Archives For Place

 

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I’m going to start assembling some reading lists to accompany the Slow Church book… The book includes a Recommended Reading List as an appendix, but these lists I’m working on will go deeper than that, and will include books that have been released since the launch of Slow Church.

 
Haven’t read Slow Church?  Get a copy now… 

 

Part 3: Stability (Rootedness in a place)
Previous Parts of this list:  [ Part 1 ] [ Part 2 ]

Chapter 3: Stability is the Benedictine concept of being rooted in a particular place. We argue that a healthy dose of this rootedness is essential for the well-being of our churches.

 

Here are some books that fit with this chapter:

The Wisdom of Stability: Rooting Faith in a Mobile Culture

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove

*** If you can only read one other book, on stability, read this one.

*** Read our review

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Slow church-Banner

 

I’m going to start assembling some reading lists to accompany the Slow Church book… The book includes a Recommended Reading List as an appendix, but these lists I’m working on will go deeper than that, and will include books that have been released since the launch of Slow Church.

Haven’t read Slow Church?  Get a copy now… 

 

Part 2: Terroir
Previous Parts of this list:  [ Part 1 ]

 
Chapter 2: Terroir is our argument for a church that reflects the “taste of the place,” a church rooted not in ideas and practices copied from other churches, but from the people and ecology of that particular place.
 
 
Here are some books that fit with this chapter:
 

The New Parish: How Neighborhood Churches Are Transforming Mission, Discipleship and Community

Dwight Friesen, Tim Soerens, Paul Sparks

*** If you can only read one other book, on cultivating distinctively local churches, read this one.

*** Read our review
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Grace is Everywhere

 

A Reflection on

The Diary of a Country Priest
Georges Bernanos
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]

 

By Joe Krall

 
“Mine is a parish like all the rest. They are all alike. Those of today I mean.”

 

It’s risky to begin a novel that way – so humdrum, almost cynical, without delicacy or poetry. The Diary of a Country Priest is a novel submerged in ordinary life. One sees a nameless priest walking the muddy French roads through the village. One feels the squish of mud under his boots, the damp and drizzling rain. The priest is a young man, an introvert, not physically strong and not quite healthy. His parish is, in his own words, covered with “boredom” as with fine dust.

 

There is nothing attractive or enchanting about this village, this priest, or this novel. And that is precisely its glory. I can’t explain why, when I reread this book, I occasionally get tears in my eyes, or an ache in my chest. But hidden within the pages of this book is an overwhelming sense of the world as a gift.

 

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Closer to Home than we Realize
 
A Review of

No Home Like Place: A Christian Theology of Place

Leonard Hjalmarson

Paperback: Urban Loft Publishers, 2014.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

 
Reviewed by Alden Bass.
 
I grew up in a tradition which resolutely refused to meeting places “sanctuaries.” There was no biblical warrant for the term, and besides, it sounded too Catholic-y. Had not Jesus himself prophesied that the time of sanctified places was coming to end? “The days are coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem…but true worshipers will worship in spirit and truth.” The apostles, too, seemed to deny the holiness of any particular place, preferring to characterize the saints – either individually (Paul) or corporately (Peter) – as the new, bodily temple of God. “O Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary.” We preferred to call our meeting places “auditoriums,” using the neutral latinate designation for “a large room for hearing speeches,” (in the process revealing our predilection for the word over the sacrament). For altogether different reasons, there is a movement afoot among the church-growth sector to eschew the freighted and old-fashioned designation in favor of the more neutral and seeker-friendly “auditorium” as well. Unsurprisingly, th­­­­­­­is trend has resulted in many anxious late-night word studies by blogging seminarians.

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Our Latest Book Giveaway…

We’re giving away THREE copies of the new book

The New Parish: How Neighborhood Churches Are Transforming Mission, Discipleship and Community
Dwight Friesen, Tim Soerens, Paul Sparks

Paperback: IVP Books, 2014

Read our review of The New Parish


 

Enter to win a copy of this book!

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Willie Jennings

Here is the first of the audio recordings from the Slow Church Conference that we hosted last week here at Englewood Christian Church.

Our aim for the conference was to foster conversation around the work of several key theologians whose work inspired the Slow Church book that John Pattison and I wrote.

[ Download a FREE sampler of the SLOW CHURCH book here… ]

Willie Jennings is Associate Professor of Theology and Black Church Studies at Duke Divinity School.

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An excellent book that arrived in bookstores last week…

Telling Our Way to the Sea: A Voyage of Discovery in the Sea of Cortez
Aaron Hirsh

Hardback: FSG, 2013.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]   [ Kindle ]

“Hirsh delivers an important work about the power of place and the power of stories—scientific, historical, and personal—to shape our understanding of our world.”
– Publishers Weekly [ Read the full, starred review ]






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Closer to Home.

A Feature Review of

The Little Way of Ruthie Leming: A Southern Girl, a Small Town, and the Secret of a Good Life
Rod Dreher

Hardback: Grand Central, 2013.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Ellen Painter Dollar.

In November 1995, my then-boyfriend’s, now-husband’s brother died suddenly. A few weeks later, I preached a sermon at my little coffee-house church about how Jimmy’s death made me impatient with all of the outward-focused ministries for which my church (part of the venerable Washington, DC-based Church of the Saviour) was known. People affiliated with my church were doing wonderful things for DC’s poorest citizens—day care centers and GED prep and long-term supportive housing for those with HIV/AIDS. Good stuff.

 

But, I admitted, loving Daniel as he mourned his brother drew my focus a bit closer to home. I realized that we Christians are called not simply to do big things for Jesus “out there” in the world, but also to offer sacrificial love—Christ-like love—in our homes and families and friendships, where the needs can be just as big and desperate as those on our city streets or in undeveloped overseas locales.

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Paul Sparks, Chris SmithOn Tuesday night September 18, we here at Englewood Christian Church on the Near Eastside of Indianapolis were pleased to host a conversation about churches and neighborhoods facilitated by ERB editor Chris Smith and Paul Sparks of the Parish Collective.

This “Reimagining the Parish” conversation drew a diverse crowd of participants from around central Indiana (A huge thanks to all who attended!)


An overview of the conversation:

1) Chris sketches the Slow Church vision and why Englewood is excited about the work of the Parish Collective

2) Paul overviews the work that he is involved in with the Parish Collective

3) A wide-ranging Q/A conversation on churches, neighborhoods and place.

Please download, listen and freely share this recording as you see fit.
The evening was also video recorded and clips from that video will be available in the near future.

http://englewoodreview.org/podcast/ReimaginingTheParish.mp3

 

Doug Worgul: Thin, Blue SmokeAn excerpt from the best novel I’ve read this year,
which releases this week (though, through some confusion on my part about its release date, it wasn’t on our list of new releases to watch for this week… though it SHOULD have been!)

Thin, Blue Smoke: A Novel.

Doug Worgul

Paperback: Burnside Books, 2012.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

The blurb I wrote for this novel:
Doug Worgul’s Thin Blue Smoke is a poignant story that unfolds in and around a tiny barbecue joint on the backstreets of Kansas City. With bold and twisted characters like those of Flannery O’Connor or Frederick Buechner, Worgul weaves a rich and redemptive story that captures the spirit of its gritty, urban setting as well as any American novel that is deeply rooted in a place. In our world of increasing isolation and infidelity, Thin Blue Smoke stirs our imaginations with the hope of what is possible through deep and tenacious friendships.

The cover on the excerpt below is from the UK edition… The correct cover is on the left…







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