A Special Plan for Book Club {and a Giveaway}

A year ago a small seed of an idea was planted in my soul: How could we read about and participate in the Church Calendar while still reading other books?

Enter Circle of Seasons: Meeting God In the Church Year by Kimberlee Conway Ireton.

But before we jump too far into that question and the plan for this upcoming year, I want to back up and tell you how I came to know Kimberlee and why I am so excited for Book Club.

When I left my life in China, I found myself drawn to memoirs like a moth to a flame. Or, in this case, like a person adrift in her own story who voraciously consumed others’ stories in an attempt to find clues for her own life. I look back at that season and it didn’t matter if it was a memoir told about infertility, going to prison over drug charges, or a famous tennis player, I read and read and read. Around that time I entered a giveaway on a blog and much to my surprise, won a copy of Cracking Up: A Postpartum Faith Crisis by Kimberlee Conway Ireton.

When I received my copy, I dove right in. Hello? Cracking up? Memoir? Faith? You are my people! Though I have not been pregnant, like Kimberlee, I have experienced the pulls of identity she described. I asked my mom to read it, knowing that if she enjoyed it as much as I did, it could be a good fit for Book Club. This was around May of 2014. I found Kimberlee’s website and filled out a contact form explaining who I was, who Velvet Ashes was, and my hope for Cracking Up and our book club. I was a nobody, contacting a somebody, so I didn’t know if I’d hear from the author.

I didn’t.

In August, having decided that Cracking Up would be the September 2014 Book Club choice, I left a comment on Kimberlee’s blog saying as much. Guess what?! She emailed me almost immediately and had never gotten the initial message.

If we were in person, here is where I’d apologize for being all over the board because I’m about to go on another slight detour. This post is a bit like seeing the backside of a weaving. It can look a bit chaotic. Let’s add another thread to the weaving.

In the spring and summer of 2013 as Danielle, Patty, and I dreamed about what would become Velvet Ashes, one of the pieces was a book club.

So far we’ve got that I won a book. I loved it. It was chosen for book club and that book club had been going on for eight months by that point. But.

But we hadn’t quite hit our stride as a book club. At least not in the way that I had envisioned it, if I’m honest.

And then we read Cracking Up. Even now I tear up as I type this because Cracking Up, for me, is where book club was really born. The conversations we had in the comments were what I had dreamed we would have. From that book on, I knew. I knew that even if there was a quiet month or a book that didn’t quite register or a post that received no comments, it didn’t matter. Book club was real. Reading in community was possible. And the “secret” was just to keep showing up.

Fast forward to 2015, Kimberlee shared on her blog that she and friend Jody Collins were holding a retreat for writers. I had to go. For reasons that I cannot fully explain, I only know that I felt them so deeply, I needed to see Kimberlee in person and try to explain what her book and presence meant to the Velvet Ashes Book Club. How she was used by God to bless this space in a way that might seem small in the world’s eyes, but was significant to Velvet Ashes.

She is lovely in person. If I am like rafting a class four river with choppy white foam, she is like the deep mountain lake. She reflects God in ways that invite you to ponder and leaves you feeling satisfied. We have become friends. This picture was taken from this last September as we hatched the plan for the year.

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So, when God whispered, “Amy, try something different this year in book club. Try reading one book about the church calendar while you read other books through out the year.” I knew who should guide us on this endeavor: Kimberlee.

Starting next week, Kimberlee will be here the first week of every month, sharing from her book and life about what is happening in the Church calendar. Next week she will talk about Advent. The first week of January, Christmas and Epiphany (I know, what? Stay tuned). February, Ordinary Time. Throughout the year, the first week of each month we will experience Lent, Easter, Pentecost, and Ordinary Time together. The other weeks we will keep reading as we have.

To jump start our Church Year, leave a comment and share if you are familiar with the Church Calendar or not. Five of you will be drawn to win a copy Circle of Seasons: Meeting God In the Church Year.

Amazon is being a bit wonky. If you would like a physical copy of her book and have a US mailing address, Kimberlee said to email her ([email protected]) and explain you’re with Velvet Ashes and she’ll mail you a copy for $12 which includes shipping.

I go into such detail about Kimberlee’s behind the scene interactions with book club because when she has accepted the invitation to walk with us through the church year, I sensed God once again up to something special in Velvet Ashes and I don’t want you to miss it.

Until next week when Kimberlee kicks off the church year with Advent. Leave a comment, maybe win a copy!

Your fellow reader, Amy

P.S. The other weeks in December we are going to read short stories again. The Christmas Wreck by Frank Stockton, How Christmas Came to the Santa Maria Flats by Elia W. Peattie, and The Pony Engine and the Pacific Express by William Dean Howells.

91 Comments

  1. Ruth November 28, 2016

    This sounds AMAZING! I grew up with only the vaguest sense of the church year, but as I have learned more about it, been in communities that practiced it, and let it shape the rhythms of my life, it has been such a blessing to my faith. And Advent is my favorite season! I love the waiting and mystery and hope, even during times when it is hard to see how God is working.

    It does make me smile that we’re reading Christmas stories during Advent, because as the church calendar purists (which I am not…I’m listening to Christmas music right now) will tell you, the season of Christmas is after December 25 :). Of course, I can’t imagine it is easy to find Advent short stories….

    1. Amy Young November 28, 2016

      Ruth!! if there were extra entrances for making me laugh, you won one! Advent short stories . . . now there is a genre we need to explore in a future year :).

        1. Amy Young December 3, 2016

          Thanks . . . I love that you linked to Lacy’s website. Guess what?! She’s the web designer who redesigned my personal blog a year ago! I love the idea of Advent poems — will look for some over a hundred years old so we don’t violate copyright and get them for free :). Looking through her lists, much of it needs to be purchased (and I own more than I thought . . . hehehe).

  2. Angie November 28, 2016

    I know OF the church calendar, but I don’t really know what to DO with it. Looking forward to the upcoming weeks!

    1. Amy Young November 28, 2016

      Angie, so glad to have you along for the ride 🙂

  3. Carrie November 28, 2016

    I haven’t been a part of the book club but this book looks really good! I am very familiar with the Chruch calendar as I grew up Lutheran, but I’m not sure how to incorporate it into my life in China (besides observing advent and lent). I’m excited to follow along and get some new ideas from the community!

    1. Amy Young November 28, 2016

      I love that we can all learn together 🙂

  4. Joyce Stauffer November 28, 2016

    This sounds great, Amy! I know very little of the church calendar– I didn’t grow up in that kind of church. However, I became more aware of it when living overseas and getting to know others from all kinds of backgrounds. I now actually light candles for Advent and it’s become my personal Christmas tradition.

  5. Elizabeth November 28, 2016

    I am SUPER excited about this, because I LOVE Kimberlee’s book! And I rave about it on my blog often enough! I won it in one of your own personal giveaways last year after wanting it since we read “Cracking Up.” My copy is even signed 🙂

    Anyway, don’t put me in the drawing, but I’m excited to do this with everyone!!

    1. Amy Young December 3, 2016

      Roger that :). Not entered. Marked as excited 🙂

  6. Michelle November 28, 2016

    I like the others who have posted know of the calendar. I was not raised knowing much but have learned along the way. I am looking forward to learning more from this group. It is a fabulous book at least what I have read so far.

    1. Amy Young December 3, 2016

      Glad to have you along for the ride, Michelle!

  7. Amanda K November 28, 2016

    I too know OF the calendar (at least the “big” days), but I am interested and excited to see how the flow and building up and climaxes hope to both focus and expand the year. Indeed, each season has its waiting and hoping, and the times of fulfillment: what a great ride to be on each year! I’m excited for the chance to win this book!

  8. Jessica November 28, 2016

    This sounds awesome! What a great idea. I’m excited to learn more about the church calendar. I know a little of the church calendar, but mostly the main holidays, and I’m fairly ignorant of the significance or meaning behind some of the traditions. Excited to journey together!

  9. Gail November 28, 2016

    I’m so interested in reading this! I really want to be a better book club member!

  10. Sarah Crane November 28, 2016

    So, I’ve been kind of a book club “watcher”/audience member for quite a bit. I enjoy reading the blogs, some comment did I have time, and I even read some of the books after the fact. My seasons have been full and I haven’t felt able to commit to another book club (we have one on our team). But I always love the books you read! So, I’m hoping to join for this one over the year even if I can’t fully join the club.

    This book fascinates me. I grew up with two parents raised Catholic who walked away from the church, came to Christ, and went charismatic. By the time I came around,they had settled into a more conservative Presbyterian church, and that was that. So I have this somehow knowledge of the Church calendar from that church and from the Catholic roots, but a lot of that was communicated as suffocating rigidity and religion as I grew up. I have friends now who celebrate and see such beauty in the church calendar, and I’ve been wanting to learn more about it and see it as beautiful, and even more so incorporate it in my own life rhythms and seasons.

    1. Amy Young December 3, 2016

      Sarah, you are welcome to stay in the shadows, but I do enjoy when someone sticks a hand out and says, “I”m here!” Glad you’re here :).

  11. H November 28, 2016

    I am slightly familiar with in in that it exists and some of the times, but that’s it

  12. Sydnie November 28, 2016

    I know a lot about advent. But I’m not as familiar with other parts of the church year. I’ve always wanted to know more about things like Epiphany. I like this new idea for book club. It seems really cool!

  13. Diane November 29, 2016

    I’ve not heard of this before so I checked on the book and reviews, then googled the idea. I’m thinking this would be a great tool to use in ministry plus, if nothing else, would be really a great way to kick-off season in my own personal life.

    1. Amy Young December 3, 2016

      Diane, thanks for really digging in :)!

  14. Carrie W November 29, 2016

    I didn’t grow up in a church that followed the church calendar, but later used Godly Play in my children’s church curriculum, which has wonderful elements of the church calendar woven into it. There is something in me that deeply resonates in me with following traditions and rituals, with being reminded by symbols and scriptures. Not at all because of law, but because it draws my mind to remembrance and my heart to worship. Looking forward to jumping in with all of you reading “Circle of Seasons” this coming year.

  15. Maureen M November 29, 2016

    I know very little about the church calendar. However, as we meet overseas workers here in West Africa that are from other countries and backgrounds, I have learned about some of them. It will be interesting to learn more and understand why some of these ‘days’ are so important to people. Maybe they will become special to me too!

  16. T November 29, 2016

    I grew up United Methodist. They were pretty big on the church calendar. The colors of the pastor’s stole and the pulpit cloth change throughout the year, depending on the church season. I wonder if that will be in the book?!?! cause I don’t remember the details anymore, just my mom ironing them!

    1. Amy Young December 3, 2016

      I love the memory of your mom ironing for the church!

  17. Marguerite McCann November 29, 2016

    I grew up in churches that did follow the church calendar and used liturgy. I didn’t appreciate either until I found myself in a country that doesn’t do either. Christmas is a one day outreach event, happening on any sunday in december. Being back for a time in my passport country, I am loving advent and the sense of preparation and anticipation it brings, and also valuing the ancient familiar words of the liturgy we use.

  18. Rachel Kahindi November 29, 2016

    I have become more familiar with the church calendar since being overseas and meeting believers from other countries and denominations. Like others, I would love to incorporate some of this into our family culture.

  19. Laura Ajibero November 29, 2016

    I too know pieces of the calendar, but not all of it. I love the idea of digging in and learning it more. As a small person I was raised in a church that followed the calendar, when I was older our new church didn’t quite so much. Now I’m married to a man who also grew up with the church calendar, but we attend a charismatic church in our host country, and they don’t follow it at all. I’m excited to learn more and to try to strike a balance between the two sides.

    1. Laura Ajibero November 29, 2016

      I think that photo got added by accident…oops! Sorry…

      1. Bayta November 29, 2016

        Laura!!! You look so great!

  20. Elizabeth Bradley November 29, 2016

    This is the first time I’m joining you for a book club and am really looking forward to it! Like others, I know OF the calendar, but not much about it… though it intrigues me.

  21. Janet Ziegelbaur November 29, 2016

    One of the pastors who served my home church followed the church calendar well. There was even a poster in the church office window for a year or more showing the year in relation to the church calendar (it was a circle, like a clock, showing the cyclical nature of the church calendar. I also have a devotional book that follows the church calendar. It begins with the first Sunday in Advent rather than with the month of January. I’ve used it several times since first finding it in seminary.

    1. Amy Young December 3, 2016

      Love hearing all the ways to engage with the church calendar that exist!!

  22. Raven November 29, 2016

    I like changing things up every once in awhile! Looking forward to seeing this throughout the next year.

    What do I know about calendars? I know that I live thrive when I have a schedule/calendar and can anticipate upcoming events. What do I know about the church calendar? That it got printed every week in the church bulletin growing up. Needless to say, I have a good grasp on the major events and days that the most of the world celebrates, but would love to learn just as much about the other (also important) days!

  23. Kelsey November 29, 2016

    I have some awareness of the calendar, but it’s not something I have a lot of knowledge about. I am definitely interested to hear more about it.

  24. Hadassah November 29, 2016

    Great idea, Amy! I’m always impressed with your plans! I’d love to learn more about the church calendar, and since this year will be one of transition for me, it’ll be nice to have this constancy all year. Plus, I may also need some memoirs to keep me going, in this new season. Thank you for the vision you have for VA, and your enthusiasm. And also for listening to the Lords guiding words. I, too, can’t wait to see what he has in store!

    1. H November 29, 2016

      I was glancing through the comments, and your post made me stop. I was wondering if I posted it in my sleep (I had been reading this post last night as I fell asleep) and I’m not used to seeing my name and it not being me! And I could have also written the transition part… So your whole post made me question my memory for a couple seconds and then chuckle

      1. Hadassah December 2, 2016

        How funny! I’ve not met many other Hadassahs and none in service! I’d love to get to know you more! It sounds like we may have more in common than just our names;)

        1. Amy Young December 3, 2016

          If you both want, I can put you in contact.

          1. H December 3, 2016

            That’d be fun!

    2. Amy Young December 3, 2016

      And thanks for you kind comments about book club :). I do so enjoy serving here, but it’s also nice to know it is of value to people!

  25. Ruth November 29, 2016

    I am excited for this! I’ve been thinking lately that I really want to be more connected to the church calendar. I love being aware of different seasons, and I love practicing Advent. I grew up with no awareness of the church calendar, but in China I have found myself craving liturgy in daily life – feeling the connection to the Church and practicing the rhythms of connection with God. Since I don’t know much about the church calendar, I think this will be a great resource!

  26. Sherri November 29, 2016

    This sounds like a great idea. I grew up with the church calendar, but since then have attended churches that did not observe the calendar. We need to remember, and it’s helpful to have rhythms in our lives.

  27. Crystal McGowen November 29, 2016

    I know of many who find great richness in following the church calendar, but it’s always been a bit out of reach for me. Looking forward to learning more!

  28. Brittany November 29, 2016

    I love this! We’ve decided to dive into the church calendar this year, so I’m looking forward to these discussions!

    1. Amy Young December 3, 2016

      Hi Brittany! Always makes me smile to see you!

  29. meli November 29, 2016

    sounds interesting! I appreciate your heart for ministry be reaching the international community! 🙂

  30. Grace L November 29, 2016

    We come from a church tradition that celebrates the seasons. However, living here in central China, our only church is that which meets in our living room and we have come to embrace the prayer book and the church seasons even more. My dear husband took it upon himself to prepare an Advent wreath for us and even engaged a local woman, who usually makes flower head wreaths for the tourists, to make him a wreath with just the evergreen branches on it. We found some candles in our local supermarket that were a light purple color, but had to order the white one for Christmas Day online. I love the idea that we are not only celebrating Advent but bringing it in with the ceremony of lighting the candles week by week. I look forward to participating in the upcoming sharings about the church calendar.

    1. Amy Young December 3, 2016

      Grace, your reference to flower head wreaths brings back memories and smiles. I love to think of your husband having an advent wreath made by this local woman!

  31. Bayta November 29, 2016

    I didn’t grow up in the church, so was only familiar with it inasmuch as it seeped into “normal” culture (i.e. days off – Christmas, Easter, Ascension Day, Pentecost). Over the years, I have mostly been part of quite informal churches. There is much about that that I love, but I do think we miss out on some things by ugnoring the rhythm of the church year completely. So this sounds exciting!
    Fun fact on the side: on Amazon UK, the papaerback copy is available for a mere 1,300 GBP (about $1,600). Must be made of pure gold 😉

    1. Amy Young December 3, 2016

      Hahaha. Yup, the wonkiness of amazon continues in other lands :). Love hearing more of your story, Bayta!

  32. Rebecca November 29, 2016

    I too am pretty new to the Book Club. It costs quite a bit of money to get resources to where we live, and I don’t own a Kindle, so I haven’t joined in as of yet… However, this book has struck my fancy! 🙂 My father-in-law has been in the Catholic Church his entire life, and he has a much better understanding of the Church Calendar than I do, having grown up in Protestant churches. While we mildly acknowledged Lent and Advent while I was growing up, and pretty much no other times of the Church Calendar, I would love to have a deeper connection to my father-in-law, to the wider church (we are quite isolated here!), and to the church in ages past. I also find myself in a place where the seasons are different yet again to what I am used to, so I think I am longing to rise and fall, ebb and flow, through the year in a way that connects to my soul instead of my body… since my body will never feel at home in this climate, I think! Ha! 🙂

    1. H November 29, 2016

      I don’t know if it’s an option for you, but you can download a kindle reader on a computer, or the app on a smartphone or tablet. I don’t know if either of those would work for you or not, but they can be good alternatives to having a kindle, especially the phone or tablet. But I have read a bit on my computer before…

      1. Rebecca December 1, 2016

        Hello! 🙂 I do have the Kindle app on my smart phone, but after about 5 books, it has stopped downloading anything! I’m too scared to put the app on there again, in case I lose what I have already downloaded… 🙂 I guess I could try the family ipad. Thanks for the suggestion! 🙂

    2. Amy Young December 3, 2016

      We’re glad you’re here! I”m not app expert. But if you have bought something from amazon, you have a copy in “the cloud” — so you can download the book on any devise (your phone, computer, tablet). All that to mean, you can reload the app and then even if you have “lost” the books from your phone, you haven’t really lost them, you can download them again. However, I TOTALLY get why you’d be scared to lose books. I would be too :)!!!

      1. Rebecca December 4, 2016

        Hee hee scary technology!… I have a good support system in the States… maybe I’ll just hint that the book would be a good Christmas present… unless I win the draw, that is! ??

  33. Heidi November 29, 2016

    I have never been in a book club before but the book on the church calendar excites me. It sounds funny coming from me. I grew up in the Lutheran church which is all about the church calendar but I missed the meaning of all of it. My life with Jesus did not start until. My late 20’s and I did not begin think about (let alone understand) until my 40’s the richness of what it is.

  34. Rachel November 29, 2016

    As a TCK, I grew up attending whatever type of Bible-believing church our family could find in our various countries, so I’m a bit of a Protestant “mutt.” But over the years, my husband and I have been more and more drawn to the depth and richness of liturgy and church tradition. When we returned to the U.S. after 7 years in China, we put our kids into a Catholic school here in Baltimore (after homeschooling). Our family has been delighted and enriched by all we’ve been learning about the Church calendar–my kids were actually so excited about it and it has helped them to think about their faith on a daily and regular basis. I know for some, especially perhaps for those who grew up Catholic, the idea or practice of it can sometimes be stale or rote, but it’s a beautiful discovery for many of us to whom it is new and refreshing! And it is a help to connect us with the “cloud of witnesses”–the centuries of saints who have come before us.

    1. Rachel November 29, 2016

      Yikes! I didn’t realize that picture would be so large! Thought it would be my avatar pic. So sorry!

      1. Amy Young December 3, 2016

        It’s lovely, but I can remove it it you’d like 🙂

  35. Phyllis November 29, 2016

    I love this idea!

    I actually started thinking about the church year when I read Noel Piper’s book about family traditions. Back then it was available free, but I don’t think it is anymore. It’s called Treasuring God in our Traditions.

  36. Sarah Hilkemann November 29, 2016

    Amy, I loved hearing more about the story of book club and your friendship with Kimberlee! I love book club, even when I don’t stay caught up with reading or commenting on every book each week.

    I know a little bit about the church calendar, at least the big ones like Lent and Advent. I’ve heard about Kimberlee’s book (probably from your blog or Elizabeth Trotter’s), and it will be so awesome to learn more!!

    1. Amy Young December 3, 2016

      Sarah lovely to hear from you and thanks for the encouragement!

  37. Nancy November 29, 2016

    I like this idea. I grew up in the Lutheran church and the church year was very prominent for us. But that was a long time ago and I haven’t thought about it much since. So, I am curious but also drawn to the idea of finding freedom from the frenzy by reflecting on the church year.

  38. Ashley R November 29, 2016

    My husband and I became Anglican after we where married, and we love following the church calendar. For us, liturgy of the seasons is simultaneously the thing we miss most about worship while in Asia and the thing that roots us most strongly to our faith. We have found the church calendar and the Book of Common Prayer to be our greatest resources for discipling our children. We also find that people in many cultures who have only had some imported brand of evangelical Protestantism (which rejects most symbol and ceremony) are really moved to find an expression of Christianity that is aesthetically and sacramentally grounded, that has tangible symbols and actions and smells and colors. I would LOVE to tell people how we invite friends into Advent and Holy Week here and how that has done more to show people the gospel than any “gospel presentation” ever could. Living our family life rooted in the church calendar and inviting people into our lives in the midst of that is the key focus of our lives here. I am pretty passionate about liturgy and church seasons as a powerful tool for sharing truth, and I’m so glad you are inviting people to learn more about it! If people want to talk more in depth about it, I’d love to start some sort of group for that!

    1. Amy Young December 3, 2016

      Ashely, that sounds lovely. Let me contact you off line and we’ll chat.

  39. Kathy November 30, 2016

    I don’t know a lot about the church calendar, but I have sometimes wondered if perhaps, in my more straightforward religious tradition I may have missed something by not celebrating in some of the ways the more liturgical churches do. I am excited to have more exposure to the church year, expecting that there will be some touchpoints of nearness to God that I don’t normally experience in my time with Him.

  40. Kim November 30, 2016

    I first heard of the church calendar year from my husband’s old English grandmother. She was an Anglican priest and an incredible woman. I love liturgy and don’t really have it in any form in my daily life so this sounds intriguing!

  41. Shelly November 30, 2016

    I did not grow up with the church calendar, but have come to know it in different groups I have been a part of as an adult. I have intentionally sought to engage in Advent and Lent, but have wondered about what it might be like to follow this throughout the year. I think it was only recently that I learned the concept of “ordinary time.” So I am all game about learning about liturgy and how others incorporate it into their lives.

  42. Ellie November 30, 2016

    I’m so excited it’s Advent and I love the church year and the book sounds ace. I’m glad we’re going to dip into some short stories again too because I can’t always keep up with a “whole book” but short stories around Christmas and a book on the church year all year might just be where it’s at for me at the moment!

    1. Amy Young December 3, 2016

      Ellie, I owe you an email! This was a gentle nudge and I’m so happy to see your face . . . albeit in an avatar!

      1. Ellie December 10, 2016

        🙂

  43. Jessica November 30, 2016

    I grew up with only Advent and Easter as the main parts of the church calendar…After some seminary studies, I’m learning more and more! I really like the use of the lectionary for planning sermons – also saves me from deciding on a text for any given Sunday! 🙂

  44. Kimberlee Conway Ireton December 1, 2016

    Oh my goodness! Such wonderful comments here. I am SO excited to get to walk with you all through the church year these next 12 months. What a gift that will be–for all of us, I hope! As the seasons unspool, please feel free to ask me any questions you may have–and please share with me your experiences and traditions. The church year is not a monolithic thing–different Christian traditions celebrate it in different ways–so I look forward to hearing from you all in the coming months.

    1. Amy Young December 3, 2016

      I agree! I’m blessed so much just by reading the comments :)!

  45. Amy December 1, 2016

    I grew up doing Advent and Easter, but I have never heard it referred to as the Church Calendar. I’m very curious. The book also sounds intriguing! I would love to win a copy 😉

  46. Corrine December 1, 2016

    Having been raised Catholic, the Church Calendar is almost nearly a part of my DNA just like having thick hair or almond-shaped eyes.
    But it is for that reason that I actually don’t know it as well as I would like. (How many people really care to examine their actual DNA?)
    Because it was so inherently a part of my family’s faith practice during my formation, I have never thought to delve into its history, intricacies – beauty, even – of my own volition.
    And yet, I find myself being drawn back to these annual observances, if only internally, during the daily-ness and rhythms of life.
    I miss its role particularly during Advent and Lent, but also at Epiphany which drew out the Christmas season in a gentle, de-crescendo-ing kind of way (it also helped that my mom would leave our tree up until after Epiphany, the longest of any of my friends’ families, who kept it up that late intentionally anyway).

    🙂

    1. Amy Young December 3, 2016

      Corrine, I LOVE seeing you here. And your comment is so beautifully written. And I love getting to know a tiny bit more of your story.

      1. Corrine December 3, 2016

        Thanks, Amy! I have been wanting to “dive in” to Velvet Ashes a bit more, but it seems to be more like getting my feet wet, one toe and then one foot at a time (partly because I’m not really sure about the logistics of implementing it into my schedule, but also because I feel like I need a little tutorial [which probably exists, and I haven’t dug enough]).
        Anyway, I’ve taken the next step – what do I do now? 😀

  47. Valerie Browne December 1, 2016

    I grew up in the church but was never taught anything about the church calendar. I didn’t experience anything about Advent or Lent or Passover holidays until I came to China and was serving on teams with people from other backgrounds. It’s so cool to see how tradition and liturgy can bring a new depth to your own walk though and I look forward to seeing what Kimberlee brings here each month!!

  48. Spring December 2, 2016

    I am really excited about learning more about the church calender. Thank you Amy for telling some of the story behind the decision. It is amazing to see God in the details.

  49. Sarah December 2, 2016

    I grew up with Advent being really the only part of the church calendar that I was familiar with. But I’ve been looking for something to learn more about the church calendar, and this book looks perfect! I read Cracking Up with the book club and really enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to reading something else from this author! The link to email Kimberlee doesn’t seem to be working for me, is that my computer or a problem with the link?

  50. Amy Young December 3, 2016

    Hey all! Thanks for entering and your enthusiasm for book club and Circle of Seasons. If you weren’t chosen, please consider buying it for yourself. Worth the investment!

  51. Catriona Speight December 9, 2016

    I think its a great encouragement; the seasons and regularity of a church calendar. Its kinda a quiet calming in an otherwise hectic world where we fit God into daily alone times and church but otherwise rush from pillar to post. I love the seasons, and while here in New Zealand everything is upside down I LOVE Christmas being in summer. Yesterday at the supermarket the Salvation Army were playing carols on brass instruments (trumpets, cornets, etc) I joined with them in singing. I felt so thankful and glad and full of hope and joy. What a blessing it is to stand outside the supermarket and sing songs of joy . I love the seasons.

  52. Loran Epp December 9, 2016

    Hi Amy!!
    I have followed you for at the least for almost 2 years. Weird for a guy, esp. at for a pastor!!. Well as a,pastor well we did the candle thingy and the appropriate reading.
    Do I know and understand advent, nope. I know it fits, I do believe it is a awesome tribute to how God laid out His plan. Sadly this year, I don’t have a church of pour into! My spoke addled wife doest want to work on our marriage after 32 years. I greaves for her heart, her decisions, and her direction.
    I LOVE your assets to the kingdom of God. To care enough to spend your time to help a broken ,alone pastor. God is not done with me!!. Don’t know the future, but I knew my Daddy does. I am sorry that her brain was damaged but am TOTOLY excited to move closed to Him to continue to learn not just thru verse but in somewhere, something to learn the NEXT. What it is. Who can serve with me and touch the hearts of man with the Heart of God (Daddy).
    Forsaking all others, I PRESS ON!!
    Loran

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