Good News Blog

Parish Library Update: Spring 2017

Posted by Bill Myers on

Didn't know we had one?

Our parish library is just inside the front door, off the narthex, to the left. There are special sections: Old and New Testament, Reference, Biblical Commentary, Devotions, and Music. Books in the general section are in alphabetical order according to author. The card catalog, organized by author, title, and subject, is always available on the desk. The parish library is a quiet and relaxing place, and you are invited to peruse and read your way to spiritual and knowledgeable contentment!

How to borrow a book

Just make your selection, date and sign the card in the inside cover pocket, leave the card in the file box on the desk. It’s that easy!  When returning a book, just leave it on the desk; we’ll re-shelve it for you.

New in Devotions

If you would like to study scripture from a new vantage point, check out God’s Echo: Exploring Scripture with Midrash by Rabbi Sally Eisenberg Sasso. This is a wonderful use of rabbinic stories and biblical interpretations to help us grapple with serious issues in our lives: anger, assuming responsibility, coping with bad times, taking risks, loving the stranger, enjoying life, and setting ultimate goals. Be sure to start the book by reading the “Afterward” on page 163 by Sister Joan Chittister, OSB, a Benedictine nun.

New in Spirituality

The Sewing Room: Uncommon Reflections on Life, Love, and Work by Barbara Cawthorne Crafton is a series of unique stories of the men, women, and children with whom she worked during her service as a port chaplain in New York and New Jersey and as a pastor at Trinity Episcopal Church on Wall Street. These insightful essays reflect a broad range of experiences among merchant seafarers, the homeless, the bereaved, AIDS patients, and others in need of personal and spiritual help.

Glorious Companions by Richard H. Schmidt is a biographical history of Anglican spirituality during the past five centuries.  It chronicles the life and introduces the writings of the thinkers and spiritual guides who have profoundly shaped the Anglican communion and the church at large.

Barbara Brown Taylor’s Learning to Walk In the Dark is an account of her spiritual journey into darkness, which she describes as “shorthand for anything that scares me.”  It includes ventures into wild caves, underground nightclubs, subterranean chapels, and unlit cabins in the woods with no moons. She teaches us how to find God, or to let God find us, even when it is dark.

No Greater Love by Mother Teresa is the essential wisdom of her teachings. She has inspired millions with her extraordinary example of selfless and compassionate work for the poor, the ill, and the outcast. It all begins with the simple idea that whatever we do for someone, we do it to Jesus; it is our proclamation of Christ’s love and our loving as he loved.

In her book The Heartbeat of God Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori shows us how an authentic Christianity demands a concern for and an involvement with thoroughly mundane issues such as ending poverty and hunger, providing health care, and dealing with climate change, gender equality, and crime. In her version of reality, everything is sacred except sin. She calls the church to love our neighbor as ourselves, and she gives examples of how to do so.

New in Old & New Testament

The Drama of the Bible by Theodore O. Wedel is old - our copy from the fourth printing is dated 1965 - but it is an easy overview of the depth of the Bible’s message, written for the average lay person, and easy to read. Only 130 pages, it offers an understandable and quick grasp of Holy Scripture and why God’s revelations still resonate in our lives.

And some unexpected gems

This one is a prize winner, not to be missed by serious thinkers among us: Philokalia [The Eastern Christian Spiritual Texts] is a collection of writings by monks from the fourth to fifteenth centuries. These are Eastern Christian teachings on prayer, watchfulness, and stillness, with facing page commentary by Allyne Smith that brings the texts to life. It is a thoughtful selection on seven themes that recur throughout the original five-volume work:  repentance, the heart, prayer, the Jesus Prayer, the passions, and stillness.

This may be an approach about which you haven’t thought before! Jesus, CEO:Using Ancient Wisdom for Visionary Leadership by Laurie Beth Jones is a practical guide to communicating with and motivating people. It is based on the self-mastery, action, and relationship skills that Jesus used to train and motivate his team. It can be applied to any business, service, or endeavor that depends on more than one person to accomplish a goal, and can be implemented by anyone who dares.

Some fun fiction, mystery and lots of laughs: Haydon Konig is chief of police in St. Germaine, North Carolina. He is also organist and choirmaster at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church. He’s the feature detective in a series of twelve liturgical mystery books. Why do people keep dying in the little mountain town? Murder in the choir loft, the zombies of the Easter Walk, a dead body floating in Lake Tannenbaum, Bible School terrorists, a Christian nudist camp, St. Barnabas’ answer to the local Baptist annual “Singing Christmas Tree” . . . never a dull day!  It’s like Mitford meets Jurassic Park, only without the wisteria and the dinosaurs! You might want to start with The Alto Wore Tweed and read your way through all twelve books by Mark Schweizer.

Magazines of interest

Recent copies of magazines of interest are also available in the library for your perusal: Anglican Digest, Biblical Archaeology Review, Sojourners, Bookmarks, and Christian Century.

Enjoy your parish library!