Dancing in the Margins: Meditations for People Who Struggle with Their Churches


Dancing in the Margins describes people of different religious traditions who struggle with their churches. It includes interviews, poetry, Biblical reflections, and questions for reflection or discussion. The theme of the book is: When the struggle intensifies, go deeper. Pray harder.

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Dancing in the Margins describes people of different religious traditions who struggle with their churches. It includes interviews, poetry, Biblical reflections, and questions for reflection or discussion. The theme of the book is: When the struggle intensifies, go deeper. Pray harder.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780824518158
  • Publisher: Crossroad Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 9/28/1999
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 5.38 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Kathy Coffey is a nationally renowned speaker and an award-winning writer. She is the author of several books including Experiencing God With Your Children and Hidden Women of the Gospels. She resides in Denver, Colorado.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 11
Part I Three "Whys?"
1. Why Dance? 19
2. Why Meditate? 24
A Canaanite's Terrain 27
3. Why the Margins? 28
4. Choreographing the Themes: Laura 31
Part II Pivots and Pirouettes
After the Annunciation 37
5. From Question to Invitation: Thomas 38
6. From Clergy to Art: Vincent van Gogh 42
For Mechthild on Her Feast 46
7. From Exile to Torrent of Love: Mechthild of Magdeburg 47
8. From Parish Council to Prison Ministry: Maura 50
9. From Towering to Tiny: Belle 53
10. From "Do-Gooder" to Building Manager: Jean 56
11. From Law to Compassion: Parable of a Parish 59
12. From Narrow to Broader Church 62
Part III Great Thirsts and High Hopes
Drumming the Rivers 69
13. Great Desires 70
Well of Another Water 78
14. Deep Wells 79
15. The Search for a Viable Spirituality: Paula 87
16. A Long Drink of Compassion: Julia 90
17. The Blue-Green Solace of Nature 93
Part IV Nurture and Healing
18. Charcoal Fires 99
19. "Come and Have Breakfast" 104
20. Parallel Patterns: Scott 107
Of Spirits and Spines 112
21. The Bent Woman (Luke 13:10-17) 113
22. Believing in "Divine Guile": Barb 115
Flying Carpet: Capernaum 118
23. The Paralyzed Man (Mark 2:1-12) 119
24. Coming Together Creatively: Mark 121
Lament of the Unpaid Mourner 124
25. The Dead Child (Mark 5:21-43) 125
26. Terminal Diagnosis: Luke 127
Part V Partners in the Dance
Mary Magdalene in the Dawn Garden (John 20:1-18) 135
27. Identifying with Jesus' Passion 136
28. Loss and New Life: Alison 141
29. Identifying with Mary Magdalene 146
Notes 151
Bibliography 157
Acknowledgments 159
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2001

    Great Insights; Moving Stories; Short, Reflective

    Kathy Coffey's book is a wonderful collection of her own reflections and the stories of many people she knows who struggle to live authentic spiritual lives and respond to the practical needs of people, while struggling with the faults and failings of the institutional churches of which they are a part. She weaves wonderful reflections on passages from the Scriptures to provide insight into the stories of the hard working and dedicated people she profiles. The image of the dancer is maintained throughout, which helps to expound on the joys these people find in their 'marginal status' in institutional churches and turns reflections of saddness and inertia into living hope and joy. Although most of Coffey's reflections zero in on the struggle many Catholics have in Roman Catholicism, this is a very ecumenical book and can touch people from any faith tradition or none at all. The only thing I would say by way of criticism is that I would have appreciated a better effort to profile those who struggle with their institutional churches and work within the structure to change things for the better. But, overall, an excellent book and one that I would recommend for spiritual reading. The chapeters are very brief and good for mediation.

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