Messages in the Mall: Looking at Life in 600 Words or Less

Overview

For more than a decade the author has been writing a "Saturday religion column," syndicated in ten newspapers in the 14 counties of Pennsylvania that comprise the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem. The "600 words or less" in the subtitle comes form the rigorous discipline of writing to strict space requirements. The intent of the columns is to engage the secular culture and to bring the church's message to it by commenting on the realities of the human condition and on issues of general interest. This book is a ...
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Messages in the Mall: Looking at Life in 600 Words or Less

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Overview

For more than a decade the author has been writing a "Saturday religion column," syndicated in ten newspapers in the 14 counties of Pennsylvania that comprise the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem. The "600 words or less" in the subtitle comes form the rigorous discipline of writing to strict space requirements. The intent of the columns is to engage the secular culture and to bring the church's message to it by commenting on the realities of the human condition and on issues of general interest. This book is a compilation of many of the columns, organized along thematic lines.

This book will be an ideal cross-denominational trade book for individual reading or group use. The short-take format lends itself to episodic reading and will appeal to the individual daily-prayer market. Clergy will find the book an excellent source for sermon ideas.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596270817
  • Publisher: Church Publishing, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/28/2008
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 6.07 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface     1
The First Column, February 1997     5
Virtues and Vices     7
Grace in an African Airport     7
Maturity, the Accessible Virtue     8
Pride Is a Silly Thing to Die For     9
Accepting Responsibility Leads to Life     11
Embracing Necessary Pain     12
Encouragement, Curiosity, and Cutting Slack     14
Overcoming Perfection(ism)     15
Being Pleasant     16
Accepting Consequences     18
Is Telling the Truth Irrelevant?     19
The Importance of Pulling Weeds     21
Patient Prophecy in an Elevator     22
On Eating Together     23
Conflict Advances Truth     25
Of Frogs and Sailors     26
What's That Funny Smell?     28
Not Far from the Kingdom     31
The Spirituality of The Sopranos     31
In the Water with Us     32
Looking at Life's Signals     34
God and the Solitary Golfer     35
Beating the Inner Reptile     36
What Do They Eat?     38
On the Money: The Practical Atheist     39
Finding God     41
ReligionGave Him the Wrong God     43
Faith Is What You Die For; Dogma Is What You Kill For     44
Learning from What Jesus Did Not Do     45
What Makes Grace Amazing     46
Stop Being So Humble     48
Bittersweet Love     51
Irreconcilable Differences     51
New Year's Resolutions for Lovers     53
Desire and Forgiveness     54
Love and Adventure     56
Body Worship: Making Love     57
A Grown-up Valentine     58
Lovers and Friends: The Ultimate Human Communion     60
Public Issues     63
America's Other Moral Crisis     63
Scoundrels Hijack Our Values     64
Littleton: A Time for Examination     66
Cloning: Can We Think Together?     67
The Last of the Good Negroes     69
Elected Officials Need Vision     71
Strong Religious Belief: Sick or Healthy     72
Getting over the Pursuit of Happiness     74
Unsung Heroes All around Us     75
Let's Have More Adult Content     77
Our Duty to Oppose War in Iraq     78
Women's Bodies: Explorting Cultural Homicide     80
A Positive Tax Revolt      81
The Shepard Murder: Words Are a Lens     82
Diversity Alone Kills: Patterns of Daily Action Make a People     84
Losing Innocence     85
Shall We Fund Education or Institutionalize Poverty and Racism?     87
Recapturing Public Moral Sense     88
Casinos: My Money Is on the Moral Questions     90
Preaching to the Choir-Church Life     93
Does Your Church Fill All Mugs?     93
On Daily Hunger     94
In Praise of Name Tags     96
What I Have Learned from Women Clergy     97
The Da Vinci Opportunity     98
Son of Encouragement     100
There Must Be Boundaries in Churches     101
Forgiven but Not Absolved     103
God Changed the Retirement Age Before Social Security Did     104
Religion after the Garage Roof     106
Churches That Want to Grow, Sacrifice     107
Conversations with Others     109
Should Christians Seek to Convert Jews?     109
Is That the Bishop in the Dumpster?     110
The Christ-Killer in My House     112
Godless Orthodoxy and Holy Compassion     113
Mary the Mother of Jesus and...     115
We Know Less than We Think about the Faith of Others     116
Why Do Churches Exist?     118
Holidays and Holy Days     121
Learning from the Revolution (July 4)     121
Our Debt to Coal Miners (Labor Day)     123
Holy, But Not Necessarily Nice (All Saints)     124
Shape the World with Two Words (Thanksgiving)     125
A Time for Longing, Hope, Change (Advent)     127
Is Somebody Out There Having a Good Time? (Christmas)     128
Behind the Tinsel (Christmas)     130
In Swaddling Accessibility (Christmas)     131
Start the New Year Right: Ask a Question (New Year)     133
Messages for Latecomers at the Manger (Epiphany)     134
A Word to My Fellow Failures (January)     135
Groundhog Day, February 2     137
We're All African-American This Month (Black History Month)     138
We Walk Before We Run (Ash Wednesday)     140
Changing Our Reality (Lent)     141
Giving Up Victimhood for Lent     142
Sorting for Sameness (Lent)     144
The Passion of the Christ: You Could Make a Movie out of It (Holy Week)     145
If Christ Has Not Been Raised (Easter)     147
When the End Is the Beginning (Easter)      148
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