People have asked Pastor Seth for reading recommendations as we enter the height of summer.
Here are a few, of varied interests. Seth is always interested in others recommendations, as well!

John Noltner, Portraits of Peace: Searching for Hope in a Divided America – Noltner traveled around the country compiling personal stories, with people in headline news and not, drawing from them inspiration for ethical living. He writes: “After a decade of quietly sharing other people’s stories, I felt like I had something to say as well about encouraging difference, navigating conflict, and finding a better path forward.”

Sophronia Scott, The Seeker and the Monk: Everyday Conversations with Thomas Merton
Scott seeks sacred inspiration amid everyday life experience and cultural concerns. She “converses” with the well-known contemplative monk Thomas Merton through his journals, beyond his published work. What can a contemporary Black Episcopalian woman from largely urban experiences share of kindred inspiration with a reclusive white Catholic monk, now dead for over a half-century? Intriguing. Inspiring. Real. Hopeful.

Brené Brown, Atlas of the Heart – A compilation of themes from Brown’s many other books, with artistic illustrations, organized around “Places we go when …[we feel or face something in life]”. Conceptually accessible, aesthetically pleasing, personally and relationally enriching.

Jonathon Walton, A Lens of Love: Reading the Bible in Its World for Our World – Sort of a primer on how to read the Bible. More than specific interpretation of particular passages (though there are some examples), Walton offers reflection on cultural background and introduction to types of literature included in scripture. And he connects these insights by addressing more troubling expressions of faith and culture in our time, including some realities of African-American experience … all seeking to inspire “seeing” through a lens of love. If you missed our class during Covid; this is good stuff.

Sarah Ruden, Paul Among the People: The Apostle Reinterpreted and Reimagined in His Own Time – St. Paul is a critically central and much-debated figure in the history of our faith. Some of his writing can seem problematic by today’s ethical norms. Ruden helps us see how radical, inclusive, and inspiringly relevant Paul was for his time … and for ours. Again, as much background and broad strokes as interpretation of particular passages.

Fiction, two authors:

Louise Penny. A series of mysteries set in rural Quebec, centering in Inspector Gamache and a host
of other consistent characters. Well-written, captivating, and far-from-cliché storylines, all infused with clear sensitivity to and affirmation of faith we share. First in series: Still Life.

William Kent Kruger. If you haven’t read Ordinary Grace or This Tender Land, you’ve missed real literary gems. So beautifully human!
So captivating, with a twist of mystery. So real, infused with Holy Love, so inspiring. He has a mystery series centering on Cork O’Connor, set in Minnesota … much the same as his other novels. Lightning Strike is a prequel published in 2022 – a great read. Fox Creek is just out and on my list for the Summer.