There are three books I am currently reading that are not the easiest reads, but are really provoking thought and exciting me. Two are for church-related planning, one is for home work.
“Exploding Stars, Dead Dinosaurs, and Zombies.” Yep, it’s a real book, by a seminary professor no less. And it’s one I’m reading as research for a sermon on August 19 on Science and Religion (or, “Can you believe in both God and science?”) That’s a wonderful topic question from one of Advent’s youth, and one I was a bit hesitant to address in a sermon. Now, with this book, I’m excited about that opportunity. Andrew Root is a great story teller, knows his science, and is a person of deep and passionate faith. He draws a distinction between “scientific findings” (sun as center of the universe, evolutionary development, and more) which are compatible with faith, and “the social theory of science” (which demands an impersonal universe, no personal god) which belittle any sense of a real God in relationship with us. Challenging, encouraging, thought provoking. Andrew Root writes from a perspective of a youth leader engaging youth in both science and faith. This might be a good adult forum book, or springboard for youth leaders leading future events.
“Blindspot.” This is a book about implicit bias, particularly in terms of race. I was given this book by John Lamberth (father of our own Erik Lamberth, and a reference in the book). The book uses historical data and psychological research and findings to explore the level to which we have and act out hidden biases, especially in race. Looking into this metaphorical mirror of our hidden mind is at the same time both uncomfortable and exciting…both convicting and enlightening. John Lamberth is offering to lead some members of our congregation, and others in our local Indian Valley Cluster, in a pilot course he is developing to address and reduce implicit bias.
“Square Foot Gardening.” This one is purely personal, as I consider how to set up my raised bed gardens at home. I’ve heard of this concept and interviews with the author on a podcast I regularly listen to, “You Bet Your Garden.” I love gardening, with the investment and clear results, the earthy working with nature, and the delicious results. So…a good investment of time in preparation for a fall investment of money and energy when I build a garden plot.
I’ve got plenty else going on this summer…
At Church – continuing to meet with people, especially new worshipers, VBS prep, planning for fall events like confirmation and stewardship.
At Home – working on indoor shelving and storage, an outdoor shed, raised bed gardens, new trees and landscaping, planning for a deck and patio and workshop area in the garage, doing anything I can to avoid more unpacking of boxes in the basement… 🙂
Plenty to do, but right now my reading is an exciting form of re-creation and preparation. I want to keep on learning and growing. That’s good for me, and for those around me.
So what are YOU reading? What are YOU learning? And what comments do you have about my own pursuits? Respond to this post, or contact me by FB or at church and let me know you’d like to get together and talk. Seriously! I LOVE that opportunity.