From Nomads to Pilgrims: Stories from Practicing Congregations
Diana Butler Bass and Joseph Steward-Sicking (eds), The Alban Institute
One of the big challenges in getting agreement from congregations to change practices is that they can’t envisage what those changes might look like. From Nomads to Pilgrims is an attempt to bridge that gap.
Each congregation featured in the book has, in its own way, engaged in Christian practices and has, as a result, discovered a renewed sense of identity and mission on the pilgrimage to vitality.
Graham Standish relays how the Calvin Presbyterian Church in Zelienople changed when it started paying attention to God’s presence in its session meetings. Lillian Daniel tells how the practice of giving testimony at the Church of the Redeemer, New Haven, began to come alive with stories of God at work in its midst. Two new and creative worship services, Alt.Faith and The Studio, emerged in Scottsdale when the congregation engaged in a process of listening and risk taking.
The Practicing Congregation, From Nomads to Pilgrims and Butler Bass’ most recent book, Christianity for the Rest of Us, would make great reading for congregational leaders. Perhaps together they can inspire us to imagine a new church, and a clearer sense of mission and spiritual practice in our congregations.