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Hope for the Holidays (Great Lakes Collection) Kindle Edition
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Really, I thought this book was excellent. My only slight quibble was that I might have liked to see a BIT more development of Carrie and Micah’s story at the very end of the book. But otherwise, excellent, well-written, and fun. There was a bit of a mystery, but not over-done, and I thought it was well-written. Plus, the Christmas theme worked well for me.
Micah Neresen, Interim pastor at “The Blessed Church of the Holy Lamb and Sacred Lion”, is questioning why he is still serving this church. They’d become very complacent with him being there and had even offered to make him permanent, however, he was sure it was time to move on.
Carrie Strough, the new administrator for the Unity Plenkiss Community Center but she isn’t sure what the church community was in for when they hired her at the behest of her brother Roy, director of Food Services there. And, she’s tired of being seen as Roy’s little sister and has vowed to change that.
Both of them feel called, but Lamb and Lion is facing growing pains and feels very scattered. Snow Angels, Unity Plenkiss, Hope House, all need reorganization and accounting compliance, something Carrie can begin to do. The church itself needs more than Micah thinks he can give them. The two of them are doing, or trying to do their jobs in a very confused ministry.
Meanwhile, there has been some fiduciary foul ups, the search committee isn’t searching, viable candidates have dried up. Micah’s struggling to lead AND pastor, and no one will tell Carrie everything she needs to know. She and Micah get a bit thrown together in situations where their attraction is a distraction. Can anyone figure this out?
As a (retired) Professional Transitional Specialist(aka a certified Interim via Interim Ministry Educational Network out of Baltimore Maryland) in a mainline denomination, this part of the storyline bothers me a bit, but independent churches might do things differently. [It does bother me that Micah has no adjudicatory oversite though]. I do understand how administrative change can and does bring out the best and worst of communities.
I love how Ms. Swanson has reminded us that a Church is so much more than a building with Lamb and Lion’s Snow Angels and the one on one outreach that love provides in answering unanswered prayer, listening to the outsider and caring for one another who might even be unaware of their needs. That is the beauty of this story, and it all brings Hope for the Holidays
The author is gifted at making the characters come to life and creating a story that touches on so many elements of real-life situations in a way that raises compassion and understanding of those in different walks of life.
While this is part of a series, it can easily be read as a stand-alone book.