Monday, July 25, 2011

What? An August Newsletter? Mellow Has Been Harshed

So I thought that last month’s newsletter would serve as the summer edition, as summers are slow in Roxbury and parish events dwindle like the attendance on a humid Sunday. [Remember, folks, the church is air conditioned.] The only thing is, Carol, the most conscientious parish secretary with whom I’ve ever worked, decided, since she managed to gain access to Tim Beard’s cache of photographs, to put out an August edition. Of course, she also expects something from the Rector.

Now, I’m about a week away from vacation and am thinking more about whether or not I need new sails or which brand of surf wax I’ll try this year than about the narrowly spiritual matters that usually claim my attention in fulfilling this responsibility. However, as I’m also putting together a two-week reading list, I thought I’d share with you some of the book titles in which you may find some interest.

The Genesis of Science: How the Christian Middle Ages Launched the Scientific Revolution by James Hannam
A history of Christianity’s role is providing the foundation for the coming age of science and technology, shattering a lot of the errant preconceptions still taught in contemporary education.

The Fathers Know Best, edited by James Akin
“The Fathers” in this case are those generally known as the Early Church Fathers, the original holy men and theologians who built upon the works of the disciples. This is an annotated collection of their writings, complete with biographies.

The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright
As we are approaching the terrible 10th anniversary, I’m re-visiting this book that I originally read five or so years ago. It is the history of Islamic fundamentalism, such as we have known since the 20th century. It’s interesting to note that the world view of Al-Qaeda was formed at a dance at a Methodist church in Colorado in 1949.

A Fine Madness by Elliot Baker
A funny, quirky novel that explores the life of a contemporary poet and office carpet cleaner suffering from writer’s block. Not only does it examine the curiosities of the creative process, but it also pokes great fun at psycho-therapy.

Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of your Child by Anthony Esolen
This is a provocative analysis and critique of contemporary child rearing and education. What is of particular interest to me is how what the author calls “the denial of the transcendent”, or leaving as unacknowledged the religious impulse of children, is limiting their intelligence and appreciation of life’s possibilities.

Fishing the New Jersey Coast
How’d this get in here?

Self-Working Card Tricks by Karl Fulves
Rainy days at the beach are the worst. Use this book to amaze friends and family. Sure to break the ice at parties.

Cradle of Gold: The Story of Hiram Bingham by Christopher Heaney
Bingham was the discoverer of Machu Picchu. As with most stories of spectacular discovery, the events leading up to and surrounding the grand moment are fascinating.

These and other books and products may be purchased through The Coracle with the parish receiving a donation of 6% of the purchase price.  Just click on the selections offered on the list to the right to access your account and start buyin'.

Update: The State of Connecticut has begun to tax for items purchased through websites such as this one.  In return, has shut down their Associates program, the one that guaranteed us a 4%-6% donation for every purchase.  The referral box to the right, that has been in place for almost three years, has been removed.  Any purchases made from the booklist to the right will be honored, of course, but with no donation to Christ Church forthcoming.  As they say in Rastafarianism, "Babylon, mon."