For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die. —Anne Lamott
I have the fun of coordinating the Renovaré Book Club—an online, nine-month, communal journey that takes soul-hungry people through four nourishing titles. The other day, our webmaster Brian Morykon (digital wizard by day, incarnational songwriter by night) said, “You know who belongs in the Club? Rabbit Roomers.” To which I replied, as articulately as I could, “Ooooohhhhh, yes!”
As far as I can recall, Brian and I had never previously spoken our individual Rabbit Room fandom aloud to one another. But, in retrospect, the overlap between the heart of the Rabbit Room and the soul of Renovaré should have been obvious.
Renovaré (wren-oh-var-eh) was founded in 1988 by Celebration of Discipline author Richard Foster to help us to recognize the goodness, beauty and power of the in-breaking Kingdom of God, and to re-orient and re-organize our lives to more intentionally receive the abundant life on offer.
The Rabbit Room (rah-bit-room), exists, as Pete Peterson so gorgeously expressed it in a recent post, to “celebrate the goodness and beauty of the Kingdom and all the many ways we point to its coming with our words, voices, and works of art.”
So, we have Kingdom-vision and Kingdom-hunger in common. Plus, Rabbit Roomers and Renovarians tend to like books. A lot.
So here’s what we want you to know. If you are the sort of person for whom the right book is less a pleasant diversion and more a life event, you really should check out the Renovaré Book Club. From October to June we’ll be working our way through four books from authors who’s “yesses” to the Kingdom nourish our own.
Here are some particulars:
Book One: Beyond Loneliness: The Gift of God’s Friendship, written by beloved South African pastor and spiritual director Trevor Hudson. Trevor himself will be facilitating.
Book Two: Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World, a contemporary classic by Henri Nouwen. Deirdre LaNoue (author of The Spiritual Legacy of Henri Nouwen) will be guiding us.
Book Three: Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life, a brand new, quite delicious offering from Anglican priest Tish Harrison Warren. Tish will walk us through this one herself.
Book Four: On the Incarnation by Saint Athanasius of Alexandria. Athanasius (d. 373 AD) was not available to facilitate this season, so we have patristic scholar, Renovaré president, and all around good guy Chris Hall to lead us through.
Book Club members get weekly reading schedules, study guides, exclusive facilitator articles, podcasts, and lively online community conversation. Better yet, we get a chance to pay attention for a while to that voice deep down that tells us God wants to change and heal and grow us. And we get to do it together.
The first week of reading begins October 17, but you’ll want to sign up asap so we can ship you the first book of the season (which is included with your membership.)
So, dear Rabbit Roomers, we certainly hope you’ll hop on over! (Sorry.)
Seriously, we’d love to see you there.