Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Books of Ember

We've added The Books of Ember to our recommended reading list (sidebar) for ages 9 & up. It is a series of young adult fiction by Jeanne DuPrau begun shortly after 9-11. Here's a fantastic quote from the second book of the series The People of Sparks:

"'You turned a crazy old guy into an enemy in less than two minutes. You did it. You've done it over and over, I've seen you: you approach people like an enemy and bam!, they turn into one, whether they were to begin with or not' [Maddy accused, after discovering she and her traveling companions had been robbed during the night by a hungry old man Casper had refused to help the day before].

'It's my policy to be ready to defend myself," Caspar said, scoling. 'At any moment.'

"Fine," said Maddy. "So now, because of your policy, we're out four cakes instead of two [we could have easily spared], and we have a lot of dirt on the rest.... If you ask me, making friends is a better defense than making enemies."

Friday, June 14, 2013

Prove There is an Audience!

We have a unique opportunity to prove there is an audience for better--more beautiful, more just, more virtuous--faith stories. Purchase our dramatic reading of the Cain & Abel and Noah sagas. I promise a person doesn't have to be Christian to appreciate these stories--virtue is virtue.

Give them as gifts to random young people... and adults. Guilt your parenting friends into buying it. Insist every youth person at your church each have their own copy. Let's change the world to reflect the real virtues of our faith traditions one sacred myth at a time!

By the way, v.1 can be found here.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Space for the Other

I just love this (taken from Brian McLaren's Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road? which asks whether we can fashion a Christian identity that is both strong and hospitable to others' core identities):

In stark contrast to many ancient creation myths, Genesis tells us that the universe does not begin in conflict and rivalry among the gods. It begins peacefully, in the creative words “Let there be.” Through these words of permission, space and time open up to make room for the new and the other to exist.  Since all creation is, in this sense, “other than God,” all human beings, together with all created things, have their origin in the same unfolding story of making space for the other. We wouldn't be here if it weren't for the creative hospitality of the God who is host, not hostile, to the other....
We live within a relationship of diversity without division: we are made on the same creation date as the reptiles and cattle, for example, and we are formed from the same dust. All living things are different but related; distinct but united. Similarly male and female are not too warring factions; one is not superior and the other inferior: we are different but related distinct but united.
This creation, then is a garden of harmony, not a war zone of hostility. It comes equipped, not with oppositional religions that divide, but rather with the naked spirituality that includes and unifies all things in one fabric of creation. Trees and rivers, sky and stars declare God's glory for everyone; exclusive temples and membership only cathedrals are unnecessary. And so, according to our doctrine of  creation, we are created by God to live in harmony with God and with all creation in all its wild diversity. We are created for harmony with one another, meaning “one with the other,” and male with female, us with them, and dynamic unity without uniformity.