Monday, June 8, 2015

Anne Lamott

Take any beginning writing class and it's likely Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird: Instructions on Writing and Life will be on the reading list. The title of the book comes from something her father told her brother, who was working on a school report on birds: Don't think about the whole paper, just go bird by bird. Lamott encourages writers to pick the right word, followed by a complete sentence on to a cogent paragraph.

As we begin this month's tour of churches ("I Haven't Gone to the Church, but I've Read the Book" we're calling it), it's good to start with such a solid writer. Some Sundays this month we'll be going to churches with pastors who happen to write, but this week we went to the church of a writer, not a pastor. Lamott is committed to her church. She writes often about the people and ministry of St. Andrew Presbyterian; anyone who reads her, knows her church. So it was a pleasure to have a chance to attend the church we'd previously just "read."

So, recommended books by Lamott on faith (in order of preference, starting with my favorite): Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith, Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith, and Help Thanks Wow: The Three EssentialPrayers. You can also follow her on Facebook, where her very personal posts often offer encouragement and insight.
-- Dean