Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith Hardcover – 1 Jun 2006
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“This beautiful book is rich with wit and humanness and honesty and loving detail. It is a book about the wonderful mess of being alive in this world, and about the wonderful and terrible things that happen to us in it, and about the dream of God. I cannot overstate how liberating and transforming I have found Leaving Church to be.” (Frederick Buechner)
“Eat this book. And you will be satisfied. Here is a story of a life told with the clarity, beauty, and honesty of a mountain stream. Those who attend church, those who do not, and everyone in-between will find here a feast, and the satisfaction of an eloquent voice speaking the truth.” (Nora Gallagher)
“Here the reader will find an awesome reverence for mystery. This book comes as a refreshing challenge to reconnect with the longings in the depths of the soul. Many will read this book with relief and recognition.” (Alan Jones)
“Leaving Church is a canticle of praise to creator and creation. It is a blessed and a blessing text.” (Thomas Lynch)
“[This] beautiful, absorbing memoir will bless countless readers, helping us see God in the church, and out in the world, and in the small interstices in between.” (Lauren Winner The Dallas Morning News)
“A finely crafted memoir . . . a rich evocation of [a] lifelong love affair with God.” (Publishers Weekly)
“This is an astonishing book. . . . In a word, she is the best there is.” (Living Church) -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.
From the Back Cover
By now I expected to be a seasoned parish minister, wearing black clergy shirts grown gray from frequent washing. I expected to love the children who hung on my legs after Sunday morning services until they grew up and had children of their own. I even expected to be buried wearing the same red vestments in which I was ordained.
Today those vestments are hanging in the sacristy of an Anglican church in Kenya, my church pension is frozen, and I am as likely to spend Sunday mornings with friendly Quakers, Presbyterians, or Congregationalists as I am with the Episcopalians who remain my closest kin. Some-times I even keep the Sabbath with a cup of steaming Assam tea on my front porch, watching towhees vie for the highest perch in the poplar tree while God watches me. These days I earn my living teaching school, not leading worship, and while I still dream of opening a small restaurant in Clarkesville or volunteering at an eye clinic in Nepal, there is no guarantee that I will not run off with the circus before I am through. This is not the life I planned, or the life I recommend to others. But it is the life that has turned out to be mine, and the central revelation in it for me -- that the call to serve God is first and last the call to be fully human -- seems important enough to witness to on paper. This book is my attempt to do that.
After nine years serving on the staff of a big urban church in Atlanta, Barbara Brown Taylor arrives in rural Clarkesville, Georgia (population 1,500), following her dream to become the pastor of her own small congregation. The adjustment from city life to country dweller is something of a shock -- Taylor is one of the only professional women in the community -- but small-town life offers many of its own unique joys. Taylor has five successful years that see significant growth in the church she serves, but ultimately she finds herself experiencing "compassion fatigue" and wonders what exactly God has called her to do. She realizes that in order to keep her faith she may have to leave.
Taylor describes a rich spiritual journey in which God has given her more questions than answers. As she becomes part of the flock instead of the shepherd, she describes her poignant and sincere struggle to regain her footing in the world without her defining collar. Taylor's realization that this may in fact be God's surprising path for her leads her to a refreshing search to find Him in new places. Leaving Church will remind even the most skeptical among us that life is about both disappointment and hope -- and ultimately, renewal.-- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels. See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
That practical wisdom is evident in this book. She likens pastoral care to her experience of rescuing a starling from death, nurturing it back to life but finding it hard to let it stand on its own two feet and finding it returning to her for safety when it should be venturing out on its won – the dependency culture of the church which, if you collude in it, will kill you.
As a curate, she had worked a 60-80 hour work in a busy city parish and had lost touch with her instincts, was burnt out. Like many clergy, she probably enjoyed the book ‘If you meet George Herbert on the Road, Kill Him’. Herbert had been held up as a model pastor, yet his parish was small and he could know and visit everybody. Today’s large parishes make such a vision back-breaking, lethal even. Her view of Jesus makes him a demanding perfectionist too.
So she sought out a rural parish. What she hadn’t reckoned on was the fact that there is no escape in a village. And that because it is the only Anglican church in the whole county, there will be a mix of churchpersonships and politics.
Unlike those of us in the UK, we don’t encounter the KKK nor church signs that read "Give Satan an inch and he will become your ruler,"
I very much like her section on transference.Read more ›
This is not revolutionary read, with little originality offered as most ecclesiological and theological reflections are citations of other authors, books and media. For one brand new to such concepts and/or steeped in church life, this may be challenging, scandalous, eye-opening or even affirming. If it is your first brush with a story of this stripe, it is a good place to start. If it is your second, third, fourth, or more, you can read it if you want. Taylor is an excellent writer. Read it if you want to hear an articulate exodus-from-church narrative, for in it her writing is both a tonic and a relief for many on the maze and misery of church life. Core to this writing is the belief in mystery as a context for healing and possibility. An absorbing yet-somewhat indulgent memoir that clings to our loving God.
There is much hope, amidst the liberation, transformation and power of the story disclosed. Truly engaging!
I LOVED this book. Brown Taylor writes beautifully, her turns of phrase are uniquely metaphorical and paint pictures of angst feelings in a way I found engaging and illuminating. Her thoughts on God the father are expansive and free-ing. A super, engaging read for anyone who welcomes a light touch on a tough topic for those making a similar journey and wondering where on earth they are headed.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
excellent book, open honest and insightful story. So helpful in my own spiritual journey.Published 2 months ago by pennys-worth
Something of a cautionary tale of how excess of compassion and enthusiasm can lead to clergy 'burnout'. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Virginia Kennerley
This book is an honest and inspiring read. I recommend it whole-heartedly.Published 17 months ago by V Brodie