What are you reading this summer? I always look forward to the more relaxed routines of summer as time to read some new books, explore new authors, and reflect on what it means to be people of faith, both individually and as a church. If you are looking for something to guide your faith or challenge your spirit this summer, here are some recommendations:
Native: Identity, Belonging and Rediscovering God by Kaitlyn Curtice. As both a citizen of the Potawatomi Nation and a Christian, Curtice shares her own journey of integrating her Indigenous heritage with her Christian faith in way that encourages us all to embrace the sacred stories of our lives and build a better world for all.
Chasing Francis: A Pilgrim’s Tale by Ian Morgan Cron. Bestselling author Ian Morgan Cron masterfully weaves lessons from the life of Saint Francis into the story of disillusioned pastor Chase Falson “to explore the life of a saint who 800 years ago breathed new life into disillusioned Christians and a Church on the brink of collapse. Chasing Francis is a hopeful and moving story with profound implications for those who yearn for a more vital relationship with God and the world.”
Where the Light Fell: A Memoir by Philip Yancey. In this piercing, poignant memoir, bestselling author Philip Yancey (What So Amazing About Grace?) shares his own “gripping family narrative set against a turbulent time in post–World War II America,” and “gives testament to the enduring power of our hunger for truth and the possibility of faith rooted in grace instead of fear.”
Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion and Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship by Gregory Boyle. In his amazing stories of unconditional love in difficult times, Jesuit priest and bestselling author Gregory Boyle shares what three decades of working with gang members in Los Angele has taught him about faith, compassion and the enduring power of kinship to transform lives and communities.
Faith After Doubt: Why Your Beliefs Stopped Working and What To Do About It by Brian McLaren. With many thanks to our Tuesday morning study group, this is one of the best books I’ve read this year! It is packed with powerful ideas and insights that could transform our lives and the way we understand our ministry and mission as a church! McLaren helps us see that “doubt is no longer an enemy, but rather a portal to a more mature and fruitful kind of faith” and an avenue toward revitalization, both personally and collectively.
Love Is the Way: Holding onto Hope in Troubling Times by Bishop Michael Curry. After preaching about the redemptive power of love at the royal wedding of Harry and Meghan, Bishop Curry extends his invitation to walk the path of love and learn how to put faith into action. “The way of love is essential for addressing the seemingly insurmountable challenges facing the world today: poverty, racism, selfishness, deep ideological divisions, competing claims to speak for God. This book will lead readers to discover the gifts they need in order to live the way of love: deep reservoirs of hope and resilience, simple wisdom, the discipline of nonviolence, and unshakable regard for human dignity.”
Fierce Love: A Bold Path to Ferocious Courage and Rule-Breaking Kindness That Can Heal the World by Jacqui Lewis. Fierce Love is a healing antidote to our divisive culture, full of evocative storytelling, spiritual wisdom, and nine essential daily practices—by the first female, Black senior minister at the historic Collegiate Churches of New York City. “Dr. Lewis shows that kindness, compassion, and inclusive thinking are muscles that can be exercised and strengthened.”
The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by the Dalai Lama and Bishop Desmond Tutu In this unique collaboration, these two Nobel Peace Prize Laureates “offer us the reflection of real lives filled with pain and turmoil in the midst of which they have been able to discover a level of peace, of courage, and of joy to which we can all aspire in our own lives.”