The Flight: A Monthly Book Sampler (May 2019)

The Flight: A Monthly Book Sampler (May 2019)

Andrea Humphries, our resident bibliophile (and a board member), writes a monthly post about what she’s learned from the books she’s reading. Today, she’s here with what she learned in May:

May was an absolutely insane month and I managed to finish only three books, so this edition of The Flight will be briefer than most.

I’m not entirely sure who first introduced me to Kendall Vanderslice and her work, but Kendall and I have become friends (first online and then, IRL) over the past couple years. I’ve been anticipating her book for almost that entire time. So, finally being able to read We Will Feast was an absolute delight. Kendall weaves snippets of her own story around the fascinating and moving stories of different dinner churches across the US. With each one, she emphasizes a different facet of the power of worshiping around the dinner table, through a shared meal. And with each one, she challenges the reader to (re)consider their preconceived notions about food, community, and church. The churches Kendall has written about come from a variety of traditions and denominations and differ wildly from one another. I love how our mutual friend, Abby Perry, ended her review of We Will Feast: “You'll disagree with someone, maybe with many people, featured within these pages as you read. It would be impossible not to—the people featured disagree with each other! But that's where the beauty of this book lies—in the certainty that while much divides the church, gathering around the table and viewing a shared meal as worship reminds us of the unity of the body of Christ.” I cannot recommend this book strongly enough. Kendall is also travelling the country doing dinner church workshops, leading dinner church services, and teaching bread-baking workshops. She came to my church to lead a service and the attendees raved about it. So once you’ve read the book, if you want to learn more or experience a dinner church service for yourself, be sure to reach out to Kendall via her website, kendallvanderslice.com.

After I finished Fleming Rutledge’s The Crucifixion during Lent, I started reading The Undoing of Death, her collection of Holy Week and Eastertide sermons. For those of you not in a tradition that follows the church calendar, that’s the week from Palm Sunday to Easter and the fifty days after Easter leading up to Pentecost. Since Rutledge is an Episcopal priest, each sermon is relatively brief considering the 45+ minute sermons I grew up listening to. But just like with her collection Advent: The Once and Future Coming of Jesus Christ, the amount of truth and doctrine that she manages to pack into her sermons is somewhat astonishing. What’s also readily apparent is her love of the English language and how it can be wielded to convey some of the depths of what was accomplished 2000 years ago. 

I’m a little late to this bandwagon, but I picked up the audiobook of Becoming, Michelle Obama’s memoir, which she narrates and I really enjoyed it. I’m Canadian and I was living in the UK from 2008 to 2010, so I missed a lot of the lead up to and the first couple years of her husband’s presidency, but it was fascinating listening to her describe the events from her perspective.

The Flight: A Monthly Book Sampler (June 2019)

The Flight: A Monthly Book Sampler (June 2019)

"No More Holding Back" excerpt

"No More Holding Back" excerpt