Reading with a Video and Get to know Rachel {Book Club}

Hello friends, today we begin Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life by Tish Harrison Warren. I can’t remember where I first heard of this book, but I read it in January of this year. In the midst of reading it, I got a text from my friend Amy. “You have to read Liturgy of the Ordinary. You know unlike you, I rarely read nonfiction and I’m starting to reread this book. It is THAT GOOD.” And it is. It is the book I wish I had written because it says all I have been trying to say for years through my writing. We live in the messy middle, where the sacred and the ordinary reside. How can we integrate the two?

We begin today, not by reading anything, but with this short 3-minute video with Tish. If you don’t see the video, you can watch it here.

I love that Tish gave a shout-out to cross-cultural workers. She knows that location doesn’t dictate this need to manage the tension between the ordinary and the holy. I also enjoyed listening to this podcast interview with her. We will begin discussing chapter 1 next week. These chapters are short and Tish’s writing is engaging so it is easy to read chapter after chapter. But I’m asking you to read this book slowly and in this community, so we can live into each chapter.

How does that sound?

A much later chapter in the book is entitled “Friends.” It’s been a while since we did a Book Club “Get to know,” and today an old friend of the Book Club and integral member of Velvet Ashes lets us get to know more about her. Rachel is on the Instagram team, facilitates a Connection Group, and is an avid reader. Thanks for sharing with us Rachel!

Introduce yourself. If you can share . . . where are you living? How long have you been there? What do you give a majority of your time to? What passport country do you hale from?

I have been in Kenya for 6 years. My time is split between taking care of my family and communicating with our sending team and partners. I’m from the US.

How do you prefer to read your books? Physically or electronically? How has living overseas shaped your preference?

I love paper books when I can get them. They never have to be charged. In the US, I mostly read library books, physical ones. But. They don’t travel as well as e-books, and they are not as easily accessible. The e-branch doesn’t have as many books (or not as many that I want to read) as the physical library, but I can buy e-books anywhere there’s internet. Now I mostly read e-books.

Do you tend to read one book at a time? Or have multiple books going at once?

I have many going at once. Usually one fiction and one non-fiction, but sometimes I’ll have multiples, on different subjects. Or something a bit intense or thought-provoking, then another book that’s lighter, easier reading.

Which Velvet Ashes Book Club books stand out to you? In other words, which do you remember? What do you remember about them?

Shiloh was one of my favorites. I liked it so much that I bought the rest of the books in the trilogy and read them in a week. The theme of remembering the truth has stuck with me.

In the last year or so, which book or books that you have read would you recommend?

The Book of M, by Peng Shepherd is an unusual blend of dystopian, fantasy, sci-fi, and thriller. It may not be for everyone, but I liked it! On the non-fiction side: Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen).

Where do you do most of your reading?

In bed or lounging on the couch.

What book has changed you as a person other than the Bible :)? How did it change you?

Mixed Matches (on intercultural marriage) changed my perspective and expectations when I was engaged to my husband.

What was a favorite book in childhood?

A Wrinkle in Time. It’s still one of my favorites.

What are you currently reading?

Sketches of Church History From A.D. 33 to the Reformation by James Craigie Robertson, which is very old and available from Project Gutenberg. Superfudge by Judy Blume, reading aloud to my kids, again. They request it so that they can crack up laughing every time Uncle Feather (the myna bird) says “Bonjour, stupid.” They can read it themselves, but it’s funnier aloud. I just (this afternoon) finished Three Seconds To Rush by Danielle Stewart, a predictable mystery, but not bad.

Overall, do you tend to read more fiction or non-fiction? Are there any genres you just can’t get into?

I read more fiction books, but I read deeper in non-fiction. There are fiction books on my “read” list in Goodreads from last year that I don’t even remember reading. I don’t read romance, not even Christian romance. It’s just not for me.

What do you have on your “to read” list?

Well, tons, but here’s a sampling…
The Giver by Lois Lowry: Several people mentioned it lately, and I’ve never read it.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers by Jack Finney: It’s referenced often in sci-fi, so I want to read the original.
The Forbidden Door by Dean Koontz: fourth in the Jane Hawk series – she’s like Jason Bourne if Jason Bourne was a mother and a widow.
Christianity at the Crossroads by Michael J Kruger: he was interviewed on a podcast I listen to.

Rachel, thanks for sharing! We readers love hearing from each other. I would never have guessed some of these books.

See you all in the comments. What books that Rachel mentioned have you read and wanted to give a virtual shout out to or not have on your to-read list? For Liturgy of the Ordinary what caught your attention as you listened to Tish in the video or podcast? Next week we will discuss Chapter 1.


P.S. Here is the reading plan for Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life by Tish Harrison Warren.

October 9: Chapter 1, October 16: Chapters 2-3, October 23: Chapter 4, October 30: Chapters 5-6, November 6: Chapters 7-8, November 13: Chapter 9, November 20: Chapter 10, November 27: Chapter 11


  1. Beth October 2, 2018

    For those of you joining the book club on Liturgy for the Ordinary, it will not disappoint. I read through it at the beginning of year two returning from the field. It encouraged and refreshed my soul in the transition of seeking purpose and identity and reminded me that worship and service are unfolding no matter where I live or what “ministry’ I do. I resonated with many chapters having lived overseas and the lessons God had taught me. Whether you are part of a church that practices liturgy in the traditional sense or not, this book is life-giving. Enjoy.

    1. Amy Young October 6, 2018

      Beth, we hope you can join in the discussion! I too read this book earlier in the year :). By reading it slowly in community, I”m hoping the lessons will sink in even deeper :). Glad you like the book!!

  2. Elizabeth October 2, 2018

    I loved Shiloh too!! Still do!

    Watched the Liturgy video. May have to revisit this book. I tried it last year and couldn’t get past the 2nd chapter. But you know how so much of the way a book reaches us has more to do with what’s going on in our lives at the time. The book could be just right for me now 🙂

    1. Amy Young October 6, 2018

      Me too on Shiloh love!

      And a “yes!” to how books can be so much about what’s going on in our lives than just the content of the book :)! Would love for you to join and understand if it doesn’t work out.

  3. Suzanne October 2, 2018

    I noticed and identified with the huge though rather messy bookshelves in the background. That suggests a family which values reading and is no doubt part of her being a writer too. I bought the audible version and am looking forward to it.

    1. Amy Young October 6, 2018

      Aren’t her bookshelves the BEST!!!

  4. Ruth Felt October 2, 2018

    I have read and re-read several of the book club books and liked them all! Somehow I *never* manage to read them at the same time as the book club though. Either I read about it throughout the month and decide I want to check it out, or I end up reading it all before the book club starts. But this immediately captured my attention and I even paid full price for the kindle book (there are 16 people waiting for it at the library). I love the part I have read so far, and I am going to try to read it slowly with the book club to take it in.

    1. Amy Young October 6, 2018

      Ruth, if I’m honest . . . the only way I keep up is because I know if I don’t there won’t be a post!! and then people would wonder and ask questions (which is understandable and they should!!). It does make me happy when a book grabs someones attention enough for them to buy it :). You have a wealth of knowledge and experience, I’m so glad you can join in the discussion!!!

  5. Spring October 4, 2018

    It was good to hear from you Rachel! I am with you on the romance side of things. I did start this series of books that is mystery/Christian that has romance. I tend to skip over the romantic parts as I don’t enjoy them at all. I haven’t read Superfudge to my kids that is a fun book. I am greatful for the suggestion.

    I don’t use goodreads (although it somehow happens automatically on my kindle? ) but I do have an ongoing list of books in my email. I have debated if I should add a description since I am unsure I will remember them all either.

    I am excited for this book as it hits me where I”m at, finding the Holy in the ordinary.

    1. Amy Young October 6, 2018

      I loved hearing from Rachel too :)!!! And Spring, I’m with you in needing more Holy in my Ordinary :)! I’m glad we can all read together!

  6. Felicity Congdon October 4, 2018

    Hey all!

    I am so excited to be reading this book with you all because

    1)one of my besties was reading it in community last year and telling me about it and every time I talked to her I would ask her what the next chapter was about because it sounded so intriguing!
    2) it’s available in the audiobook format via an e-library I have access to (this is the first Christian book that I have searched for that they actually have!) & I’m much better at listening to books that reading them.
    3)I already listened to the 1st 3 chapters and I’m hooked.
    4) I am a slooooow reader because I like to really process fully what I”m reading before I call it quits with a book. For this reason, book club doesn’t usually work out for me because I can’t keep up with the speed, so I appreciate that we’ll be reading this one more slowly–yay!!

    I am excited to listen to these chapters over and over because Tish’s thoughts are just so easy dwell on thought the day (I guess that’s the whole idea!) and I keep coming back to them as I encounter the everyday liturgies.

    It was fun to get to hear from Rachel. Can you share with us her instagram account? Rachel, I really enjoyed The Giver, so I hope you get a chance to read it.

    Also, Amy, can you share with us the podcast you are referring to that interviews Tish?

    What caught my attention from the video was how young the author looks. After listening to the first few chapters I assumed she was in her 40s at least because she seems wise and seems to have so much life experience.

      1. Felicity October 7, 2018

        Thanks Amy!!!

  7. Phyllis October 6, 2018

    I can tell I’m going to like this book! Thank you for choosing it.

  8. Paulette October 8, 2018

    Loved the video with Tish; she seems so sweet and like she would be easy to talk to.

    As someone who has never attended a liturgical church on a regular basis, I am eager to learn more about liturgy. It would never be a good fit for my host culture, which is very informal and has a system of organizing time and events that could drive some Western minds a bit crazy.

    However, during the Advent season, my sending church engages in corporate liturgical worship – lighting of candles with congregational readings to prepare our hearts, hanging of the greens service to decorate the church, Christmas Eve service and communion which is the same every year, New Year’s covenant service. I love and miss it and try to recreate this Advent liturgy here, even though it has to be by myself since there are no other English speakers. There is something about the sameness and ritual (not sure if that is the best word) that feeds my soul and points me to Jesus in a way I can’t completely explain or understand.

    Looking forward to reading this book with all of you!

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