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Any Day a Beautiful Change: A Story of Faith and Family (The Young Clergy Women Project) Paperback – March 31, 2012
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"The struggles Pershey reveals, both in becoming a mother and in repairing a marriage, could come off as sensational, but instead are the backdrop for a good story about God acting in people's lives. It's not a tell-all book. It's not a confession. It's testimony." - Fidelia's Sisters
"When I open a book that some endorser has labeled as Lamott-esque, I am almost inevitably disappointed, so the last thing I expected to write about Pershey's engaging tidbit of a spiritual memoir is that it reminds me of Lamott's work... But it does." - Englewood Review of Books
"It is lovely and real and funny and warm and wise. Because we all struggle and we all rejoice, often at the same time." - Litchick
"One could judge this book by how many chuckles it evokes. It is good in that department. One could also judge the book by its clever and at times provocative turns of phrases. It does well on that score, too. Both criteria would ignore the deeper narrative of this memoir by a young writer, wife, mother and pastor who grows in her acceptance of herself, including her body, as she matures in these roles. Pershey lets us see her vulnerabilities: her doubts about God, her anxieties, her (at one point) shaky marriage, her sense of inadequacy as a mother and pastor. Yet there s never TMI (too much information). Through it all shines the probing spirit of a real-world practical theologian. Judge this book by whether you wish its author were your pastor." ---The Christian Century, June 13, 2012 edition
From the Back Cover
"I expect a good memoir to be wise and funny. A good pastoral memoir should bear witness to God's goodness. I don't normally expect one chapter to force me to read another, or to care so passionately about characters. The glory of this one, in particular, is its incarnationally-shaped bodiliness. We have a new writer to whom we must pay attention."
Jason Byassee, author of The Gifts of the Small Church, senior pastor of Boone United Methodist Church, and Fellow in Theology & Leadership, Duke Divinity School.
"Pershey writes beautifully about hard things. This is not so much a book about ministry as it is about life. She examines her motherhood, her marriage and her ministry as they are all unfolding, in their tender beginnings, all three, works in progress. Despite being a memoir of faith, this honest book is a sanctimony-free zone."
"The experiences of women as ministers are relatively new in the 2,000 years of Christian history. In Any Day A Beautiful Change, Pershey shows us with candor and grace how motherhood, the chaos and delights of family, marriage, and our bodies enrich our interpretations of ministry, scripture and liturgy. I'm especially grateful for this memoir as a woman who has experienced pregnancy in the pulpit, but it is a gift for anyone who longs to reflect deeply on life and the church. It's funny and honest and wise."
"Katherine Willis Pershey walks alongside all of us who delight in Eat, Pray, Love, but yearn for a reflection on a different sort of path. With theological depth and insight, Pershey struggles with the passions of life, the heartbreaks of relationship, the worries of parenting, and the truths of vocation. Through all the twists and turns of her emerging marriage, ministry, and motherhood, she leads us to glimpses of reconciliation and wholeness."
Carol Howard Merritt, author of Tribal Church and Reframing Hope and a pastor at Western Presbyterian Church
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Top Customer Reviews
Each chapter is an essay that can stand on its own. One is about getting married, others are about getting pregnant, nursing, family conflict and the stress between work and family life. Each one has its own beauty and its own theological insights, and the craft of her prose is just tight.
Together, the chapters create an intimate picture of a life lived at this intersection of ministry, marriage and motherhood, which is simultaneously broken, beautiful, agonizing, breathtaking, and redeemed. I almost hesitate to recommend it to members of my church or family, lest they come to know my life too intimately. This book is vulnerable and brave.
Many friends have been raving about how good her book is. They were right, and now it's my turn to say the same thing. If you are a young clergy woman, especially if you are a mother, why have you not read this book yet? You must. Order it today. Read it-to support a colleague who is telling so much truth and doing such good theology about our lives and our ministries.
If you are know or love someone living at the intersection of ministry, motherhood and marriage-this is a good book to read to learn about their lives. Most importantly, though, this is just good theology, beautifully written, and anyone who reads it will be blessed to encounter the Holy in the author's life and likely in their own, whether you yourself are minister, mother, married, or none of the above.
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