Tuesday, April 22, 2014

[city of god: faith in the streets, by sara miles]

city of god: faith in the streets by sara miles. book cover
city of god: faith in the streets is another fascinating book by sara miles. The book is about her experiences around Ash Wednesday, the people in her neighbourhood and church, and taking the ashes to the people in the streets.

A very good read. Not many sections which are highly quotable, other than this one where Sara quotes someone else:
As the Orthodox theologian Demetrios Constantelos points out, in a commentary upending many assumptions about evangelism: "It is the Spirit which moves where it wills, whose presence and operation is everywhere and all-encompassing. The Spirit of God may not be where one would like to see it and it may be where one refuses to see it.  Thus it is impossible to define the boundaries of God's people."
(p. 138)

Here's the official description from Amazon:
Paradise is a garden...but heaven is a city.
From the acclaimed author of Take This Bread and Jesus Freak comes a powerful new account of venturing beyond the borders of religion into the unpredictable territory of faith.

On Ash Wednesday, 2012, Sara Miles and her friends left their church buildings and carried ashes to the buzzing city streets: the crowded dollar stores, beauty shops, hospital waiting rooms, street corners and fast-food joints of her neighborhood. They marked the foreheads of neighbors and strangers, sharing blessings with waitresses and drunks, believers and doubters alike.

CITY OF GOD narrates the events of the day in vivid detail, exploring the profound implications of touching strangers with a reminder of common mortality. As the story unfolds, Sara Miles also reflects on life in her city over the last two decades, where the people of God suffer and rejoice, building community amid the grit and beauty of this urban landscape.

CITY OF GOD is a beautifully written personal narrative, rich in complex, real-life characters, and full of the "wild, funny, joyful, raucous, reverent" moments of struggle and faith that have made Miles one of the most enthralling Christian writers of our time.

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