Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Book, Bath, Table & Time

Here's a shout-out to Dr. Fred Edie, professor of Christian education at Duke Divinity School and director of the Duke Youth Academy for Christian Formation. His new title is now available through Pilgim Press: Book, Bath, Table and Time: Christian Worship as Source and Resource for Youth Ministry. If he weren't currently my professor, with the power of my GPA in his hands, I'd say this book is AWESOME, and you'd believe me--but hopefully you'll believe me anyway. Every youth worker should own a copy. Fred locates the church's youth ministry within the main congregational worship service, where youth encounter the "holy things" of book (scripture), bath (baptism), table (communion), and time (the church year as lived out in daily Christian practice). His thinking on these issues has profoundly influenced me, particularly my understanding of the formative value of liturgy for helping youth live into the story of Jesus.

If you read nothing else this year on youth ministry, read this book. Well, and maybe The God-Hungry Imagination. Read both.

Storied Dreaming

Three thoughts in the midst of tackling not one, not two, but NINE readings for my Christian Theology class this week (including Barth, Bonhoeffer, Calvin, Wesley, Gregory of Nyssa, Julian of Norwich, and Maximus the Confessor. But who's complaining?):

First, the book is officially OUT and available wherever books are sold, which is pretty-much everywhere, including the website of yours truly (which is the only place you can get a signed copy--although, granted, who knows what crazy stuff I'll write in there under the influence of St. Maximus?). If you're still game, here's the link:

Second, this week I had the gratifying experience of watching my book being used in a seminary class for the first time: Fred Edie's class on Adolescence at Duke Divinity School. The irony is that I was there as both author and student, which created interesting dynamics as it slowly dawned on some of my classmates that the "Sarah Arthur" of the book was, in fact, me. But it was also fun to engage in discussion about Chapter 4 ("What is Story and Why does it Work?") and see how it holds up in a classroom setting. I look forward to more.

Third, I just found this blog posting from someone who attended my youth workshop on "The God-Hungry Imagination" in Nashville: It's a great summary of how the church must reclaim its call to "storied dreaming" (as Fred Edie puts it) for our youth.

More later, post-Maximus.