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Bishop Palmer's Recommended Readings

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

  A Future That's Bigger Than the Past: Towards the Renewal of the Church by Samuel Wells
This book sets out a vision for renewing the local church that is energizing, realistic and practical for small and large congregations alike. In response to prevailing narratives of decline, it reimagines how the church can live its vocation of receiving God's abundance and sharing it far and wide. It recognizes the surprising, exuberant and plentiful things that the Holy Spirit is doing in the world and calls the church to celebrate creation, enjoy culture and share in its flourishing. With a rich theological foundation and borne out of the practical experience of growing local church communities, this ground-breaking book will help churches discover fresh ways to bless the communities they serve.
     
  The Age of Overwhelm: Strategies for the Long Haul by Laura van Dernoot Lipsky
Whether we are overwhelmed by work or school; our families or communities; caretaking for others or ourselves; or engagement in social justice, environmental advocacy, or civil service, just a few subtle shifts can help sustain us. Laura van Dernoot Lipsky, bestselling author of Trauma Stewardship, shows us how by offering concrete strategies to help us mitigate harm, cultivate our ability to be decent and equitable, and act with integrity. The Age of Overwhelm aims to help ease our burden of overwhelm, restore our perspective, and give us strength to navigate what is yet to come.
     
  The Velvet Rope Economy: How Inequality Became Big Business by Nelson D. Schwartz
From New York Times business reporter Nelson D. Schwartz comes a gripping investigation of how a virtual velvet rope divides Americans in every arena of life, creating a friction-free existence for those with money on one side and a Darwinian struggle for the middle class on the other side. In nearly every realm of daily life - from health care to education, highways to home security - there is an invisible velvet rope that divides how Americans live. On one side of the rope, for a price, red tape is cut, lines are jumped, appointments are secured, and doors are opened. On the other side, middle- and working-class Americans fight to find an empty seat on the plane, a place in line with their kids at the amusement park, a college acceptance, or a hospital bed.
     
  Who Do We Choose to Be? Facing Reality, Claiming Leadership, Restoring Sanity by Margaret J. Wheatley
This book is born of my desire to summon us to be leaders for this time as things fall apart, to reclaim leadership as a noble profession that creates possibility and humaneness in the midst of increasing fear and turmoil. It is possible for leaders to use their power and influence, their insight and compassion, to lead people back to an understanding of who we are as human beings, to create the conditions for our basic human qualities of generosity, contribution, community and love to be evoked no matter what. It is possible to experience grace and joy in the midst of tragedy and loss.