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Monday, December 03, 2007
Books
Hi all. I just wanted to post a few tidbits on books.

Tomorrow we kick off our discussion of Scot McKnight's The Real Mary. This is a rather apropos book for the season and I hope we can all broaden our understanding of Mary through this discussion.

I also wanted to announce that the January book club selection will be Becky Garrison's Rising from the Ashes. Becky has participated often here at Emerging Women and I look forward to the opportunity to discuss a book from "one of our own" as it were. Also this is the first book out there about the Emerging Church to have been written by a woman. In the book, Becky presents interviews from a number of international practitioners (both women and men) who are rethinking the ways in which church is done. I asked Becky to tell us a bit about why she wrote the book and she happily obliged. So I want to share her thoughts with you as a sort of teaser for next month's discussion -

BECKY GARRISON – RISING FROM THE ASHES: RETHINKING CHURCH REFLECTIONS

When asked about my faith persuasion these days, I say I’m a pre-natal Episcopalian (my late father was an Episcopal priest, you do the science and the ecclesiology). In my twenties, I found myself drawn to the charismatic wing of the US Episcopal Church only to leave this movement when it became too politicized for my soul. So, I’ve been kind of wandering in the worship wilderness, stopping every so often whenever I’d spot an alt.w. Anglican minded gathering. But those oases were few and far between.
In my journeys, I connected with Jonny Baker, Kester Brewin, and others from across the pond. They helped introduce me to a few US liturgically minded pioneers like Karen Ward and Nadia Bolz-Weber.

While the US Emergent Church authors stimulated my mind, The UK emerging church crowd really spoke to my heart. As I waded through my ever increasing stack of emergent resources, I noticed that while these books ranged from goofy to glorious, except for a few offerings like Alternative Worship: Resources from and for the Emerging Church (by Jonny Baker and Doug Gay, with a forward by Sally Morgenthaler), I couldn’t find material that spoke to my Anglican sensibilities. Simply put, what impact do these new ways of worshiping God have on the contemporary mainline church?

I attempted to answer this question through interwoven oral history-style interviews with people working with mainline churches who at the forefront of exploring what it means to “be” the Church in the 21st century. Several worship leaders who do not self-identify with the emerging church movement are also included. The contributors to this book include: Diana Butler Bass, Jonny Baker, Kester Brewin, Shane Claiborne, Brian McLaren, Peter Rollins, Cheryl Lawrie, Nadia Bolz Weber, Phyllis Tickle, Karen Ward (Church of the Apostles, Seattle), and NT Wright. While this list is by no means comprehensive (my advance apologies to anyone who feels slighted they were not included), hopefully this book can serve as a starting point for mainliners who have been watching from the sidelines to enter the dialogue.

Disclaimer: Not all of these voices are in agreement but this book isn’t about my personal tastes. Rather, I am seeking to explore the diversity that comprises the Anglican tradition. These voices range from High Church Celtic Christians to Evangelical Anglicans, as well as a few spiritual souls who consider themselves to be post-church.

Think of this book like an AA meeting. Take what works and leave the rest.

Godspeed.

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