One of the amazing opportunities I’ve appreciated in our congregation is getting to meet and hear some of the great voices of progressive Christianity, right here at Plymouth. Marcus Borg, John Dominic Crossan, John Bell, John Philip Newell, and others have been Visiting Scholars here.
You are about to have the opportunity to hear someone whom author Anne Lamott describes this way: “Diana Butler Bass is one of only a few modern Christian writers who can absolutely blow me away with both spiritual insight and beautiful writing. She is a brilliant scholar and a wonderful storytelling, charming and devout, erudite and deeply human.” (I would also add that she has a great sense of humor.)
Diana and I met at Ring Lake Ranch many years ago when we were both attending a session with Marcus Borg and Dom Crossan, and we’ve kept up over the years. She often works with Brian McLaren, and the two of them will be back at Ring Lake Ranch next summer. She also preached a sermon at the Wild Goose Festival that went viral last year.
Here is the cool thing: you don’t have to drive seven hours and pay lots of money to hear Diana, because she is going to be with us at Plymouth in less than two weeks!
Some of our members are reading Diana’s wonderful book, Grateful, on Sunday mornings with Bruce Ronda. It delves into the roots and benefits of gratitude, which can be a life-changing practice. I encourage you to read it, even if you’re not in the book group. In fact, you can find it as an eBook or and audiobook through the Poudre Library District.
Diana will be with us, preaching at our 9:00 and 11:00 services on Sunday, October 1. (This is a great opportunity to invite your friends who might be looking for a progressive church — or who have given up on ever finding a church — to join us!)
Later that Sunday, Diana will be offering a workshop (again, invite friends!) on gratitude at 6:30 p.m. in our sanctuary. We are offering this with a freewill offering and suggested donation of $20, which will replenish our Visiting Scholar reserve fund.
I think that voices like Diana’s are essential for us to hear and to share. She is an astute commentator on the history of American religion, trends in the American church, and on contemporary theology.
We will have copies of Diana’s most recent books, Grateful, Freeing Jesus, and Grounded available for purchase on October 1, when Diana will also sign copies for you.
Please be sure to join us on October 1, and invite a friend!