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Passionate, unfiltered voices about ministry

New book about congregations and ministers working together.
By Kenneth Sutton
Fall 2007 8.18.07

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Book to note: Living a Call: Ministers and Con­gregations Together. Ed. by Michael Durall. Jenkin Lloyd Jones Press, 2006; $13.95 (allsoulschurchstore.org).

This slender volume brings together thirteen distinctive voices that range from the intensely personal to the abstract, from experienced to fresh, from strident to measured. A common thread is that many of the authors are clearly on fire with passion for Unitarian Universalism; whether you experience that passion as light or heat will be as variable as the voices themselves.

All of the essays extol the virtue (necessity, even) of ministers and congregations working to­gether, while none of them glosses over the struggle and conflict that often involves. Several focus on exactly that reality.

The authors are eleven UU ministers, the lay leader of a UU ministry, and a Presby­terian minister.

Readers who are allergic to God language would be ad­vised to begin at the back with the essays on practical ministry and read forward (perhaps skipping chapter ten, by the Presby­terian minister), but read it all. Be certain not to skip the chapter on the Bible, one of the more humanist essays! The great virtue of this book is the unexpurgated honesty of its authors. A little allergic reaction is a small price to pay for insight into this degree of engaged ministry.

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