101 Reason to be Episcopalian By: Louie Crew w/ Foreword by Phyllis Tickle 101 pages $9.00 Published by Morehouse Publishing
OVERALL - Gathered thoughts and wisdom from many different members of the church talking about what they love, admire, respect and are inspired by in the Episcopal Church.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT? This is a tiny little book (4x6 inches and only 101 pages long) that you can read through quickly but will come back to ponder some passages over and over again. Most are a sentence or two long, none go longer than a single small page's worth. Some are funny, some are quite serious and deep. All express some small part of what it means to be an Episcopalian. My favorite is #52 from Mary L, Lyons of the Diocese of Olympia - "This is the only church that is as lovingly loony as your family". Yes, that sounds familiar to me! I have grown increasingly concerned over the last decade about how poorly we represent what it means to be an Episcopalian. Why do we do things the way we do, where did we come from, what speaks to us in this tradition that is different from any other? If we can't communicate those ideas to our youth then the denomination has no future no matter how well we may do other things. This book can be an interesting jumping off point for discussion about those issues.
RESERVATIONS Some folks are going to cherry pick through the quotes and get all outraged about certain folks who have been included. The editor Dr. Louie Crew will set off some, the Bishop Spong quote will certainly set off others. If you are looking for reasons to reject this book you'll certainly find them. Better than that why not think and discuss your reasons to disagree with whatever quote you may dislike?
RECOMMENDATION I'm really impressed with this book as an entry level volume for folks trying to find their place in our church. It's not written for youth ministry but I don't see why we shouldn't use any and all options in our ministry. What's great is that the reading is short and to the point (the shortest entry is three words). It's lighthearted without ever dropping into silliness, it's thoughtful without ever dropping into tedium. There, call that my simple reason for being an Episcopalian. I think that describes who we are at our best. Think about sticking this book into your back pocket as an easy discussion starter about being an Episcopalian. I think you'll get plenty of mileage out of this little book