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Practicing: Changing Yourself to Change the World Paperback – February 18, 2020

4.9 out of 5 stars 51 ratings

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From the Publisher

Editorial Reviews

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“Kathy is a leader I trust completely. Her work is so vital, so needed in our current landscape as the church struggles to navigate a path forward that is healthy and life giving and

truly an embodiment of good news. Tender, weary, disoriented ones take heart: here is your pastor. Kathy is a faithful companion to those who wander, stumble, and, against all odds, continue to hope.”

—Sarah Bessey, author of Jesus Feminist and Miracles and Other Reasonable Things

 

“Kathy Escobar has that rare and brilliant gift of being able to x-ray our lives and to give words to our fears, pains, and longings so that we can see them clearly. Practicing is both deeply moving and incredibly insightful. I know it will be both a place of refuge and a catalyst for transformation for those fortunate enough to read it. The world has never been more in need of a book like this—and Kathy is the only one who could have given it to us.”

—John Pavlovitz, author of A Bigger Table

 

“I love Practicing: Changing Yourself to Change the World. It’s practical and easy to read, deep and full of wisdom. And it’s for everybody who isn’t perfect and doesn’t live in a perfect world—religious or not, spiritual or not, churchy or not. If you’re perplexed and weary (or fired up and ready to go) and don’t know where to focus your attention and energy, this is the next book you should read.”

—Brian D. McLaren, author, speaker, and activist

 

“I don’t go to Kathy for the latest social justice hot take. I go to her to learn how to translate meaningful ideas into meaningful action—to move from speaking truth to living out the truth in sustainable ways among the complicated realities of human lives intersecting one another. She never promises quick fixes but advocates for the slow labor of practicing in the direction of justice. She lives this stuff, as you’ll see inside the pages of this book, and she lit the road so that we can travel on it together.”

—Cindy Wang Brandt, author of Parenting Forward: How to Raise Children with Justice, Mercy, and Kindness

 

“Kathy Escobar understands that the call toward authentic living is sacred and holy and for the greater good. In Practicing: Changing Yourself to Change the World, she shares the wisdom of her journey with fellow travelers who dare to take the road less traveled. Her clear and cogent guide is the kind of companion we all need as we practice generous living in these turbulent times.”

—Paula Stone Williams, TED speaker and advocate for gender equity

 

“There are few people who live so fully, so thoughtfully, so serenely as Kathy Escobar. Now she has written a marvelous guide to help the rest of us do the same. A wise and gracious primer on life in the Spirit.”

—Philip Gulley, Quaker pastor and author of If the Church Were Christian

 

“Kathy Escobar understands that the call toward authentic living is sacred and holy and for the greater good. In Practicing: Changing Yourself to Change the World, she shares the wisdom of her journey with fellow travelers who dare to take the road less traveled. Her clear and cogent guide is the kind of companion we all need as we practice generous living in these turbulent times.”

—Paula Stone Williams, TED speaker and advocate for gender equity

 

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“There are few people who live so fully, so thoughtfully, so serenely as Kathy Escobar. Now she has written a marvelous guide to help the rest of us do the same. A wise and gracious primer on life in the Spirit.”

—Philip Gulley, Quaker pastor and author of If the Church Were Christian

 

“In an era of world history where the word Christian has become synonymous with theological debate, social inaction, and discrimination, Practicing emerges as a healing balm, offering a practical guide for people of faith to reconnect with our faith not just on a pious or intellectual level but in a way that impacts every aspect of our lives. With winsomeness, insight, and practical teaching, Escobar guides us on a path that will breathe new life into our faith and cause Christians to become a people who not only believe but also embody good news to ourselves, to others, and to the world around us. If you’re ready for a spiritual renewal, read this book!”

—Brandan Robertson, lead pastor of Missiongathering San Diego and author of The Gospel of Inclusion: A Christian Case for LGBT+ Inclusion in the Church

 

“Changing ourselves to change the world inspires me. I love the way that Kathy calls us not just to personal reflection and action but also to community action. Kathy’s diverse experience and her willingness to be vulnerable provide a unique and enriching approach to spiritual practices that is refreshing to read and compelling to apply to our lives. This is a very important book for all who want to grow in faith and deepen their intimacy with God.”

—Christine Aroney-Sine, contemplative, activist, author of The Gift of Wonder, and facilitator of Godspacelight.com

 

“Kathy Escobar’s book is a welcomed work, especially now when so many good people are overwhelmed with bad things happening in the world. Kathy’s concern for seeing healthy values translated into effective action is evident not only in her own life but also in the lives of the communities she’s associated with. Each chapter is so deep, informative, and helpful. But at the end of each chapter, she helps us render it into everyday living. What a great resource for personal transformation, community development, and world change!”

—David Hayward, the NakedPastor

 

“Amid the chaos of a deeply divided world, as well as churches that have conflated the good news with the illusion of the American dream, there has risen a heart-wrenching cry for love, dignity, and genuine belonging. Kathy Escobar hears and responds with hard-won wisdom that is pastoral, humble, and refreshingly honest. Drawing deeply from her Christian roots, she teaches practices that are not only well researched but have been well honed through the beautiful ‘everyday’ of real life with real people. If you want to learn more about what love looks like, read this book. If you want to become a lover of human souls, read this book. If you want to create a community of love, read this together. While it will certainly bring some discomfort, I am convinced that what Kathy Escobar offers is the most gospel-oriented, practical book on personal and communal transformation that exists today.”

—Ellen Haroutunian, psychotherapist, Benedictine oblate, and spiritual director

 

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“Escobar is a gem as a teacher and writer. You will leave this book better than when you picked it up. Every individual and every faith community will benefit from the lessons on these pages. This is an important piece of work for anyone who interacts with those on the margins of society (which is to say everyone), and the chapter on grief alone is worth the cost of the book.”

—Jerry Herships, pastor and author of Rogue Saints and Last Call

 

“A good book delivers on its promise, and this book does just that—challenging us to explore questions of faith that. refuse to find satisfaction in a pithy response. We are invited to explore and venture out of our comfort zones to practice and dare to change. Practicing does not raise a ruckus

and leave us hanging like an unscrupulous contractor who vanishes halfway through a major home renovation project. Instead, it allows for our fear of change while refusing to bow to the relentless pressure to stay small and safe. Kathy provides us a map and, perhaps most importantly, permission—permission to try, to fall down, and to rise and permission to have a little faith. What a great book!”

—Teresa McBean, copastor at Northstar Community and Executive Director of the National Association for Christian Recovery

 

“Practicing reminds us how much we need one another and how much we need to see what is right with us. This book nudges us all closer to ourselves, to each other, and to God by outlining simple spiritual practices. It is an essential guide for transformation in the messy and beautiful.”

—Jan Shegda, PCC, IEA Accredited Professional, founder of Clarity Coaching, and Enneagram teacher

 

“I trust Kathy’s heart because I have seen her practice what she preaches. Now she breaks open and preaches—in the best way—what she has been practicing for so many years. I, for one, need to take off perfectionism and lean into the grace and wisdom of these practices. This is a beautiful, humble, wise, and world-changing book.”

—Idelette McVicker, founder of SheLoves magazine

 

“What a joy to find including, equalizing, mourning, and failing (failing!) on a list of spiritual practices alongside the traditional practices of prayer, meditation, service, and fasting found in thousands of other works on the topic. Practicing cuts through the traditional theological arguments and trendy spiritual experiments and offers a path for walking out the core principles of embodied faith in a way that is holistic, sustainable, satisfying, and fruitful. In Practicing, Kathy Escobar has given hope and a practical path to those of us who long to make our faith a verb for the sake of the world as well as our own souls.”

—Phyllis Mathis, spiritual mentor and cocreator of Walking Wounded: Hope for Those Hurt by Church

 

“Kathy Escobar is a true doer of the Word, not just a hearer only. She brings her pastoral heart to everything she does, including this latest offering, which is a true gift to all of us who are seeking to follow Jesus and not just be a fickle fan.” 

—Steve Roach Knight, cofounder of Transform Network

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About the Author

Kathy Escobar is copastor of The Refuge, a Christian community and mission in North Denver. A trained spiritual director and group facilitator, Kathy is the author of Faith Shift: Finding Your Way Forward When Everything You Believe Is Coming Apart and Down We Go: Living into the Wild Ways of Jesus and is dedicated to creating safe and brave spaces for transformation in real life and online.


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