This past Lent I had the joy of partnering with the Benedictine Sisters of Erie to conduct an online “Lent Pilgrimage.”
The Sisters run an “online monastery” called Monasteries of the Heart (MOH). Perhaps you’re acquainted with the work of Sister Joan Chittister, who is the public face of the community.
I encourage you to check out MOH. It’s a tremendous resource for learning about the monastic way of life without leaving home or even missing dinner. For Protestants, it dispels misunderstandings about the what and why of monastic life. It’s truly a portal into another world.
I got connected to MOH through a dear friend of mine, Rev. Susan Baller-Shepard (who tweets at @yoursbc) who cofounded Spirituality Book Club — a spiritual book club that meets face to face in the Bloomington/Normal IL area, and also has a global online presence. (In the late nineties Sue and I served churches in the same presbytery, Great Rivers.)
Recently Sue wrote a review of my book for MOH — check it out!
It’s so much fun to work with energetic, spirit-filled women who are crossing religious divisions online. It gives me hope for the future. I’d love to hear from you, whether you’re Protestant or Catholic, to know what you think of these partnerships.
I’ve been a RGBP for more than 6 years, ever since I began blogging, due largely to the encouragement of my fellow “Writing Revs.”
(I’ll link the original WRevs here because I haven’t mentioned them in a while and they are all still regular bloggers. Each of them produces a blog that is consistently worthy reading, which is no small thing! MaryAnn McKibben Dana, Carol Howard Merritt and Jan Edmiston.)
As the name suggests, the Rev Gals are primarily clergywomen. We have a great deal of camaraderie, even though it is rare to meet in the flesh. (Some of them may be exposing a bit more of that flesh than usual since they’re on a cruise to the Bahamas at the moment, the Big Event 6.0, led by the fabulous Rachel Hackenberg!)
Today one of the RevGals, Julie Craig, posted a really wonderful review of my book. I am humbled by her generous words! She does a great job of overviewing the book and mentioning it’s themes, as well as giving her personal reaction to it. Thanks Jules!
My book has just been released! After years of effort–querying editors, writing, rewriting, and re-rewriting–it is actually a book I can hold in my hands! Yesterday I didn’t want to do anything but that: hold it in my hands.
But today I want to line out the audiences I see for this book. Maybe you will fit into one of these, and want to read it yourself. Maybe you will be struck with the realization that this book will be the perfect gift for a friend or family member:
1) Previous Pilgrims — People who traveled to the Holy Land years ago and would like to relive that experience.
2) Armchair Pilgrims — People who would love to travel to the Holy Land but are unable to because of cost or fear of violence.
3) Upcoming Pilgrims — People who are planning a pilgrimage, even if it’s to a different holy place, because there’s lots in the book about the concept of pilgrimage in general.
5) Preachers — Yep, this may seem like a repeat of #4, but I want to guarantee pastors: you WILL find preaching material in this book!
6) Adult Christian Education Participants — People who lead, or participate in, group Bible study will appreciate the set of discussion questions that is specifically tied to the Bible passages I quote.
7) Interfaith Study Participants — People who lead, or participate in, interfaith study will appreciate the set of discussion questions intended for seekers of all faiths. The Holy Land pulses with religion of many stripes and the book is full of interactions with Jews, Muslims and atheists.
8) Who did I miss? If you read the book and think of something — please let me know!
I will be doing a book giveaway on Goodreads, and I also have a number of book signings/readings lined up. Most of them are in the Washington DC area, but I will be traveling to Grand Rapids, Michigan in December. If you would like to blog a review of the book, contact me. I really appreciate your support!
Thanks so much for reading this blog. There are hundreds of you faithful readers. You just tend to be a quiet bunch, with very few comments. You know, the type who like to ponder meaty subjects like pilgrimage!