- Series: The Young Clergy Women Project
- Paperback: 144 pages
- Publisher: Chalice Press; 8/31/12 edition (September 30, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0827235216
- ISBN-13: 978-0827235212
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.5 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 56 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #188,733 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Sabbath in the Suburbs: A Family's Experiment with Holy Time (The Young Clergy Women Project) Paperback – September 30, 2012
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From Presbyterian Outlook:
From Englewood Review of Books: Readers of MaryAnn McKibben Dana's Sabbath in the Suburbs will find the practice of Sabbath keeping less foreign and ritualistic and be encouraged to embark on their own Sabbath experiment. Small groups, book clubs, Sunday School classes, or even entire churches, may find this a useful book to read and practice together, thus finding strength in numbers.
From the Author
Interested in videos and discussion materials for group studies of Sabbath in the Suburbs? Check out SabbathInTheSuburbs.com and click on Sabbath Supplementals.
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The book details a year in the life of the Danas and their three small children experimenting in how one day a week can be set aside to observe "Sabbath." In other words, a day when the usual hustle and bustle of daily battles with duties ranging from housework to homework to meetings can be put aside. A day when one can take a brief but psychologically important time to reflect, to engage in activities that refresh rather than doing out of necessity, to sense what it really means to live in God's world. Not easy by far, and Dana cheerfully or sometimes ruefully details the failures.
Although there is a deep sense and feeling for how people, Christians and non-Christians alike, should live their lives, it is not a book filled with Scriptural references, or verses to read. In other words, it is not a book with a Biblical outline of what God's wants us to do--the theme of so many books by various pastors and authors. Rather, it is a sip of refreshing sanity in a world increasingly tied to the wheel of 24/7 regimens.
Note: MaryAnn was for several years the associate pastor of the church which my late wife and I were members.
Other books I've read have offered beautiful theology or philosophy on Sabbath-keeping, but no practical advice. Or they've offered Sabbath practices at which I have failed miserably. After reading these others, Sabbath has seemed like an impossible feat, the holy grail for which everyone is searching but which only a chosen few will actually find.
Dana's book is a welcome reprieve from the usual highbrow how-to's: it is beautiful, insightful, and spiritual, but also delightfully down-to-earth. She is the first author I've encountered who is able to make sabbath seem not only desirable but also possible and even fun. Sabbath in the Suburbs is for real people in real life who want to experience life to its fullest without missing huge chunks of beauty because they are too busy. The writing is easy and clear, the characters (Dana's own family) are lovable and warm, and the advice on sabbath-keeping is honest, gentle, and easy-to-receive. This is a book I will share again and again, one which has the potential to change lives for the better.
So many of us complain/suffer/find ourselves in the fetal position dealing with our lives. We are too busy. We are exhausted. We are overwhelmed.
Especially in the fall, especially if we have school-aged children, just one glance at the calendar can make our hearts pound -and not in the good way.
MaryAnn is a very gifted writer and you will love the way she describes even the most mundane activity. Clearly she is a deep spiritual thinker with much humor and grace.
If you're ever struggled with the concept of Sabbath, this book is for you.
If you've ever thought Sabbath was an impossible abstraction, this is for you!
The author brings us along on her family's journey through a year of keeping the Sabbath, suburban-style. The ups and downs, the ridiculous and the sublime. There is nothing too "holy" about this book, and yet it is touched by the sacred. You will find it wholly helpful, especially if you struggle with the realities of creating sacred space and time for yourself and a family.
I was skeptical - what could a minister have to say to me, a non-Christain? Would I feel judged for not believing what she believes? I'm not in the suburbs, was this going to be a problem? Fear not, this is a wonderful book for everyone.
Sabbath, as interpreted by Dana, is not solely a time for prayer. Attending services may or may not be part of it. It may not be on a Sunday, or a Saturday, or on a weekend, or a whole day
It is a day (or a time) set aside intentionally for stepping off the hamster wheel of modern life. Not checking frantically on your work email one last time before you drive one kid to soccer and the other to gymnastics. Not attempting to get one more load of laundry in before bed time. Not stressing about wanting to go grocery shopping but knowing the parking lot will be a nightmare when you get there. Not *doing.* Being.
How to make NOT doing things just as important to your family as doing things...and the challenges that brings.