Yesterday saw the release of Douglas McKelvey’s illustrated edition of The Angel Knew Papa and the Dog, and today I want to talk about his next project, Every Moment Holy.
Last year, Doug pitched us the idea of putting together a book filled with liturgies for the everyday events of modern life. He cast a vision for reminding the world that the sacred is hidden within the mundane, and it felt like a rallying cry for all the Rabbit Room stands for. There’s holiness to be found lurking beneath the movements of a story, within the labor of laundry, in the wonder of a storm, even in the depths of grief or on the shores of the sea, and the thought of having a liturgy at hand for those kind of moments, liturgies to call out the hidden graces at work in the world, was a project we knew we couldn’t pass up.
From the beginning, we recognized that this was going to be a far bigger project than anything Rabbit Room Press had undertaken before. The book would contain around a 100 liturgies, and that would require a mountain of time on Doug’s part. We knew we wanted it illustrated with artwork that would recall to mind medieval woodcuts and ancient, sacred texts, and that would require working with a world-class illustrator. We wanted a book that looked and felt as meaningful as the words it kept: leather, bookmark, gilded pages, debossing—something that might be an heirloom rather than a trade paperback. And that is just for volume one. Yes, we’ve got further plans.
All that comes with significant cost, and so last year we began asking folks like you to come alongside us and help make this project a reality. We received enough early support the pull the trigger and put Doug to work, having faith that we’d find the rest of the funds along the way.
Since then, Doug has written dozens of beautiful liturgies. I’m not making this up: every time he emails me a new batch, I read through them and end up in tears. He’s got a gift for finding ways to tease out unexpected connections and meanings in the simple things of life, and I’m in awe of his work. His liturgy for home repair completely wrecked me. Think about that. He made me cry by suggesting the eternal significance of plumbing. That’s an amazing gift. We’ll be sharing some of these liturgies with you throughout the month of May (as well as asking you to suggest subjects of your own).
We’ve also brought aboard Ned Bustard to illustrate the book. Ned specializes in Christian symbolism and medieval art and his work is a perfect match for the book. We’re so happy to see how he’s caught the vision for the project and we can’t wait to share his work with you (stay tuned).
We’re at the point now that the rubber is about to hit the road. We want to have the book available for Hutchmoot this year. The production deadline is right around the corner and that means we need to buckle down and raise the funds to see the project to completion.
And here’s a huge piece of good news: A gracious supporter of the project has come forward and offered to match donations throughout the month of May. This means that if you donate $25 to the project, they’ll match it with an additional $25 donation. The same applies if you donate $100 or $1000—it’s matched.
Better yet, they have offered to match the yearly commitment of new members. So if you sign up for membership through the Every Moment Holy campaign (a monthly donation of $25 or more), the annual value of that commitment will be matched immediately. This means that if you sign up for $25 now, the matching donor will throw in $300 ($25 x 12)!
If you’ve been a part of one of Doug’s liturgies (at Hutchmoot, or Rabbit Room Live, or the Local Show, or another event) and it’s resonated with you. If you are one of the many we’ve talked to who recognize the value of having this resource available at family gatherings, or moments of transition, or moments of numbing mundanity. If you find yourself often in need of a reminder that the world is fraught with meaning and charged with the grandeur of God, consider supporting this project. We believe we’re creating something special, and we need your help to bring it to completion.
Visit the campaign page for more information, and please share the project with your friends on social media (click here to share now). We’ll be talking more about the project throughout the month of May as we bring you sample liturgies, samples of the artwork, interviews, and some other fun stuff.
Pete Peterson is the author of the Revolutionary War adventure The Fiddler’s Gun and its sequel Fiddler’s Green. Among the many strange things he’s been in life are the following: U.S Marine air traffic controller, television editor, art teacher and boatwright at the Florida Sheriffs Boys Ranch, and progenitor of the mysterious Budge-Nuzzard. He lives in Nashville with his wife, Jennifer, where he's the Executive Director of the Rabbit Room and Managing Editor of Rabbit Room Press.