A Hidden Wholeness: A Review


I haven’t read a lot of Parker Palmer’s books, just Let Your Life Speak. I really appreciated that book at a time in my life when I was thinking about the questions of calling and vocation that he brings up. Recently, I was sent a copy of “A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life” to review on this blog. Let me say first that I am currently looking at a shelf of 30 books I’ve received (and these are just the ones I’ve kept) that have been sent to me to review over the past 9 months or so. I used to love getting free books – however, now it’s a little overwhelming.

But I did want to share with you about the new paperback release of Parker Palmer’s “A Hidden Wholeness.” The hardcover edition came out in 2004 and this is the new paperback edition, which includes a guide for readers & group leaders, as well as a DVD entitled: “Circles of Trust: The Work of Parker J. Palmer.” So it’s a great deal for the book when you think about the enclosed DVD. I watched a couple of the clips from the DVD and it would be a great addition if you were going to use this book with an adult small group or if you wanted a clip for a retreat.

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Contemplative Youth Ministry Grid Blog Tour: Day 8

I was honored to be able to be a part of this Contemplative Youth Ministry Grid Blog Tour for Mark Yaconelli’s new book,”Contemplative Youth Ministry: Practicing the Presence of Jesus.” Over the past few years, I’ve become somewhat familiar with Mark’s work with the Youth Ministry and Spirituality Project out of San Francisco Theological Seminary. There are many things that I like about Mark’s book: it’s practical, it’s honest, it shares his struggles along with the things that have worked for him and it tries to share a new vision for what youth ministry might look like.

Please continue to follow the blog tour around for the few weeks. The dates can all be found below. I had the pleasure of asking Mark a few questions via email, and his responses are below. Enjoy and if you are new to this blog, welcome to pomomusings.

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EC05: Seminar: Public Worship as Spiritual Formation (McLaren)

Post-protestant…moving to worship where elements of worship are not denominationally proprietary.

Older generations experienced denominations that truly believed that their form of worship was the ONLY legitimate form/method of worship.

What if we’re moving to an era where liturgy is acknowledged as universal…a dynamic tension of form and freedom, identity and innovation, and where ‘evolution’ is seen as normative and where one of the essential forms of the church is “spiritual formation.”

Spiritual formation involves intentional spiritual practices: actions within our power which we do to train ourselves to do things currently beyond our power, and to become people we are currently incapable of being.

10 Spiritual Practices for Public Worship

  1. Ritual: Doing things I may or may not feel like doing to bond to the meaning they represent. Everything we do in our service, if rightly understood, can be understood as a ritual which brings about meaning.
  2. Inconvenience: Going to a place I didn’t choose, at a time I didn’t choose for a purpose I do choose.
  3. Association: Associating with some people I like, and others I don’t like, for a purpose I believe in. It’s a beautiful thing to make a real choice to be with others you know you are not going to like – it’s because of Protestant fragmentation.
  4. Speed: Altering my pace to see what I’ve missed and to feel a different rhythm. Weekly, seasonal, annual and lifespan. So sometimes, courtesy of the church calendar, we get to ‘chill-out spiritually’ (during Ordinary Time). Rites of passage are hopefully going to be rediscovered, so that there are times of honoring or celebrating certain rites of passages (menopause, retirement, empty-nesting years).
  5. Hospitality: Using my presence and our space to help “the other” feel welcome in my presence, and in the presence of our community.
  6. Attentiveness: Waiting for what I may receive only by waiting receptively. This trains us to become the type of people who will be able to hear the Spirit’s voice and make us vulnerable enough to feel the wooings of the Spirit.
  7. Generosity: Taking greater pleasure in being productive (fruitful) than consumptive.
  8. Modeling: Exposing apprentices to masters. In prayer, teaching, artistry, faithfulness, service, hospitality, etc. Contemplative and charismatic models…
  9. Justice and Mercy: Preaching, singing, praying, signifying announcing justice…
  10. Catholicity: Quoting others, affirming others, praying for others, inviting others…

Adam’s Thoughts: It’s encouraging to hear about spiritual formation being talked about outside of the idea that most are familiar with, that spiritual formation is a thing that happens individually – when personal individuals are transformed to help their own personal relationship with Jesus. McLaren also brought up, when talking about the need to focus on justice, that there are no songs (hymns or contemporary worship) that talk about God’s justice, God’s desire and compassion for the orphans and the widows. This is again something that I’ve talked about before, but I’ve yet to really hear any good suggestions – where is the worship for the progressives, the liberals, and even the more conservatives who care about social justice and want to incorporate that into the musical aspect of their worship. Where is this music going to come from? Where are the liberal songwriters? Will they come from the Emergent conversation? And if not…where?