Books I’m Reading

More and more I’m claiming reading as a spiritual practice. I find myself reading in the Presence, listening to authors who interact with deep mysteries while I’m reading in the presence of Mystery. It’s a stretch for some people to accept the claim, but I may be doing my best praying while I’m holding some of these things. This is more a note to self of what I’m currently (and somewhat slowly) reading these days, in the order of when I started them.

I’m thumbing pages from these texts over the next month or so. Since a chunk of my pastoral work is enmeshed in these texts, I get to do some of this reading during the day, thank goodness!

  1. The Art of Losing: Poems of Grief & Healing. I started this collection, edited by Kevin Young, when I began my CPE Residency last fall, and it’s a powerful poetic reminder of what I see in the hospital daily. It’s on my desk at the hospital and I’ll stretch out the collection the rest of the residency.
  2. Life Cycle Theory and Pastoral Care. I picked Donald Capps’ book off the shelf of Dr. Ramona Joseph both to prepare for a January presentation with my colleagues and as a refresher on Erik Erikson’s developmental theory. I did the presentation but have one more chapter til I finish this text.
  3. Reframing: A New Method in Pastoral Care. A bit dated for its subtitle, I’ve always appreciated reframing in my practice of ministry, and this reading is acquainting me with the biblical and theological underpinnings of the method and not only the cognitive-behavioral theory I learned about ten years ago.
  4. The Gospel in Black and White. I’m reading this with a pastoral intern who’s serving at New Community and paying particular focus on racial reconciliation. Since I’m willing to revisit the places I suggest my students journey, I’m engaging with this dated but important reminder to parts of the Christian family.
  5. From Every People and Nation. This is the second book I’ll read with our pastoral intern and hopefully we’ll be working together–with me giving him my best assistance–as he develops and enriches his theological framework for the ethical work of reconciliation and works at a curriculum of sorts to address the good news, biblical interpretation, church, and stuff about race.
  6. Twelve Tribes of Hattie. This is my first piece of fiction in forever, and I’m enjoying reentering that literary world with this great novel. I’ve had this book on my TBR list since 2013, I got it from the library, and by the time this post goes up, I’ll be finished with it!
  7. Jung on Christianity. I’m reading bits and pieces by and about Carl Jung for my next presentation since I’ve never read anything on Jungian theory. This is one of 2 or 3 that I’ll sit with as I prepare something for my peer group on Jung’s applications for spiritual care in the hospital. I’m pretty sure I’ll read Memories, Dreams, and Reflections and Man and His Symbols even if very slowly through the rest of the year.

If there are still readers out there of my cpe-residency-impacted-blog, tell me what you’re reading. I may add to my TBR pile.

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