Books, a Library, and a Prayer

03Feb04

Here’s some books that have recently caught my attention:

Better Not Bigger: How to Take Control of Urban Growth and Improve Your Community

Suburban Nation : The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream

Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic

and an article in the newest Next-Wave.org e-zine:

Discipling the Comfortably Numb…God’s Mission to Suburbia by Mike Bishop

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This past weekend in the brownhouse we re-organized the books in the office/library. We put them in categories based on the disciplines of the community. Topics such as hospitality, sabbath, prayer/worship, mission, spiritual direction, vocation, service, scripture and the like. I love living in a community where so many of the books that have influenced me deeply or ones that I really want to read are residing. Thank you, Jesus, for this opportunity!

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While sorting these books I found this prayer from when St. Elizabeth’s and St. Matthew’s (two Catholic churches in Norwood) closed and consolidated with Sts. Peter and Paul to form a new parish – Holy Trinity:

The Norwood Catholic Community Prayer for Unity

God of all life,

in love you have created us to serve You and one another. May we work together to build a community rooted in the Spirit of Jeus, a community of faith, hope, and love. We come before you as the Norwood Catholic Community, bonded by our common Baptism in the life of the Risen Lord. Your goodness ahs made us rich in faith, history, and tradition. You bless us with many gifts to share in community. Through the patronage of Saints Elizabeth, Matthew, Peter and Paul, we ask You to bless and direct our efforts as we join together to become one.

Gentle God, help us to see each other’s needs and feelings as You do. Enliven in us the gifts of the Spirit and bless us with understanding hearts to encourage and support one another. Gracious God, continue your work of forming the new community of the Holy Trinity. We pray this in the name of the Risen Christ. Amen.

I find this prayer very heartening and rich! I feel the saints that have gone before me in this place. They may be Catholic with a capital “C” and I may think we’re catholic with a lower case “c”, but God is surely at work in this place. “Forming”, “bonded”, “rooted”, “enliven” – these are good words, good Kingdom words.

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