Fittingly enough, I met Barbara Melosh at a writing week hosted by Collegeville Institute (MN) back in 2012. She joined a writing group that I had begun in 2006, and made the commitment to drive all the way from Wilmington, DE to northern VA to attend every other week. I mention that because I run into so many people who think it’s possible to write books in a casual way. In my experience that’s just not true. People who write books have prioritized that activity, and have said No to many other things in order to say Yes to the book.
I’m so glad Barbara said Yes to this book! It’s a memoir of her first year in ordained ministry, which she came to after a long career as a professor of American Studies. As a second career, she served a Lutheran church in a struggling blue-collar neighborhood in Baltimore. Barbara brings so many lenses to her experience — reluctant believer, academic, energetic newbie pastor, deeply observant contemplative — that she holds up a prism for the rest of us. She was determined to turn the church around, but it was something else that turned around. [Read more…] about A Memoir for Anyone Who Has Loved and/or Left a Church