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City of God: Faith in the Streets Hardcover – February 4, 2014
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"An informative, luminous memoir of faith and community."―Booklist
"This is a convincing Lenten adventure into a dynamic Christian view of faith in the streets, of repentance and blessing, life and death, in the cracked sidewalks and fractured realities of the city of God."―Publishers Weekly
"CITY OF GOD is another gorgeous, gritty, profound work of art from Sara Miles...I love everything she writes, but there is something special about this new book."―Anne Lamott
"Miles makes a convincing case for taking worship outside and provokes the churched reader to join her on the asphalt."―Sojourners
"Once again Sara Miles has given us a great read about...how every moment of our lives is liturgy, and each and every liturgy we do is for the whole world which God loves so dearly."―Nedi Rivera, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Oregon
"A wondrous new book...[Sara] is a fantastic writer."―Spirituality & Heath Magazine
"Sara is so inspiring...Where most aim for the clouds, she's focused on the dirt and sweat and blood and struggle of this world and the presence here in it with us-which is, of course, the best news of all."―Rob Bell, author of What We Talk About When We Talk About God and Love Wins
"Gorgeously written, City of God takes Jesus from the walls of the church to the streets of the city, showing us that where two or more Anglicans or prostitutes or head-injured junkies or housewives are gathered, He is with us. I cannot recommend this book highly enough."―Nadia Bolz-Weber, New York Times bestselling author of Pastrix
"There's a refreshing honesty to City of God; her actions on Ash Wednesday take on greater significance in light of her questioning."―Los Angeles Review of Books
"Sara Miles is a spiritual pioneer...Now she has taken us into the streets of the city where the very hope of heaven intersects the very the heart of life, where we might discover anew that God is truly with us."―Bishop Michael Curry, Episcopal Diocese of North Carolin
"Rarely, if ever, have I heard or read or experienced a more poignant or persuasive presentation of the city as metaphor and prototype for the Kingdom of God. Miles's panorama is lived theology, and its result is a kind of holy magnificence."―Phyllis Tickle, author, The Great Emergence
"Sara Miles gives us much more than a beautiful love song to her neighborhood...she offers us a glimpse of how living Christian faith can re-enchant the world."―James Alison, Catholic priest, theologian, and author
Top Customer Reviews
There's this line: "I don't even know what 'this' is,' said Kelsey, 'but I could do this forever." She's talking about offering ashes to people in the Mission neighborhood of San Francisco. The book has built emotionally to such a high level when this sentence is spoken, I burst not just into tears but into sobs.
Miles' book is, on the surface, quite simple. It's about offering ashes in public one day in San Francisco in 2012. But a good chunk of the book is devoted to the years building up to 2012 when Ashes to Go or Taking Ashes to the Street was a developing habit around the country.
Miles is adept at describing the beauty of the liturgies they offer in her church. She is also adept at describing her city, her neighborhood. She loves her place, and is committed to it. So this is not just a story of imposing ashes, but a story of the people who deeply need and desire them.
It is about the beauty of public liturgy and a world in need of "more forgiveness."
Reading this just a few days after Ash Wednesday 2014, the book resonates on so many levels. I plan to share it with others widely and wildly.
Author Sara Miles is a surprisingly provocative for a middle-aged, married home owner who is the Director of Ministry at the Nyssa Episcopal Church in San Francisco. Her book, “city of god: faith in the streets” is not her first book and it shows. It shows in how she explains complicated thoughts in short, pithy sentences. For example, regarding misconceptions about “repentance” she quotes a colleague who says that “Jesus doesn’t care if you feel guilty. Jesus wants you to change.” She goes on to quote the same colleague who says that “Neither is repentance about simply saying you’re sorry, ‘That’s just apology … which is about etiquette. Repentance is about rebirth. It means putting on your big-girl panties and facing the world to do things differently.”
Simple words in a simple sentence that are simply unforgettable.
At this point I need to confess that until reading this book, I never really understood what this “putting a cross on your forehead” business meant. I am embarrassed to admit that I always felt it somehow identified Catholics and, at some level, was proselytizing. Reading this book inform not only informed my ignorance its elegant explanation motivated me to get “ashes” this Lenten season (at my Methodist church!).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Found it very fascinating. Our circle at church had picked it for our summer book studiesPublished 11 months ago by Victor1896
Bertie and Kelsey 'saved' this book. It was trying until their appearance. Author seemed strident early on, modified her stance as the story progressed, and finally came around to... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Richard Moynihan
I loved `Take this Bread' and `Jesus Freak' so I got this book for Lent.
I still remember vividly the first time I experienced the imposition of ashes, the dry, grey... Read more
Loved this book and Sara Miles has the heart of Christ as she ministers to her neighborhood. She is an inspiration and fulfill the call to love God and love your neighbor... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Lynda Kirk
I like the way Sara Miles writes. I recommend reading Take This Bread before reading City of God. Both books are excellent. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Mary Peterson