Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church (2015)
Author(s): Rachel Held Evans
Amazon UK: Searching for Sunday
Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming
Genre(s): Advice – spiritual and practical, Contemporary Christian practice and experience, Humour, Memoir/autobiography, Spirituality, and Theology
Topic(s): Accepting one's sexuality, Biblical studies, Discrimination against and hostility towards LGBT+ people, Healing/growing into wholeness, Inclusive Christianity, Journeys towards acceptance, Marriage and relationships, Pastoral issues, Same-sex relationships, and Spirituality
Especially suitable for: Americans, Enquirers about Christianity, Evangelicals, Those who are undecided about the homosexuality issue, and Young people
Like millions of her millennial peers, Rachel Held Evans didn’t want to go to church any more. The hypocrisy, the politics, the gargantuan building budgets, the scandals – church culture seemed so far removed from Jesus. Yet despite her cynicism and misgivings, something kept drawing her back to Church. And so she set out on a journey to understand Church and to find her place in it.
This book is the story of that journey, often painful and difficult. It is based around an exploration of the seven traditional sacraments of the Church, but it is far from stuffy – Rachel reimagines the meaning of the sacraments for herself and for young people of faith today. In the process she comes to recognize that Christians and churches that are genuinely trying to follow Jesus must be take down the barriers and be fully inclusive. She affirms LGBT+ people but finds that standing up for their (our) inclusion in the Church can be costly as well as very rewarding.
‘I’m green with jealousy of Rachel’s ability to put heart, mind and soul to paper in such an open, deep, accessible and honest way.
‘Within Searching For Sunday, Rachel Held Evans openly and vulnerably, with honestly and sensitivity, shares her story of losing faith and rediscovering her faith by beautifully articulating the sacraments of: Baptism, Confession, Holy Orders, Communion, Confirmation, Anointing of the Sick, and Marriage. But it’s not so much her faith in Jesus that is the focus of this episode of her journey, but of how her commitment to Jesus causes her to struggle with the church.
‘I really loved this book. I loved it because I’m at home in books that are prepared to wrestle with doubts, disappointments, questions and pilgrimage. I loved it because it’s a journey and not just a great read. I loved it because it gnawed at me, chewed me up, and spat me out on many an occasion; whilst also putting some of me back together. I loved it because it’s a book that speaks with conviction and experience about the ways in which resurrection never ceases to move in our lives.’ — Tristan Sherwin
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