Reading as one way of nurturing both the head and heart is an ongoing process. There are, however, rhythms and cycles of our work and life that create the opportunity to concentrate some of our reading. Below is my current reading list. I hope you will pursue it and find one or more of these volumes useful if you have not already read them. Finally, I commend these words to you from John Wesley: “Whether you like it or not, read and pray daily. It is your life.” Enjoy! +Bishop Gregory V. Palmer
Accidental Preacher: A Memoir by Will Willimon, Kate Bower - The lively, inspiring memoir of an eminent Christian preacher and leader. In this book one of today's best-known Christian leaders recounts--with his signature wit and humor--memorable moments from his rich and full preaching life. A personal and vocational memoir, Will Willimon's Accidental Preacher portrays the adventure of a life caught up in the purposes of a God who calls unlikely people to engage in work greater than themselves.
Active Faith: Resisting 4 Dangerous Ideologies with the Wesleyan Way by Paul W. Chilcote - A progressive declaration. Countering four dangerous trends. Christians are invited to practice the way of Jesus by engaging in four formative practices representing central themes of the Wesleyan way: humility, hospitality, healing, and holiness. These four practices function as counterpoints to four growing dangers based on fear in the contemporary church and in society: 1. Christian fundamentalism, 2. Nationalism, 3. Dispensationalism, 4. Antinomianism.
How to Lead When You Don't Know Where You're Going: Leading in a Liminal Season by Susan Beaumon - How do you lead an organization stuck between an ending and a new beginning—when the old way of doing things no longer works but a way forward is not yet clear? Beaumont calls such in-between times liminal seasons—threshold times when the continuity of tradition disintegrates and uncertainty about the future fuels doubt and chaos. In a liminal season it simply is not helpful to pretend we understand what needs to happen next. But leaders can still lead.
The Seminarian: Martin Luther King Jr. Comes of Age by Patrick Parr - Martin Luther King Jr. was a cautious nineteen-year-old rookie preacher when he left Atlanta, Georgia, to attend divinity school up north. At Crozer Theological Seminary, King, or "ML" back then, immediately found himself surrounded by a white staff and white professors. Even his dorm room had once been used by wounded Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. In addition, his fellow seminarians were almost all older; some were soldiers who had fought in World War II, others pacifists who had chosen jail instead of enlisting.
Truth and Hope: Essays for a Perilous Age by Walter Brueggemann - Walter Brueggemann provides a lens into biblical teachings concerning the present age of fake news, lies, and alternate realities. As he writes in the preface, "there is no doubt that the prophetic tradition regularly engages in truth-telling in order to expose social reality as a systemic act of 'falseness' that contradicts the purposes of God. The prophetic tradition of Jeremiah, for instance, is preoccupied with truth-telling that exposes 'falseness.' The prophet exposes the deceit of dominant culture."