Q & R: What Would You Recommend I Read?

Here’s the Q:
Hi Brian,
In the plenary session at [our denominational general assembly], you said, “Some of you are called to start Churches your parents won’t approve of but your peers need.” That statement has both haunted and thrilled me over the last 6 months and I am now in an 8 week Discernment cohort for church starters.

In addition to feeling a call to pastor people who are on a spiritual journey but not interested in the institutional church, I am also feeling a calling to help people outside the church “re-enchant” their world, breaking down what I think our arbitrary labels of “secular” and “sacred”, and helping people name and celebrate the divine in every part of their lives.

What books would you recommend me reading? What thinkers/practitioners should I be engaging?

I credit reading “A New Kind of Christian” 11 years ago as an entry to the spiritual path I now walk. I appreciate any advice or feedback you could offer

Here’s the R:

Thanks for your encouraging words. Obviously, I hope my most recent book, The Great Spiritual Migration, will be of help in your important quest.

What you aspire to do – to communicate with human beings, whatever their label – is exactly what I think we need these days. Here are a few of the writers who I think do this best:

Howard Thurman. If you haven’t read him, start with him. He is one of my greatest heroes these days.

Parker Palmer. He speaks from his own depths to the depths of others.

Wendell Berry. His poetry, his fiction, his nonfiction.

Rumi and Hafiz. Their historical and cultural distance makes their deep human connection all the more wonderful.

Mary Oliver. Of course.