In the tradition of Garrison Keillor, Open Secrets captures the friendships, rivalries, and rumors of small town life by chronicling the lives of the citizens of a small Midwestern community through the eyes of a young minister Fresh out of divinity school and bursting with enthusiasm, Richard Lischer found himself assigned to a small conservative church in an economically depressed town in southern Illinois Its an awkward marriage at best a young man with a Ph.D in theology, full of ideas and ambitions, determined to improve his parish and bring it into the twenty first century, and a community that is as tightly sealed as a jar of home canned pickles In Open Secrets, Lischer tells not only his own story but also the story of New Cana and its inhabitants With charm, openness, and humor, Lischer brings to life the clash of cultures and personalities that marks his pastoral tenure, including his own doubts, as well as those of his parishioners, that a twenty eight year old suburban raised liberal can deal with the troubled marriages, alcoholism, teen sex, inadequate farm subsidies, and other concerns of the conservative, tightly knit community But the inhabitants of New Cana lovable, deeply flawed, imperfect people who stick together open their arms to him in their own way, and the result is a colorful, poignant comedy of small town life and all it has to offer....
|Title||:||Open Secrets: A Memoir of Faith and Discovery|
|Publisher||:||Harmony June 11, 2002|
|Number of Pages||:||256 pages|
|File Size||:||861 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Open Secrets: A Memoir of Faith and Discovery Reviews
A discerning, honest, poignant, at times hilarious view of life as a fledgling pastor in a midwestern backwater during the 1970s. Lischer writes with such verve, insight, and compassion that this is a book I often give to young ministers on the eve of their first pastorates. It does not discourage them; it consoles them in the knowledge that what they are experiencing is not unique and never has been. As well written as a novel, peopled with interesting characters, but a memoir of true events (with all names changed to protect both the innocent and guilty),"Open Secrets" is a gem.
This should be mandatory reading for all those studying to be in ministry. Set in southern Illinois (where I grew up!!!), Lischer, recently graduated from divinity school, gets a church. Through his description, we learn a great deal about:
This story of one minister's experiences in congregational ministry probably parallels other ministers' beginnings as it does mine. Aspirations, hopes, dreams, plans, and misperceptions meet reality head-on, and we are all richer for the experience. Joy, tears, success, failure--the very stuff of life, are portrayed in this compelling, sometimes funny, sometimes heart-wrenching narrative of one person, sharing his life, his family, and his faith with a congregation and with the readers. I strongly recommend it, especially for anyone considering or beginning or living the life of a minister.
There was little doubt that this book would be enjoyable. The book accounts the ministry of Richard to a small community of New Cana. It was a small town on the Mississippi River. He recounts his experiences there in this small community. It was a cultural crossover for him. He finished his PH.D program and accepted the call to this congregation. During his time with the congregation, the people loved him, rebelled against him, and in their own way made him feel welcome. Personally, I loved his stories, because in his stories, I was the main character.
Couldn't put it down once started. We discussed it in our adult Sunday School class. Enlightening and entertaining, as well.
As I myself am stepping into a small church, I could relate to much in this book. His honesty was refreshing, and his profound reflection on life is inspiring.
With engaging wit and warm insight Richard Lischer allows us to sneak a peak behind his first pastorate from Lutheran Seminary. Being unfamiliar with Lutheranism I was awed by the profundity of belief and the rich relationships into the community that he entered. He entered as a virgin and left as a lover of his people that God graciously allowed him to pastor. Take the time to read this book and enter heartache, grace, empathy, communion and fellowship of the deepest level. Experience the privilege of a new way of seeing people.
This book helped me get through my first two years on the job. :-)