Reading Stack

I feel like my reading material has been all over the map lately. I’m digging deeeeeeep into the Gospel of John right now and hope to write some thoughts on that soon.  Until then, here are a few links that have caught my eye.

  • BioLogos has released “A Christian Statement on Science for Pandemic Times.” The statement is signed by dozens of Christian leaders, calling on Christians to follow the advice of public health experts and support scientists doing crucial biomedical research on COVID-19. CLICK HERE to read and sign the statement.

  • We continue to learn more and more about the coronavirus that oftentimes leaves young survivors with lingering health issues. Read the story of the first COVID-19, double lung transplant patient in the U.S.:  A 28-year-old paralegal and member of the Latino community, one of the groups disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. 

  • “The 19th Amendment, ratified a century ago on Aug. 18, 1920, is often hailed for granting American women the right to vote. And yet most Black women would wait nearly five decades more to actually exercise that right.” Read “‘It’s a Struggle They Will Wage Alone.’ How Black Women Won the Right to Vote,” published in Time Magazine, to better understand how laws don’t always immediately guarantee rights – especially for those who have been socially disenfranchised.

  • Greenville University (Illinois) theology professor Benjamin Wayman sat down with Rowan Williams, the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury and Master of Magdalene College at Cambridge University, to discuss the nature of theological education. For Williams, Christian education and formation are like “learning to camp in a new land, a new creation.”

  • Looking for a little humor after all those heavy reading topics? Check out “Church is Gross,” a guest post on Experimental Theology from Kevin Makins author of the new book Why Would Anyone Go to Church?  Makins readily admits “there is a certain irony in releasing a book about going to church during the only time in human history when literally no one is allowed to go to church.” But trust me, he makes it work and will have you laughing as he tells you how!

Let’s end in a word of prayer…

O merciful Creator, your hand is open wide to satisfy the needs of every living creature: Make us always thankful for your loving providence; and grant that we, remembering the account that we must one day give, may be faithful stewards of your good gifts; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (Book of Common Prayer)

An Author’s Legacy

Today’s read is Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans.

From Amazon: From New York Times bestselling author Rachel Held Evans (1981-2019) comes a book that is both a heartfelt ode to the past and hopeful gaze into the future of what it means to be a part of the Church.

Like millions of her millennial peers, Rachel Held Evans didn’t want to go to church anymore. The hypocrisy, the politics, the gargantuan building budgets, the scandals–church culture seemed so far removed from Jesus. Yet, despite her cynicism and misgivings, something kept drawing her back to Church. And so she set out on a journey to understand Church and to find her place in it.

Centered around seven sacraments, Evans’ quest takes readers through a liturgical year with stories about baptism, communion, confirmation, confession, marriage, vocation, and death that are funny, heartbreaking, and sharply honest.

A memoir about making do and taking risks, about the messiness of community and the power of grace, Searching for Sunday is about overcoming cynicism to find hope and, somewhere in between, Church.

Personal Note: An open mind and a willingness to have your beliefs and notions challenged are required when reading Rachel Held Evans. She can be polarizing — readers seem to either love her or hate her — but no matter how she makes you “feel,” she will always make you think. And she will always… always… remind us of just how much God loves us. Sadly, Rachel passed away last year after a short illness; I’m so thankful to still have her words.