The Circle of Seasons: Meeting God in the Church Year  -     By: Kimberlee Conway Ireton
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The Circle of Seasons: Meeting God in the Church Year

Inter-Varsity Press / 2008 / Paperback

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Product Description

Growing up in a Protestant church Kimberlee Conway Ireton had learned that the two biggest holidays were Christmas and Easter. However, in high school when her Catholic friends asked what she was giving up for Lent, she was drawn into an exploration of the traditional church calendar that shaped her faith from then on. In The Circle of Seasons she introduces the Church Year to the curious Christian. From Advent through Pentecost and Ordinary Time, Ireton explores these seasons and celebrations through her own life and church history. Discover a deeper way to connect your spiritual growth with everyday living.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 144
Vendor: Inter-Varsity Press
Publication Date: 2008
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 083083625X
ISBN-13: 9780830836253
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

The seasons tell a story. Are you listening? The church year is a uniquely Christian way of marking time. When Kimberlee Conway Ireton began to understand this, even the most ordinary incidents of her life began to resonate with the stories of Scripture. In this book, Kimberlee follows the structure of the liturgical year--from Advent to the second cycle of Ordinary Time--describing the origin of each observance and its ongoing relevance for our lives. In a word, The Circle of Seasons offers you structure--a simple and traditional way of building your life around your faith, rather than the other way around.

Author Bio

It was during her studies of the history of Christian spirituality at St. John's University School of Theology-Seminary that Kimberlee Conway Ireton first immersed herself in a daily and weekly liturgy. As a result she experienced an expanded understanding of the church year, a strong sense of the sacredness of time, and eventually wrote her book, Currently she is an at-home mother of two young children who are constantly forcing her back into an awareness of the present moment, which is, incidentally, where God shows up most often in her life. Ireton doesn't own a TV, instead opting for a bookish life informed by writers like Dallas Willard, Lilias Trotter and E. M. Forster. She is writing a young adult novel based on the life of St. George and serving in Adult Christian Education at a Presbyterian church in the Seattle Washington area. Ireton has also written for TheThoughtfulChristian.com and magazine's blog.

Endorsements

"In a nanosecond world we need sane rhythms that slow us down enough to notice God in our lives. Kimberlee Conway Ireton guides the reader to a simple annual pathway---the church year. The Circle of Seasons takes a practical look at how the church journeys with Jesus through Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Ordinary Time, Lent, Easter and Pentecost. Each season opens a door to deeper understanding and formation in faith. Accessible, readable and personable, The Circle of Seasons is a way forward for our time." —Adele Calhoun, copastor, Redeemer Community Church, Wellesley, Massachusetts, and author of Spiritual Disciplines Handbook

"Only rarely does an introductory volume on Christian liturgy manage to cover its assigned subject with both detail and grace, but this one most assuredly does just that. In her deftly written book, Conway Ireton provides all of us a very accessible and enormously appealing overview of the church's liturgical year." —Phyllis Tickle, compiler of The Divine Hours

"Most people (like me) are bone tired of our own little stories. We are fatigued by our incessant consumption and by the suffocating pressure to produce something or feel something. We crave to move beyond our smallness and into the wide, bright story of God. Kimberlee Conway Ireton offers a gracious gift by reminding us that we don't have to look far for help, that the simple rhythms the church has practiced most of its history provide us precisely the delightful, healing, communal, earthy spiritual cadence our soul needs. If you want to breathe fresh air and drink in much grace, these beautifully crafted words offer you a feast." —Winn Collier, author of Restless Faith and Holy Curiosity: Encountering Jesus' Provocative Questions

"There is so much more to the church year than Lent and Advent! Kimberlee Conway Ireton guides us on a lovely and inviting tour through the liturgical year, reminding us of the 'transformative potential' and sacredness of every season, even Ordinary Time. She artfully blends honest personal stories with practical tips on spiritual practices into an inspiring, well-written book. Her clear, simple, yet thought-provoking chapters on each season will help readers to find common ground with the church around the world, and to gain a deeper understanding of the Scripture and traditions that have shaped each season's celebrations." —Keri Wyatt Kent, author of Breathe: Creating Space for God in a Hectic Life and Rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity

"This isn't just another book on the liturgical year. It penetrates more deeply. The author welcomes us into a different rhythm for measuring time. Rather than the cadence of our days being driven by the demands of our consumer culture, we are invited into a more human and more divinely ordinary way of life. Drawing together everyday experiences from her own life with ancient practices of the church, she charts a route to liberation from our society's frenzied busyness and crippling self-indulgence. Reader beware. This book can draw us into a life-re-creating journey." —Tim Dearborn, director, Christian Commitments Programs, World Vision International

"A useful and inspiring reexamination of how the church has always marked time and the seasons of the year from its Christian worldview. Reading Kimberlee Conway Ireton it is clear: living in the culture of Christianity is now---once again---countercultural." —Noel Anderson, executive pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Bakersfield, California

"Kimberlee Conway Ireton writes beautifully. Her stories from daily life are winsome, her reflections on God's grace are insightful, and her explanations of Christian history are clear and helpful. In a rich and deep way, with lovely prose, she illuminates the intersection of everyday life with the biblical themes connected to the church year." —Lynne M. Baab, author of Sabbath Keeping and Fasting: Spiritual Freedom Beyond Our Appetites

"I would recommend this book to any religious educators, and specifically to the women and men who teach children and adults at the parishes where I've worked. The hands-on projects are a godsend for anyone trying to make the Bible vivid to learners of any age." —Father James Harbaugh, S.J., author of A 12-Step Approach to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius and A 12-Step Approach to the Sunday Readings

"Offering simple practices built on Scripture, history and everyday life, Conway Ireton helps us participate in the rhythm of the Christian year. In so doing, we unite with Christians throughout the world and throughout the ages." —Jan Johnson, author of Invitation to the Jesus Life and Spiritual Disciplines Companion

"Having grown up in denominations that didn't follow the church calendar, I found The Circle of Seasons to be an engaging introduction to the rich history and spiritual blessing of this annual cycle. Through her use of personal stories and worship resources, Kimberlee Conway Ireton invites all Christians, regardless of tradition, to experience God in this yearly rhythm. This book is deeply beautiful in the insights it conveys, yet helpfully pragmatic in the suggestions for everyday worshipful living it provides. This balance makes it a welcome resource for anyone seeking to follow the historic church calendar." —Julie Clawson, pastor, Via Christus Community Church, Yorkville, Illinois

"The church year has largely slipped from our historical memory. If we observe it at all, it is during Advent and Lent. But even in those cases we do not see the signficance of the church year for our understanding of time. Kimberlee Conway Ireton has served the church well in this useful little book. She does more than explain the church year (which she does with brevity and clarity); she also invites us to experience it. I have explored this territory before. Yet in Conway Ireton's book I found myself entering into the rhythm of sacred time with renewed insight and passion. Her book surprised me with its freshness, transparency and simplicity. I plan to recommend it to my students." —Gerald L. Sittser, professor of theology, Whitworth University, and author of Water from a Deep Well

Author Bio

It was during her studies of the history of Christian spirituality at St. John's University School of Theology-Seminary that Kimberlee Conway Ireton first immersed herself in a daily and weekly liturgy. As a result she experienced an expanded understanding of the church year, a strong sense of the sacredness of time, and eventually wrote her book, The Circle of Seasons.

Currently she is an at-home mother of two young children who are constantly forcing her back into an awareness of the present moment, which is, incidentally, where God shows up most often in her life. Ireton doesn't own a TV, instead opting for a bookish life informed by writers like Dallas Willard, Lilias Trotter and E. M. Forster. She is writing a young adult novel based on the life of St. George and serving in Adult Christian Education at a Presbyterian church in the Seattle Washington area. Ireton has also written for Weavings: A Journal of the Christian Spiritual Life, TheThoughtfulChristian.com and Relevant magazine's Deeper Walk blog.

Publisher Description

The seasons tell a story. Are you listening?

The church year is a uniquely Christian way of marking time. When Kimberlee Conway Ireton began to understand this, even the most ordinary incidents of her life began to resonate with the stories of Scripture.

In this book, Kimberlee follows the structure of the liturgical year---from Advent to the second cycle of Ordinary Time---describing the origin of each observance and its ongoing relevance for our lives.

In a word, The Circle of Seasons offers you structure---a simple and traditional way of building your life around your faith, rather than the other way around.

Editorial Reviews

"The church year has largely slipped from our historical memory. If we observe it at all, it is during Advent and Lent. But even in those cases we do not see the signficance of the church year for our understanding of time. Kimberlee Conway Ireton has served the church well in this useful little book. She does more than explain the church year (which she does with brevity and clarity); she also invites us to experience it. I have explored this territory before. Yet in Conway Ireton's book I found myself entering into the rhythm of sacred time with renewed insight and passion. Her book surprised me with its freshness, transparency and simplicity. I plan to recommend it to my students."
"Offering simple practices built on Scripture, history and everyday life, Conway Ireton helps us participate in the rhythm of the Christian year. In so doing, we unite with Christians throughout the world and throughout the ages."
"In a nanosecond world we need sane rhythms that slow us down enough to notice God in our lives. Kimberlee Conway Ireton guides the reader to a simple annual pathway--the church year. The Circle of Seasons takes a practical look at how the church journeys with Jesus through Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Ordinary Time, Lent, Easter and Pentecost. Each season opens a door to deeper understanding and formation in faith. Accessible, readable and personable, The Circle of Seasons is a way forward for our time."
"I would recommend this book to any religious educators, and specifically to the women and men who teach children and adults at the parishes where I've worked. The hands-on projects are a godsend for anyone trying to make the Bible vivid to learners of any age."
"A useful and inspiring reexamination of how the church has always marked time and the seasons of the year from its Christian worldview. Reading Kimberlee Conway Ireton it is clear: living in the culture of Christianity is now--once again--countercultural."
"This isn't just another book on the liturgical year. It penetrates more deeply. The author welcomes us into a different rhythm for measuring time. Rather than the cadence of our days being driven by the demands of our consumer culture, we are invited into a more human and more divinely ordinary way of life. Drawing together everyday experiences from her own life with ancient practices of the church, she charts a route to liberation from our society's frenzied busyness and crippling self-indulgence. Reader beware. This book can draw us into a life-re-creating journey."
"Having grown up in denominations that didn't follow the church calendar, I found The Circle of Seasons to be an engaging introduction to the rich history and spiritual blessing of this annual cycle. Through her use of personal stories and worship resources, Kimberlee Conway Ireton invites all Christians, regardless of tradition, to experience God in this yearly rhythm. This book is deeply beautiful in the insights it conveys, yet helpfully pragmatic in the suggestions for everyday worshipful living it provides. This balance makes it a welcome resource for anyone seeking to follow the historic church calendar."
"Kimberlee Conway Ireton writes beautifully. Her stories from daily life are winsome, her reflections on God's grace are insightful, and her explanations of Christian history are clear and helpful. In a rich and deep way, with lovely prose, she illuminates the intersection of everyday life with the biblical themes connected to the church year."
"There is so much more to the church year than Lent and Advent! Kimberlee Conway Ireton guides us on a lovely and inviting tour through the liturgical year, reminding us of the 'transformative potential' and sacredness of every season, even Ordinary Time. She artfully blends honest personal stories with practical tips on spiritual practices into an inspiring, well-written book. Her clear, simple, yet thought-provoking chapters on each season will help readers to find common ground with the church around the world, and to gain a deeper understanding of the Scripture and traditions that have shaped each season's celebrations."
"Most people (like me) are bone tired of our own little stories. We are fatigued by our incessant consumption and by the suffocating pressure to produce something or feel something. We crave to move beyond our smallness and into the wide, bright story of God. Kimberlee Conway Ireton offers a gracious gift by reminding us that we don't have to look far for help, that the simple rhythms the church has practiced most of its history provide us precisely the delightful, healing, communal, earthy spiritual cadence our soul needs. If you want to breathe fresh air and drink in much grace, these beautifully crafted words offer you a feast."
"Only rarely does an introductory volume on Christian liturgy manage to cover its assigned subject with both detail and grace, but this one most assuredly does just that. In her deftly written book, Conway Ireton provides all of us a very accessible and enormously appealing overview of the church's liturgical year."

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