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Reading. Again.

By Mike Mccauley on
Mike Mccauley
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Jan 13 in Musings
I just finished a small book by David Ulin, a former book editor and critic at the Los Angeles Times. It’s called “The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time.” Ulin is not a Luddite, he does not think technology is evil or ruining the world. However, he makes the point that as a culture, our obsession with networking electronically is costly.

While we communicate in increasingly rapid soundbites, we are losing the ability to immerse in deep reading. He asks, “How do we ruminate when we are constantly expected to respond?” Reading well and deeply slows us down, and stirs our thoughts and imaginations. It opens doors for rich conversation.

The weekly meeting schedule for our staff here at Hollywood Pres often includes conversation on books, articles, poems or essays.  In addition to studying scripture together on a number of occasions, here is what the Pastoral Staff read in the second half of 2016. 
 
1)     “The Day I Hit the Wall” article by Gordon McDonald from Leadership,      
         Winter2016
 
2)     Chapter from Will Willimon’s  How Odd of God: Chosen for the Curious Vocation
         of Preaching.

3)     Poetry selections from Dana Gioia, 99 Poems, New & Selected

4)     “Do Christians & Muslims Worship the Same God?” article by Dr. Dudley
         Woodberry

5)     Silence, novel by Shushako Endo (movie by Martin Scorsese, Dec. 2016).

6)     “The Bias in Our Votes,” column by Christena Cleveland, Christianity Today
         J/Feb2016

7)     “A New Way to Define Evangelicals,” article by Anderson & Stetzer, CT April 2016

8)     “Star Across the Tracks,” story by Bess Streeter Aldrich in Christmas in My Heart.
 
Our staff also had a group holiday breakfast and field trip in December. Ultimate destination? Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena, of course.
 
We do live in a distracted time. There are a million things demanding our attention, and keeping us from richer lives of faith. Good reading- wide, broad, new, old, different perspectives- allows us to focus on things that matter in greater depth. Here’s hoping that in 2017 we make more time for ruminating, thinking, praying and discerning. Reading is a good place to start.

            See you soon
                         Pastor Dan

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