‘I Am Continually With You’ : A Review of L. Callid Keefe-Perry’s “Way to Water: A Theopoetics Primer”

I really enjoyed reading and learning from Callid Keefe-Perry’s new book, “Way to Water.”

A photo posted by C. Wess Daniels (@cwessd) on

Church services are poetry from beginning to end; they just are poetry.
…Religion is serious poetry — which is not to say religion cannot be light-
hearted. But at its highest it turns important; and important involvement with language, use of language for significant human experiences,
merges inevitably into poet.
-WILLIAM STAFFORD

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book for review from Wipf & Stock.

This book outlines the historical development and contours of theopoetics, a theological discipline, or even style, that has emerged since the 60’s. Prior to reading Way to Water: A Theopoetics PrimerI knew next to nothing about this unique approach to theology. In a way, as a pastor and theologian, I’m a good test case for the book, which aims at being an introduction but is certainly not entry-level. If you have interest in knowing more about theopoetics and the potential uses for it within faith communities, this is book is really is a perfect place to start. Continue reading ‘I Am Continually With You’ : A Review of L. Callid Keefe-Perry’s “Way to Water: A Theopoetics Primer”

Books I Loved Reading In 2014

I love books and I love to read. This past year I started keeping a little better track of the books I read using a simple reading log at the back of one of my notebooks. This makes it a lot easier to not only remember the books I read, but what I actually read about!

Here are some of the highlights from last year:*

Miracle Motors by Peggy Morrison: If you haven’t read this book yet you’re missing out. It was hands down my favorite book of the year. Peggy is a top-notch storyteller, a great thinker, and a Quaker minister who rides a motorcycle through places like the rainy hills of Oregon, the desert heat of Nevada, and the filled-streets of Burundi. This is part memoir, part narrative theology, part motorcycle diaries, and part battle-cry. You will laugh, cry and be challenged by this book. If you liked Nadia-Bolz Weber’s Pastrix, then I promise you will love this.

Continue reading Books I Loved Reading In 2014

Review: Planted: A Story of Creation, Calling and Community by Leah Kostamo

If he wantonly crushes ants for the fun of it, odds are he won’t be too concerned about the suffering and demise of larger species, including, studies have show, his own. – Leah Kostamo

Planted Leah Kostamo

I just finished the book “Planted: A Story of Creation, Calling and Community,” published by Cascade Books. What initially caught my attention about it was Eugene Peterson’s raving forward of the book. He writes,

When I sat down to read the manuscript that became this book, I intended to read for twenty minutes and then go back to working on my manuscript…Five hours later I turned the last page with a sense that I was participating in the remarkable story of people who ventured into seriously caring for creation in a highly unusual way – establishing an Environmental Center for the care of creation, God’s creation. Continue reading Review: Planted: A Story of Creation, Calling and Community by Leah Kostamo

OMG! A film on GMOs: Review of “GMO OMG”

Monday evening, I had the opportunity to watch Jeremy Seifert’s new film GMO OMG. Jeremy and his family hold a special place in my heart because of our friendship that developed while he and I were in school together at Fuller Seminary. During the time that we were a part of a small group we called the “Hairy-Tics,” Jeremy got involved in documentary film-making and began working on his first film called Dive!. Dive! deals with the food waste in our country contrasting it with the hunger that so many people face. Dive! is a fun romp through dumpsters: it’s educational, challenging and entertaining. You can read my review of that film here. Continue reading OMG! A film on GMOs: Review of “GMO OMG”

The Moleskine of calendars @NeuYear (Review and 40% Discount)

I am a big fan of Moleskine – and Moleskine-like – notebooks. High-quality “analog” ways of note-taking, planning and sketching are where it is at for me. So you can imagine my delight when I learned about Jesse Philips NeuYear Calendars. After receiving mine for review I can say it truly is as she said “the moleskine of calendars.”

I received this beautiful planning calendar a couple weeks back and am loving it. It’s on high-quality heavy paper, the colors are lovely and the front of the calendar has all of the days running horizontal, and the back is laid-out vertically. So you have options! Finally, the fact that it has no gaps between the months and your whole year can be seen at once makes ministry planning (or any other kind of planning for that matter) much easier.

Check out the image gallery: Continue reading The Moleskine of calendars @NeuYear (Review and 40% Discount)

Review: All Labor Has Dignity – Martin Luther King, Jr.

The book, All Labor Has Dignity,” is a collection of Martin Luther King, Jr’s speeches edited by Michael Honey, a scholar of labor and African-American history. There are a number of speeches/sermons that have never been put into print before that Honey was able to track down and include. At the beginning of each speech Honey does a stellar job of offering some of the labor movement history and MLK’s own work role within that setting. Much of the book shows King’s constant support of the labor, at least its ideals (there are number of critiques he offers in the book as well), and his work to try and bring the labor movement together with the Civil Rights movement. Continue reading Review: All Labor Has Dignity – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Practicing Discernment Together as a Church

About a month ago we began a Wednesday evening meeting at Camas Friends (the Quaker meeting I pastor). The goal of these meetings are to build our friendships with each other (so we eat together before the class begins), as well as add to our being a learning community. The first book we decided to work through is a book on discernment and is called, Practicing Discernment Together by Lon Fendell, Jan Wood and Bruce Bishop. The book was written by three Quakers here in the Northwest and is a really useful guide and introduction to learning about the practice of discernment. While the book draws heavily on the experience and wisdom of the Quaker tradition, it is not an overly Quaker book in the sense that it is not bogged down with jargon or insider-speak. It would be beneficial for anyone interested in learning more about this topic. And it does seem that there is a growing interest in the Quaker practice of discernment. I have had a lot of people interested in knowing more about the way Quakers make decisions together without voting. Continue reading Practicing Discernment Together as a Church