About‎ > ‎Rector's Reflections‎ > ‎

Rector's Reflection for July 13, 2012

posted Dec 22, 2012, 9:00 AM by Terry Brady   [ updated Dec 22, 2012, 9:00 AM by Parish Administrator ]

Rector's Reflection - Summer Reading:


         In the past couple of weeks, I have gotten a few inquiries about my summer reading list so I decided to reflect on my process. First I must confess to being a book worm. I love to read.   I love reading so much that I have rarely been able to "read myself to sleep." I have stayed awake half the night just to finish a book.


         In addition to my love for reading, I am plagued with curiosity. I want to know about things. This is why I am usually reading a fiction book and a non-fiction book at the same time: one I read for the language and the story; the other I read to learn something new. This summer I picked two of each.


         I am currently reading Barbara Brown Taylor's Speaking of Sin and Graceling, Kristin Cashore's debut novel. I picked Speaking of Sin because I found it on the shelves in the Rector's office and could not believe that I had missed reading a Barbara Brown Taylor book. Like much of her writing, this book proposes an idea and bids me sit with it, wrestle with it, and, somewhere in my sitting and wrestling, find the Holy Spirit. A paragraph from the introduction hooked me immediately:  


         Abandoning the language of sin will not make sin go away. Human beings will continue to experience alienation, deformation, damnation and death no matter what we call them. Abandoning the language will simply leave us speechless before them.....it will also weaken the language of grace, since the full impact of forgiveness cannot be felt apart from the full impact of what has been forgiven. (P.6)


         Because I love words and I am an advocate of what has been called "God talk," I am always seeking ways to use my language of faith respectfully. I also think that progressive Christians face the challenge of not allowing conservatives to be co-opt our language. I hope those of you who have read this book or are choosing to read this book this summer will share your thoughts with me. (Better yet call a gathering!)


         The second book I chose, Graceling, is youth/young adult fiction (the reading of which is a great parenting perk!). My son read this and commended it to me. I was intrigued by the name of course, and moved it up the reading list. The story is about a young woman named, Katsa. She is among "the graced," people of her time skilled with exceptional skill or power. Katsa's "grace" is that of a warrior: fighting and killing. The story is about how she struggles to form her own identity as more than a weapon. So far, the author has done a masterful job managing the weaving of violence and humanity, giftedness and choice. Halfway through the book, I find myself asking, "What does it mean to be graced?" "How do we claim the grace we've received?" So far, Katsa seems to be asking the same questions. I'm looking forward to hearing your answers.