write: I would like to write a book about the misuse of the power of bishops. I don’t think it will sell, but Hey, what is the imagination for? I would like to write a book on how to help people who are stuck in their faith and faced with questions they are afraid to ask. I haven’t figured out how to do that yet, though. I will eventually write a book about J., her friendship with Jonathan Daniels and how it lead to her being one of the first licitly ordained women in the Episcopal Church. It is a story that should be told even down to the total rejection of her by the bishop here.