When I decided to write the story of my various church experiences, I wasn't sure how it would go. I thought it would be healing to do so- and it was. But I didn't know what friends and family would make of it, especially those who were a part of those same churches. I didn't want to vilify anyone, nor did I want to sugarcoat my experiences. No place is perfect and it's easy to look back and only focus on what went wrong. More and more I realize how much we are both saints and sinners. I am far from innocent and I must choose to believe the best of those I encountered at each church.
("Believing the best" doesn't apply if you experienced abuse of any kind at a church or by pastoral staff. I'm sorry if that is part of your story and hope you've been able to find help and healing.)
Below are links to the Finding Church series, in case you missed any:
Of course, many good books have been a part of this journey as well, only 2 of which I mentioned in the series. Of special note:
- An Altar in the World- Barbara Brown Taylor
- Celebration of Discipline- Richard Foster
- Christianity After Religion- Diana Butler Bass
- Christianity For The Rest of Us- Diana Butler Bass
- Evolving in Monkey Town- Rachel Held Evans
- Girl Meets God- Lauren Winner
- God's Politics- Jim Wallis
- Half the Church- Carolyn Custis James
- Introverts in the Church- Adam McHugh
- Leaving Church- Barbara Brown Taylor
- Mudhouse Sabbath- Lauren Winner
- A New Kind of Christian- Brian McLaren
- The Resignation of Eve- Jim Henderson
- Sacred Thirst- M. Craig Barnes
- Singled Out- Christine Colon and Bonnie Field
- When We Were On Fire- Addie Zierman
Note: the stained glass pictured is from All Souls Episcopal Cathedral in Asheville, NC. I stopped by the church after touring the Biltmore Estate a few years ago.
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