The Rev. Peter M. Carey
Emmanuel Way Column ~ March 2011
With the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday on March 9th, it is a good time to take on a new practice during these 40 days. Some people strive to give up something that they love in order to bring greater focus upon our need for God in our lives.
This practice has been a fruitful one for many people for centuries. Are you “giving something up” something for Lent? Whether you are or not, you might think about “taking on” the practice of reading along with your fellow parishioners here at Emmanuel.
During the Adult Forum sessions on March 27th and April 3rd, groups of people will gather to discuss three books which we hope will be fun to read and also help us to see things in a new way. The three choices (and you are welcome to read all three!) are:
1) Neve:Virginia’s Thousandfold Man, by our own Frances “Jack” Scruby which is a wonderful book which describes this most remarkable man and the work that he did in our own area; 2) Mudhouse Sabbath, by Lauren Winner which is another wonderful book by a woman who grew up as an Orthodox Jew and later became an Episcopalian. In her book, she reflects on the Jewish roots of the many practices of her faith, and she wrote much of the book on the Charlottesville Downtown Mall at the Mudhouse Coffeeshop, hence the name of the book, “Mudhouse Sabbath.” 3) Your Faith, Your Life by Jennifer Gamber is another great book that we examined a bit last Fall, and which has some great final chapters which discuss prayer and other ways that we live out our Faith.
So, please do choose to read one or more of these books. We have copies of Gamber’s book in the Parish Hall and the Neve book is available from Frances “Jack” Scruby. We will also have a few Mudhouse Sabbath books, and they are also available online and at some bookstores.
In addition to these three books, I would like to recommend a fascinating book called, “Barefoot Disciple: Walking the way of Passionate Humility,” by Stephen Cherry. This is the Archbishop of Canterbury’ s
Lent book for 2011 and I recommend it highly. The book takes up the topic of humility, passionate humility, and explores several questions, including “how can we develop our humility?” If there is interest, I would love to find a time to gather to discuss this book, please let me know if you are interested.
Lastly, I have a recommendation for children of all ages, and this is a storybook Bible by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the former Archbishop of South Africa and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. “Children of God Storybook Bible,” is a wonderful retelling of many of the key Bible stories and would be a marvelous book to read with your families during Lent.
I pray that we are given the gift of keeping a holy Lent, and amidst the busy-ness of our lives, I also pray that we find time to read and explore our Faith with one another.
Peace and Blessings,