Sacred Pause: A Creative Retreat for the Word-weary Christian  -     By: Rachel G. Hackenberg
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Sacred Pause: A Creative Retreat for the Word-weary Christian

Paraclete Press / 2014 / Hardcover

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Product Description

Our faith is so full of words, and dependent on words, that pausing to explore language can deepen and revitalize our faith. Sacred Pause pays attention to the words of Scripture to dust off familiar and frequently used language of faith to hear the Word of God afresh. Draw closer to God through His Word, peel off layers of "Christianese" church code, dig into familiar Bible passages with a fresh eye and once again fall in love with God's word. Hackenberg's twelve chapters include exercises, diagrams and intentional blank space guiding readers through re-engagement with Scripture.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 190
Vendor: Paraclete Press
Publication Date: 2014
Dimensions: 7.50 X 5.25 (inches)
ISBN: 1612615791
ISBN-13: 9781612615790

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Publisher's Description

Even though our lives are full of words, we rarely pause to attend to them – to revel in the sights and sounds and dynamics of what we too-easily say about God. Rachel Hackenberg offers the word-weary, the writers-blocked, and the spiritually stagnant to explore the words of faith anew and thereby meet The Word afresh. Through twelve deceptively light-hearted chapters on letters and definitions, grammar and poetry, this book sparks the spiritual imagination even as it provides practical exercises for an inspired retreat experience!

Author Bio

Rachel G. Hackenberg is an ordained United Church of Christ minister and author of Writing to God and Writing to God: Kids’ Edition. She facilitates workshops on prayer and worship, clergy renewal and congregational vitality. She blogs at faithandwater.com.

Editorial Reviews

Rachel Hackenberg’s new book will change your life.  
Not might. Not could. Not may. Will. Change. Your. Life.
Sacred Pauses: A Creative Retreat for the Word-weary Christian is the rare book that is exactly as advertised. It is a retreat in your hands. Each chapter guides the reader into thinking beyond the words of our faith practice, our memorized scripture, and our beloved hymnody. God is in these details- nuances of sound and shapes, verbs and nouns, colors and texture.
Creative praying is Hackenberg’s gift in execution and in education. Sacred Pauses takes creative prayer beyond the conversations into a lived quietude and spacious openness to the Regal, the Roustabout, and the Rambunctious (my newly inspired Trinitarian formula).
Many of us have had this thought as we work toward welcoming new members into our communities. How do we explain the words we all know? Hackenberg breaks into the presumed circle of understanding and asserts in a brilliant way that none of us may be using words that are meaningful to us beyond their long associations. If I am using words in way that is meaningful to me because the structure is how my grandmother taught me, how am I connected, in community, to you who did not know my grandmother? We frequently wrestle with the context of scriptural guides in terms of behavior, but perhaps it would behoove us to set that aside and spend imaginative time together wrestles with the scriptural guides to our vocabulary, imagery, sensory spiritual experience, and lived reality of encounters with the Holy.
I have never, to this date, reviewed a book I did not finish. I’m breaking that self-imposed code now. I need time with this book. My reading on Tuesday night made me rethink how I was planning to teach on Wednesday night. Instead of the question that I planned to start a discussion, we discussed what images and experiences come to mind, our feelings and thoughts, about the phrase "for the sake of the world". What is the world? What is "for the sake of"? The conversation, I truly, believe went so much deeper because of the space that was created in which the Ruach danced.
Thanks, Rachel.
You need this book. Not as an e-book, but as a tangible reality on your desk, in your bag, and beside your bed. You need this as little retreat interludes, little paths by still water, a pocket moment of spiritual direction.
This book comes with my highest commendation: Get it now because it will help you with Holy Week. —Julia, RevGalBlogPals.

Sacred Pause: A Creative Retreat for the Word-Weary Christian by Rachel Hackenberg is one of those books that makes you breathe more deeply just flipping the pages. I perused it in the dentist’s waiting room recently, and was so immersed that I forgot the sounds of suction and dentist’s drill wafting through the open door. No minor feat.
The book, with sections like "The Verb Became Flesh" and "In the Shadow of Wingdings," is an invitation to explore the language of our faith in fresh and inviting ways, through impromptu poems, images and even doodles. I liked the section in which she likens Jesus’ words "my yoke is easy" with those elastic strings that tie her kids’ shoes together in the Target shoe section. Lovely! So much of the language of scripture relies on metaphors that aren’t immediately accessible to a non-agrarian, technological society. How can these words come alive again?
In the Presbyterian Church (USA), we have a prayer in our book of worship that we pray before reading scripture. It says in part, "O God, amid all the changing words of our generation, speak your eternal word that does not change." Over the years I’ve grown dissatisfied with this prayer. Our lives our changing all of the time. Our God is improvisational, I believe. So I’ve added a phrase: "speak your eternal word that does not change and yet is ever new." Hackenberg’s book helps us hold those two ideas in creative tension. — MaryAnn McKibben Dana

Sacred Pause: A Creative Retreat for the Word-weary Christian Rachel G. Hackenberg (Paraclete) $21.00 I announced this just a few weeks ago when I was listing some books that would make handsome gifts, that were expertly designed and lovely to behold.  This is certainly one of those, with the artful design a wonderful platform for the creative content, the beautiful invitation to ponder deeply and experience God's grace, bit by bit, through these guided readings. 
Here is what I said:   Leave it to Paraclete to once again give us a splendid, rich, wonderfully made small book of prayerful meditation, illustrated with good graphic design and full color photography and artwork.  Hackenberg is a UCC pastor and the writer of the popular Writing to God, so you can expect a vivid, colorful, aesthetic experience.  Here, she invites us to "reconsider and re-engage" with the words we typically use to describe our faith.  As Bruce Epperly notes, "This book will awaken you to a sensational faith, encompassing all your senses and enabling you to experience the holiness of God in the quotidian adventures of life." Yes, this is inviting us to leave behind stagnant faith and tired expressions, but it is light-hearted and joyful, too. From grammar lessons to poetry, stuff on letters and helpfully playful definitions, this is upbeat, making you glad to be reading and pondering and doing such good stuff.  She draws on Microstyle by Chris Johnson, Finally Comes the Poet by Walt Brueggemann, and so many more artists, poets, scholars, pray-ers.  Handsome, unusual, nice.  This nice hardback is over 215 pages, with 12 chapters, each with thoughtful questions, stuff to do and ponder, and I could easily see it being use over a period of weeks or months. Hearts and Minds Books

Even through our lives are full of words, we rarely pause to attend to them—to revel in the sights and sounds and dynamics of what we too-easily say about God. Rachel Hackenberg (an ordained United Church of Christ minister) offers the word-weary, the writers-blocked, and the spiritually stagnant to explore the words of faith anew and thereby meet The Word afresh. Through twelve deceptively light-hearted chapters on letters and definitions, grammar and poetry, "Sacred Pause: A Creative Retreat for the Word-Weary Christian" sparks the spiritual imagination even as it provides practical exercises for an inspired retreat experience!
Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Sacred Pause: A Creative Retreat for the Word-Weary Christian" is an informed and informative as it is inspired and inspiring. Very highly recommended and thoroughly ’reader friendly’, "Sacred Pause: A Creative Retreat for the Word-Weary Christian" is a delight to study and is especially appropriate for the non-specialist Christian reader regardless of any denominational affiliation. —Julie Summers, The Midwest Book Review

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