we were electing delegates to next spring's general conference (to be held in texas), and since i am not ordained i could not vote. so, i was able to take advantage of the time by reading a couple of books.
this is a book by david crowder who is a Christian musician. i have always enjoyed his music, and, even more, loved his lyrics which always seem to drip with an authenticity that seems to be missing from a great deal of what gets called 'christian music.' this book is basically two sections. first, he talks about how all of our lives ought to be praise, not just the first 15 minutes of a worship service where we do 'praise and worship.' he makes the case for praising God in everything that we do, from eating texas barbecue to using a public restroom. the second part of the book is basically his reflections of several psalms. while they are good reflections, their best quality is that they will make you laugh. alot. he is a very dramatic and funny writer, and i really enjoyed this book.
this book was not nearly as entertaining, but quite interesting. written by twenty-something sarah cunningham, this book is a series of 'letters' that she writes to the church about why she has become so disillusioned with the church. she talks a great deal about how the church in america today is not reaching the younger generations, often speaking in sweeping generalities about those generations. i didn't love this book. i did like it, however. she has a great deal of issue about how the church lives out its mission, but she remains committed to it nonetheless.
it was an interesting juxtaposition to read this book while sitting at an annual conference of pastors and laypeople where the average age appeared to be somewhere around 87. okay, maybe it wasn't that high, but let's just say that there weren't many young people there. and so, as i read her critique of the church and how it misses the point and fails our young people, i felt like she was there at the conference, reflecting with me on the absence of my peers and their younger siblings. it is at once heart-breaking and energy-giving. i feel a deep sense of loss that so many of these folks are not with us, but i also feel called to be in community with them in some way.
and so that was my week. i'm back for this week and then i go to maine for a long-anticipated vacation. stay tuned tomorrow for my ode to coffee.