Five Tuesdays, March 11, 18, 25, April 1, and 8

Our Lenten book study this year is An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith, by the Episcopal priest Barbara Brown Taylor.  She writes from the firm belief that there is “no spiritual treasure to be found apart from the bodily experience of human life on earth. . . . Saving my life now is becoming more fully human, trusting that there is no way to God apart from real life in the real world.” Fred Buechner once expressed this thought so succinctly as, “Pay attention to your life.”

Our Christian faith is writ large by the things we do in the world for the sake of God’s beauty, justice, and love, and these practices—vision, reverence, incarnation, groundedness, wilderness, community, vocation, Sabbath, physical labor, breakthrough, prayer, and blessing—extend well beyond the walls of our church.  Taylor helps the reader find the divine in all things.  It is a view that celebrates the incarnation with a lowercase i and that gives meaning to our everyday activities.  In doing so, the author abolishes the usual distinctions we make between the church and the world, the sacred and the secular, the spirit and the flesh, the body and the soul.

In a nutshell, this book is about the spirituality of living, of being alive.  It is the author’s belief that God can be found in the practices of everyday life. The whole world is the house of God.  Everyone we meet offers a face of God, and God is best found in relationship, not ritual.

Taylor’s writing style is thoughtful, witty, honest, and engaging.  Hers is a book to savor. She expresses herself simply and eloquently with language, insights, experiences, and a wonderful story-telling ability.

We’re relying on help from all of you for putting on the supper—set up, food, and clean up. It will be a very simple Lenten meal: soup, bread, and salad. Tobey Lee will have a sign-up sheet after the 8:00 and 10:30 services each Sunday in Lent. For those who attend the 9:30 family service, we are asking that they call the church office on Monday morning if they can bring something for the supper. Please take a turn for one or more of the weeks.

Don’t miss reading this exciting book, and don’t miss digging deeper into its message for us.

(The Sunday following is designated as a snow day.)

Supper (5:30-6:15 p.m.) and forum (6:15-7:30 p.m.)

Presenters:

3/11 The Rev. Mary Lee Wile (Ch. 3—Incarnation)

3/18 The Rev. Ben Barnes (Ch. 8—Sabbath))

3/25 The Rev. Carolyn Eklund (Ch. 10—Breakthrough)

4/1 The Rev. Chick Carroll (Ch. 5—Wilderness)

4/8 The Rev. Bob Paterson (Ch. 11—Prayer)