Christian Nonfiction. Religion & Spirituality. Sociology. Nonfiction. HTML: Are you struggling to connect with your church community? Do you find yourself questioning the core beliefs that you once held dear? Searching for Sunday, from New York Times bestselling author Rachel Held Evans is a heartfelt ode to the past and a hopeful gaze into the future of what it means to be a part of the modern church. Like millions of her millennial peers, Rachel Held Evans didn't want to go to church anymore. The hypocrisy, the politics, the gargantuan building budgets, the scandalsâ??to her, it was beginning to feel like church culture was too far removed from Jesus. Yet, despite her cynicism and misgivings, something kept drawing Evans back to church. Evans found herself wanting to better understand the church and find her place within it, so she set out on a new adventure. Within the pages of Searching for Sunday, Evans catalogs her journey as she loves, leaves, and finds the church once again. Evans tells the story of her faith through the lens of seven sacraments of the Catholic churchâ??baptism, confession, holy orders, communion, confirmation, the anointing of the sick, and marriageâ??to teach us the essential truths about what she's learned along the way, including: Faith isn't just meant to be believed, it's meant to be lived and shared in community Christianity isn't a kingdom for the worthyâ??it's a kingdom for the hungry, the broken, and the imperfect The countless and beautiful ways that God shows up in the ordinary parts of our daily lives Searching for Sunday will help you unpack the messiness of community, teaching us that by overcoming our cynicism, we can all find hope, grace, love, and, somewhere in between,
The sections mirror the seven sacraments: Baptism, Confession, Holy Orders, Communion, Confirmation, Anointing the Sick, and Marriage. All seven spoke to me-- her eloquence drew out the beauty found in each--but the most surprising was Confirmation. As someone raised in a thoroughly evangelical/non-denominational tradition, I've had very little interaction with confirmation in any sense. Maybe it was because of this lack of familiarity that this section really hit me; regardless of the reason, though, I highlighted, starred, and exclamation-pointed about half of that section, and I continue to mull on it. I'm sure I'll reread the entire book many times, but that section in particular will likely draw me back incessantly.
I really resonated with and appreciated Rachel's loving way of criticizing aspects of her experience with evangelicalism. Speaking of churches, she says, "Each one stays with us, even after we've left, adding layer after layer to the palimpsest of our faith." Rachel manages to eloquently and completely lift up church while addressing some serious problem areas.
After reading this book, I feel more connected both the church universal and with others on their faith journey, and I am more prepared to recognize the importance of faith in community. Christianity is a team sport, and the sacraments, formal or not so formal, help us to participate more fully in that.
I received an advance copy of this book in return for a review.
This is a wonderful book because love it or hate it,
Itâ€™s structured in seven main sections, each one entitled by one of the sacraments recognised by many liturgical churches. That might sound very formal, but more than anything these are used as structures on which to spread the story in a way that makes the path easy to follow. It flows beautifully, and the writing style was exactly right for me: it expresses, very often, things I have thought or felt, but have somehow not been able to put into words.
I would recommend this to anyone who questions fundamentalist style evangelicalism, or rigidity of doctrine, or indeed who has difficulties with the upbeat nature or exclusivity of so many churches.
It's difficult to be constructive about a piece that is so incredibly personal, but my one issue would likely be that the author goes off on some tangents, that, quite frankly, I ended up skimming. The book could have been much more concise and would have had the same impact on me. Overall, this book leaves me feeling comforted and leaves me with a better understanding of where this leaves me.
I think sheâ€™s right though. As much as I donâ€™t like throwing
I used to want to take a dump on the church every time that I saw, or was reminded of, any Christian bigot I happened to know, but over time I have gradually Christianized, (like with Europe, it took awhile), and now I try to express my desire for justice and grace using Christian language. It doesnâ€™t mean that Iâ€™m never momentarily upset, but Iâ€™m happy with my Lord, even if I donâ€™t always understand his purposes.
I think that Rachel Held Evans is a lot like me, or Iâ€™m a lot like her, or we both descend from a common ancestor. (If there were twice as many hours in a day, Iâ€™d read a lot more science.) Sheâ€™s my older brother's age, you know. Itâ€™s not about me, though. Because as fascinating as it is to share something with a contemporary American, the desire for a transcendent experience in Christ is a more mighty bond to share. As much as I donâ€™t want to throw someone under the busâ€”*throws a famous American Victorian under the bus*â€” I donâ€™t want the message of my life to be, â€śHe thought it was all about himself, just like Emerson thought it was all about Emerson.â€ť (Iâ€™m also throwing yet another person under the bus, another semi-alienated died-young Southern memoirist girl like Rachel, the one who wrote the Emerson memoir, Nina Riggs.) Itâ€™s not about bonding over a common personality type or schooling or something. Iâ€™m being so mean, but I wonder if that kind of bonding is just cold people keeping warm.
â€śThatâ€™s fascinating, but I have a thirty-nine question test you have to pass before you can get into heaven.â€ť I say all this understanding that the old guard isnâ€™t going to meet me halfway, you know. But life isnâ€™t about giving to get.
The world doesnâ€™t really need any one person, nor is any isolated individual sufficient in themselves. But with the help of our God, together we can have our heart warmed, and serve. I believe that Rachel Held Evans served her community. She was a brief candle that burned bright, what we can all hope to be, even imitating her as she imitated Christ.
â€śBut the gospel doesnâ€™t need a coalition devoted to keeping the wrong people out. It needs a family of sinners, saved by grace, committed to tearing down the walls, throwing open the doors, and shouting, â€śWelcome! Thereâ€™s bread and wine. Come eat with us and talk.â€ť This isnâ€™t a kingdom for the worthy; itâ€™s a kingdom for the hungry.â€ť
â€śIâ€™ve been convinced that LGBT Christians have a special role to play in teaching the church how to be Christian.â€ť
I highlighted so many sentences and