In this series, we highlight books we think our readers may enjoy, written by authors affiliated with the Collegeville Institute.
Skylight Paths Publishing, 2018
By Anita Amstutz, former Resident Scholar
Congregations are not so different from bee hives, as pastor and beekeeper Anita Amstutz found out. Busy and diverse, churches are filled with the joys of community as well as challenges. Author and desert dweller Amstutz describes Soul Tending as a spiritual biography. In her words, the book is “a story of my own wrestling with balance in my work life. How I found the Sabbath welcome of ‘ceasing work’ to be both solace and hospitality in that dry, droughty space between creativity and soul weariness, the sickness of work addiction and recovery.” Useful for personal reflection or group study, it explores Sabbath keeping as a guide for joy and deeper meaning in our daily work.
Wipf and Stock, 2017
By Meghan Florian, former writing workshop participant
Meghan Florian’s book of essays, The Middle of Things, combines personal narrative with analysis, taking the ordinary material of daily life and distilling it into moments of clarity and revelation. Each essay centers on an aspect of coming of age as a feminist woman within the theological academy and the church, illuminating questions about work, relationships, and daily life as a young woman. Part intellectual bildungsroman, part feminist manifesto, Florian’s earthly, intellectual tone creates a warm, engaging read.
Dos Madres Press, 2016
By Anne Whitehouse, contributor to Bearings Online
Anne Whitehouse’s Meteor Shower is perhaps best described by Marianne Moore’s famous line on poetry: “imaginary gardens with real toads in them.” A cultivated plot, planned and assembled for beauty from elements in nature, along with something else, something extra. Enter the “toad” — ugly, unwanted, yet irreducibly its own, that makes its home in the garden. Whitehouse’s poetry collection has been described as “intimate” and delves into “the universal struggles, the shared celebrations, the quiet moments of questioning.”