“BE STILL! To See More Clearly“
This six-session program for churches invites you to re-examine the faith perspective (“lens”) through which you have come to “see” yourself and the world with brief selected readings from Be Still! Departure from Collective Madness.
“To see clearly, to see clearly, to see clearly–such is the great impulse and drive you meet on every page.” – Introduction to Be Still! by Wayne. G. Boulton, Ph.D., former president of the Presbyterian School of Christian Education.
“Such essays are an eloquent rebuke to the prejudice that theological writing is abstraction from the concretions of life. I think of Stewart as an incarnational theologian like Bonhoeffer, who insisted that we pay attention to God’s presence in the concretions of our history.” – Donald Shriver, Ph.D., President Emeritus, Union Theological Seminary (NYC).
SIX One-1.5 hour SESSIONS using Be Still! Departure from Collective Madness
ONE—What is “public theology? Read and discuss the “Foreword” (ix-x), “Introduction” (xv-xviii), and Psalm 46.
TWO—The Author’s Lens. Read and discuss “The Preface” (xi-xii), and the last paragraph of the “Acknowledgements” (xiv) about the Brothers of Opal Street.
THREE—Exceptionalism as Sin. Read and discuss “Only One Sin: Exceptionalism” (110-113) and “Memorial Day and the Soldier’s Helmet “ (10-12).
FOUR—Toward an Incarnational Theology. Read and discuss “Stillness at Blue Spring” (3-5) and “A Joyful Resting Place in Time” (5-7).
FIVE—No Gospel without the Blues. Read and discuss “The Forlorn Children of the Mayflower” (66-70) and “My Soul Waits in Silence” (98-100).
SIX—The Economy of God. Read “The Economy: Only One House” (114-115), “The World in an Oyster” (94-97), and “The Bristlecone Pines” (143-145).
ENDORSERS of Be Still! Departure from Collective Madness
Lucy A. Forster-Smith, Sedgwick Chaplain, Senior Minister in the Memorial Church, Harvard University:
”As a person who navigates the pleasures and perils of the twenty-first-century campus, having Be Still! at my fingertips will be like having a counselor, a guide, a very present help in these times. This volume touches the pulse of our times with the rare combination of unwavering candor and tender mercy.”
Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary:
”This wondrous collection of rich snippets would be of interest and value if only for the rich source material that Gordon Stewart quotes from, as it must be an inexhaustible memory and/or file. But the many words he quotes are no more than launching pads for Stewart’s expansive imagination and agile mind that take us, over and over, into fresh discernment, new territory, unanticipated demands, and open-ended opportunity. All of that adds up to grace, and Stewart is a daring witness to grace that occupies all of our territory.’’
Barrie Shepherd, author of Between Mirage and Miracle:
“Gordon Stewart has a way with words, a clean, clear, concise, and yet still creative way with words, a way that can set the reader almost simultaneously at the blood-stained center of the timely–the urgent issues of our day–and also at the deep heart of the timeless, those eternal questions that have forever challenged the human mind. Stewart looks at terror, Isis, and all their kin, from the perspective of Paul Tillich and, yes, John Lennon. He moves from Paris, Maine, by way of the town drunk, toward the City of God. This is strong medicine, to be taken in small, but serious doses. Wear a crash helmet!”
Michael McNally, Professor of Religion, Carleton College; Author of Honoring Elders:
”Be Still! is needed at this American moment of collective madness even more than the moments that occasioned many of the essays originally airing on public radio and other venues. With a keen eye and a knack for telling the right story at the right time, Rev. Stewart speaks to the pressing issues in our politics, economy, and culture, and consistently, often poignantly, puts them in ethical and theological perspective that clarifies what too often mystifies. Great bedside reading for those of us who stay up at night concerned about where our world is heading!”
Frank M. Yamada, President, American Theological Society, former President, McCormick Theological Seminary:
”In Be Still! Stewart masterfully spins a counter-narrative to the collective madness that is gripping our world. Like the psalmist, Stewart prays thoughtfully through metaphors and religious tradition, meshing theologians with news headlines to lead the reader to a deeper, more sustained truth. Be Still! reads like part op-ed and part parable. In these troubling and anxious times, may we, who have ears to hear, listen!”
Joyce Sutphen, Minnesota Poet Laureate; Professor in English, Gustavus Adolphus College:
“Be Still!: Departure from Collective Madness, is exactly what its title proclaims: a departure from the frenzy and folly of our times. Each essay offers the reader an opportunity to breathe deep, to fall into the story or idea and consider what it means to be a citizen, a friend, a human being. The topics covered are both particular and universal (usually both at the same time), and the writing is wonderfully concise and open—much like poetry! This is a book you will want to open again and again; it’s what the world needs now, more than ever.”
ORDERING THE BOOK, INQUIRIES & SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS
Be Still! Departure from Collective Madness is available from Amazon (paperback @$21 [shipping included w/Amazon Prime] or kindle @ $9.99), and from Wipf and Stock Publishers (paperback @$16.80 + shipping, or E-Book @$16.80). Churches and groups within 50 miles of Chaska, MN may order the book from the author @ a reduced rate. A Study Guide is available at no cost.
Contact Gordon C. Stewart @ firstname.lastname@example.org for speaking engagements, questions, or requests for more information.