In this series, we highlight books we think our readers may enjoy, written by authors affiliated with the Collegeville Institute.
By Michael Mather, former workshop participant
Pastor Mike Mather came out of seminary committed to working in low income neighborhoods in “the inner city.” He wanted to help. To make things better; to fix things. He got schooled. Having Nothing, Possessing Everything tells the story of how one church found abundance in a community of material poverty. Viewing people—not programs, finances, or service models—as their most valuable resource moved church members beyond their own walls and out into the streets, where they discovered folks rich in strength, talents, determination, and love. Mather’s book will inspire readers to seek justice in their own local communities and to find abundance and hope all around them.
Resource Books, 2019
By William C. Mills, former workshop participant
After seminary, William Mills was ready for a parish—or so he thought. He didn’t realize much of his time would be spent discussing bagels and coffee, digging ditches, and parking lot condom patrols. Mills’ life came crashing down when nearly a third of his congregation left in a public power play, causing him to question his faith in himself, in the Church, and in God.
Losing My Religion is a spiritual memoir about the ups and downs, ins and outs, choices and challenges of being a pastor in today’s church. It’s also about the redemptive power of community life.
By Cara Meredith, former workshop participant
When writer Cara Meredith, who is white, married James Meredith, son of civil rights icon James Howard Meredith, she began to learn how the idea of a colorblind or post-racial society was a naïve myth. Loving James meant coming face to face with the pain of injustice in his life, and in the lives of other people with black and brown skin. The Color of Life is a story of love, history and justice that illuminates the path from white privilege toward racial healing, from ignorance toward seeing the image of God in every person.
Unicorn Press, 2017
By Lynn Otto, former workshop participant
“Consider the clean white spaces / between each layer of a family tree. / It isn’t like that at all,” writes Lynn Otto in Real Daughter, winner of Unicorn Press’s 2017 First Book Award. The entangled lives of three generations of women thread through this collection, which examines how their relationships with each other, and with others, shape and mark them. Poems explore tensions between family expectations and individual needs, between community beliefs and personal doubts, and between various perceptions of reality. Throughout, Otto returns to the question of what is real, casting doubt even on her own accounts.