Cromey Online

The writings of author, therapist, and priest Robert Warren Cromey.

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Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Calling on the Spirit in
Unsettling Times
Anglican Present and Future
L. William Countryman
Morehouse Publishing 2012
$16.95        110 pages

Troubled times yell at us to look at what we Anglicans are, what we have what we must transform. Listening instead of acting is a tradition at times of change. New rectors, bishops and teachers are not supposed to do much for a year or two before making changes. That advice deadens activity more than ever. We can listen and act in most cases.

Each chapter in this book challenges us to action:
Calling on the Spirit, Refocusing on Jesus, Celebrating gifts received, Rediscovering Humility, Joining in the Spirit’s building process. Yes, we need to sit around and read this book. It is useless if it does not spring us forth “to strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being,”

Countryman is a priest, scholar, teacher, poet and writer. He draws on the poetry of Christina Rossetti to elicit spirit in the world and our lives. His power as a New Testament scholar shows us the Biblical Jesus as priest and lover. He is a priest in the Anglican Communion and makes vivid the heritage of the sacraments and scriptures as the treasures of our communion.

The author puts things in a new context when he points out that we humans are humbled by the magnificence and magnitude of the created order. “…the mountains and the great whales are much grander than we.”

This book is a wonder-filled overview of what we Anglicans are and have. It sets a tone of loveliness and calm, of fairness, honesty and humility. It inspires us to look more deeply into our splendid heritage.

I wish Professor Countryman were more personal in his bits of self-revelation. We do not know where he grew up, in what denomination, where he went to college or seminary. I also wish he were more specific about Jesus’ call us to love our neighbors in war, prejudice and hunger.

This is a splendid book that deserves to be read by many who teach and learn about what it is to be an Episcopalian and an Anglican.


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