The next two books will be Canoeing the Mountains by Tod Bolsinger and Beyond the Offering Plate: A Holistic Approach to Stewardship by Adam J. Copeland.
If you purchase the book, you can get the cost reimbursed from our Lilly funds by emailing your receipt to Carla Klawitter at Carla.firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those attending the Fall Theological Conference, we will have a limited number of both of these books available to give out. As book club participants, you can reserve a copy. Please respond to Andrew Hermodson-Olsen’s post by Sept. 21 to reserve one or both of the books for yourself.
Christian Leadership in our Time: “An Explorer in Uncharted Territory”
+Bishop Jon V. Anderson
I have enjoyed reading Canoeing the Mountains by Tod Bolsinger. It is built around the experience of Lewis and Clark who never imagined the Rocky Mountains would lie at the end of the Missouri River as they sought to find the northwest passage.
Instead of canoeing across a prairie and coming to a place where they portaged to the other side of the continental divide and then canoed to the Pacific Ocean, they discovered walls of mountains. It was not what they expected. This Wikipedia entry gives you a glimpse into the best book I have read about this journey. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Undaunted_Courage
We can understand the current challenges for congregations and their leaders in many different frames of grief, disorientation or disruptive change. Bolsinger using systems concepts, biblical and sources from Christian tradition argues that the best way to imagine ourselves is as “An Explorer in Uncharted Territory” like the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
Here are some quotes I would encourage you to ponder.
“New alternatives cannot even be imagined…until the emotional processes that fix the orientation have changed.”
“Is the church really in decline, or is it the Western, Christendom, form of church life that is now less effective?”
“Does dwindling church attendance mean that people are less interested in God or that society and culture have stopped giving preference to Christian traditions and institutions?”
“Is the lack of culture support for Christians a threat to Christian witness or an opportunity to work together in ways that we didn’t have to do so before?”
We are called to be stewards of the Gospel. What an adventure if you stop to think about it.