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Dear Church: Letters from a Disillusioned Generation - eBook
Zondervan / 2009 / ePub
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Dear Church is a series of letters from a former emergent church staffer to the global church she's not always sure she wants to be a part of. On a personal level, Cunningham's story awakens the sometimes missing voice of the twenty-somethings who are distancing themselves from conventional expressions of religion. On a global level, Dear Church invites every person to engage their own disappointments and share in Sarah's story---the story of journeying through disillusionment and back again. Includes discussion questions that can be used for personal or group reflection.
Sarah Raymond Cunningham is a high school teacher, part-time college professor and chief diaper changer. She is a popular church and conference speaker, the author of Dear Church, and a contributor to several books, including unChristian. Sarah lives with her husband, Chuck their son, Justus, and their manic Jack Russell in Jackson, Michigan. They attend a church plant called Rivertree. Find out more at www.sarahcunningham.org
First-time author Cunningham is a 20-something who feels ambivalent about and alienated from the church. In 14 letters, she vents her frustrations, telling the church why she is dissatisfied and letting other disgruntled Gen-X and Gen-Y readers know they are not alone. Her generation digs technology, but still craves human intimacy and community. They value "authenticity" and thus are suspicious of churches where worship seems too polished, too "preplanned," too self-consciously cool. The Holy Spirit may move some people to leave their local church, and Cunningham thinks that's okay, as long as they find Christian community somewhere else and refrain from gossiping about the members of their ex-church. The book is not wholly devoted to complaining; Cunningham also highlights the aspects of church life that give her hope. She loves the resiliency and flexibility of the church. And she loves Jesus, who was simultaneously anti-institutional and deeply committed to the church. Cunningham's epistolary format is ironically gimmicky, drawing from the same wells as the inauthentic church services she critiques. Questions at the end of each chapter will help small groups who want to use this book as a jumping-off point for discussion, but ultimately, there is little here that hasn't been said before. Copyright 2006 Publishers Weekly.
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