[Forrest Church] ¿ Love & Death: My Journey through the Valley of the Shadow [zombies PDF] Ebook Epub Download Ô I had no idea who Forrest Church was and am not sure how this book ended up on my reading list It turns out he was a very well known Unitarian minister and the son of Frank Church, one of my heroes The book is a collection of sermons and parts of sermons with comments that Forrest wrote after he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer a bit like The Last Lecture, but better I tend to dislike platitudes and meaningful sayings and quotes, and sermons tend to devolve into just that, but there was quite a bit in this book that I liked I particularly like his approach to death and his recognition that your death really isn t just yours but belongs to those you love and who love you.
It was simply by chance that I requested this book a few weeks ago it s time had come and it w I am using this book as a study book at our Methodist Church in West Dundee Illinois The response is very positive Folks are telling me that they like the fact that the book is not cloyingly sanctimonious Instead it is very practical and filled with love If Forrest were still alive I would write to thank him for this gracious study It is very helpful in trying to understand an event that happens to us all.
On A February Day In , Forrest Church Sent A Letter To The Members Of His Congregation, Informing Them That He Had Terminal Cancer His Life Would Now Be Measured In Months, Not Years In That Remarkable Letter, He Wrote In Than One Respect, I Feel Very Lucky He Went On To Promise That He Would Sum Up His Thoughts On The Topics That Had Been So Pervasive In His Work Love And Death In A Final Book Church Has Been Justly Celebrated As A Writer Of American History, But His Works Of Spiritual Guidance Have Been Especially Valued For Their Insight And Inspiration As A Minister, Church Defined Religion As Our Human Response To The Dual Reality Of Being Alive And Having To Die The Goal Of Life, He Tells Us Is To Live In Such A Way That Our Lives Will Prove Worth Dying For This Last Book In His Impressive Oeuvre Is Imbued With Ideas And Exemplars For Achieving That Goal The Stories He Offers Drawn From His Own Experiences And From The Lives Of His Friends, Family, And Parishioners Are Both Engrossing And Enlightening Forrest Church S Final Work May Be His Most Lasting Gift To His Readers I ve been wanting to read this since the time it was published in 2007 when I used to hear the author s sermons on the radio preaching at All Souls Unitarian in New York His combination a forceful personality and broad acceptance of everyone appealed to me, so it was with dismay that I heard of his final terminal illness This is at the center of of this book, read by the author himself in his last months.
In the first part, he discusses how he has come to view love and fear as opposite poles in human emotion, starting with his early childhood, the loss of his famous politician father, and on through adolescence and his many years of ministry The sermon he gave the day after the September 11th 2001 disasters is included, a little jarring in the light of what the country has become since that time In the second part, he brings us on his personal journey at the e An important and comforting book I found it invaluable after the recent loss of my mother.
A book worth re reading occasionally through lifeThis little book offers thoughts on life that sooth my mind and soul Rev Church offers wonderful ideas on living a meaningful life, facing difficulties, and celebrating our humanity His mantra, Want what you have Do what you can Be who you are This will be my mantra as I continue to seek to have a well lived life.
Love and death are allies When a loved one dies, the greater the pain, the greater the love s proof Such grief is a sacrament Sacraments bring us together The measure of our grief testifies to the power of our love p10 The opposite of love is fear p14 Just where you think that the grass would surely be green, it may be dying I am no longer startled by this What startles me still, though it no longer should, is precisely the opposite Often, just where you d think that the grass would be dying, it is green p39 We do what we can, want what we have, and embrace who we are p41 For me, religion is our human response to the dual reality of being alive and having to die p51 We cannot embrace our life fully until we find a way to accept our death p91 Don t throw yourself against the wall Walk around it You can t do the impossible, but so much is possible So many of When I ordered this book I wasn t aware that the author was a Universalist minister, which means he doesn t take the evangelical stand on the Bible being the final word, and quotes other religious scriptures, such as Buddhism He doesn t believe God s pulling all the strings I disagree with him here, but there were wonderful insights in this book The author is dealing with a cancer diagnosis that will ultimetly end his life Thus, the book is about dying and death When a loved one dies, the greter the pain, the greater love s proof Such grief is a sacrament Sacraments bring us together The measure of our grief testifies to the power of our love Two months ago I lost my niece and this statement was comforting to me.
He talks about the universal truth that everyone suffers, and
the one thing that can t be taken away from us, even by death, is the love we give away before we go pg x The opposite of love is not hate It is fear pg 15 He did not spend his life, he invested it in things that would ennoble and outlast him Cast out thy fear with love And then this I know it will be somehow easier for us to do the things that need to be done, and to let the things that do not matter go pg 16Thornton Wilder The highest tribute to the dead is not grief but gratitude pg 19 We are mysteriously given life, and for a brief time blessed with opportunities to love and serve and forgive one another as best we can not to settle for who we are, but to stretch and become who we might be pg 20 Want what you have Do what you can Be who you are Wanting what we have mutes the pangs of desire, which visits from an imaginary f I first heard about this book when I listened to Terri Gross interview Forrest Church on Fresh Air while I was abroad I was struck by him immediately I had never heard anyone facing terminal cancer sound so positive, warm, realistic and truly accepting of their disease I decided to read the book to hear about how he dealt with his illness, and am so glad that I did.
Forrest Church has spent his career as a minister developing his thoughts on two great themes of life love and death In the introduction he describes this book perfectly, at once a summation of my life s recurring theme and my personal journey down the road of love and death Church focuses on death s unique ability to give life meaning He turns a frightening, unavoidable mystery into a natural, beautiful thing While the idea of dying seems so final, he believes that love is the only thing that can survive death and stre