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