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Beyond the Possible: 50 Years of Creating Radical Change in a Community Called Glide
     

Beyond the Possible: 50 Years of Creating Radical Change in a Community Called Glide

by Cecil Williams
 

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In Beyond the Possible, Reverend Cecil Williams, one of the most well-known and provocative ministers in the United States, reflects on his fifty years creating radical social change as the head of San Francisco's Memorial Glide Church.

Williams' innovations, such as HIV testing during services, have drawn protest from more conservative factions

Overview

In Beyond the Possible, Reverend Cecil Williams, one of the most well-known and provocative ministers in the United States, reflects on his fifty years creating radical social change as the head of San Francisco's Memorial Glide Church.

Williams' innovations, such as HIV testing during services, have drawn protest from more conservative factions within the Methodist Church, but his work in the community has drawn praise from the likes of Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, and Warren Buffett.

Written with Glide Church founding pastor Janice Mirikitani, and with a foreword by Dave Eggers, Beyond the Possible is a book of wisdom, providing lessons that Reverend Williams has learned so that readers can learn to embrace their true selves, accept all those around them, and fully live day to day through social change as worship.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The story of Glide Memorial Church’s transformation from a dwindling Methodist congregation in San Francisco to a thriving, justice-oriented community unfolds in alternating narratives by pastor and civil rights activist Williams (No Hiding Place: Empowerment and Recovery for Our Troubled Communities), and poet and founding president Mirikitani (Out of the Dust). Both authors recount formative childhood experiences that shaped their sense of identity and calling, and describe frankly their own relationship’s development over decades (from acquaintances to colleagues to spouses) in the context of their passion for Glide’s work. Humor, courage, and conviction radiate through these stories, which jump back and forth through the years, detailing Williams’s arrival and chilly reception at Glide and his determination to engage the Tenderloin neighborhood and welcome the marginalized (homeless, hungry, mentally ill, drug-addicted, prostitutes, LGBT folks) into church with a message of unconditional love and acceptance. Notable moments in Glide’s history interweave with non-chronologically ordered reflections on Trayvon Martin, the Black Panthers, Maya Angelou, the crack epidemic, racism, homophobia, and nonviolence. The authors’ persistent self-examination and honest recounting provide a generous, faithful window into Glide’s consequential ministry. (Feb.)
Warren Buffett
“Cecil and Janice took a dying church and turned it into one of the most important social institutions that I’ve seen in this country.”
Sojourners
“Glide is one of the few radically accepting places where true unconditional love is practiced like the most dogmatic of faiths.…Beyond the Possible is the perfect title for an inspiring portrait of transformative love and a model for a jubilant revolution.”
Library Journal
Rev. Williams first visited Glide Memorial Methodist Church in San Francisco's notorious Tenderloin district in the early 1960s, immediately recognizing the opportunity to create a place where all members of the community would be accepted, inspired, and loved unconditionally. Cofounder, poet, and president of the Glide Foundation Mirikitani joins Williams in writing this beautiful, inspiring, and humble account of how Glide went from a dying church with 35 members to a far-reaching community serving thousands through service and outreach regardless of religion, sexual orientation, nationality, or socioeconomic status. In what is alternately personal narrative, historical account, and manifesto, the authors take turns describing their experiences at Glide, offering personal revelations (e.g., the church's effect on Mirikitani's path to healing after years of childhood abuse), discussing how social and historical events affected Glide and its community (e.g., the anti-Vietnam War movement in the 1960s), and describing Glide's response to a number of social issues (e.g., implementation of the Citizens Alert to combat police brutality). VERDICT Offering emotionally powerful, deeply personal, and self-aware storytelling, coupled with an emphasis on justice, equality, community, and love, this book is essential reading for anyone interested in religion, sociology, or American history.—Jennifer Harris, Mercyhurst Univ. Lib., Erie, PA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062105042
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
02/05/2013
Pages:
313
Product dimensions:
5.96(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.17(d)

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Warren Buffett
“Cecil and Janice took a dying church and turned it into one of the most important social institutions that I’ve seen in this country.”

Meet the Author

For more than fifty years, the Reverend Cecil Williams has been recognized as a national leader on the forefront of change in the struggle for civil and human rights. Janice Mirikitani is the founding president of the Glide Foundation and was San Francisco's second poet laureate. Cecil and Janice have been married for thirty-one years.

For more than fifty years, the Reverend Cecil Williams has been recognized as a national leader on the forefront of change in the struggle for civil and human rights. Janice Mirikitani is the founding president of the Glide Foundation and was San Francisco's second poet laureate. Cecil and Janice have been married for thirty-one years.

Dave Eggers, a former professional stundman, is the editor of McSweeney's and the author of the New York Times bestseller A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.

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