Announcing the Book Selection for Advent 2022!

Flying, Falling, Catching: An Unlikely Story of Finding Freedom

by Henri J.M. Nouwen & Carolyn Whitney-Brown

Henri Nouwen loved everything about the circus. He was especially taken with the elegant, high-flying trapeze artists known as the Flying Rodleighs. He never missed an opportunity to watch the Flying Rodleighs perform.

He and the aerial acrobats quickly became close friends. The Rodleighs even invited Henri to tour with them as they performed in towns throughout Germany.

While travelling with the troupe, Henri kept a journal of the experience and the Flying Rodleighs’ captivating performances. He realized that the trapeze act had much in common with living a spiritual life and decided to write a book about it. He believed this could become his most important book yet.

Henri died before the manuscript was completed.

Now, his friend and colleague Carolyn Whitney-Brown presents his unpublished trapeze writings framed by the true story of Nouwen’s rescue by paramedics through a hotel window during his first heart attack.

Light-hearted, insightful and often comic, this captivating story reveals Nouwen as a joyful spiritual risk taker.

The Flying Rodleighs’ circus act was like Nouwen’s own life: full of artistry, thrilling successes, crushing failures, and continual forgiveness. In this new story, Nouwen invites us all to let go and fly, even when we are afraid of falling.

“What’s wrong with being an entertainer? Isn’t Jesus the greatest of all entertainers? Isn’t He holding people up in a life that constantly wants to go flat? Didn’t Jesus come from another world and travel from place to place to let people look up for a moment and realize that there is more to life than they might have thought? And weren’t most of those who listened to Jesus like circus-goers, going home with some excitement, but forgetting about it when everyday life reasserted its demands?”

-Henri Nouwen, “Flying, Falling, Catching”

Join us Wednesday, November 23rd for greetings and introductions. Then beginning Sunday, November 27th, we’ll journey through Advent reading and discussing this particularly touching and thoroughly enjoyable publication.

Facilitated by Ray Glennon, the Advent online book discussion is a wonderful way to celebrate Jesus’ arrival as Emmanuel (God with us) into our global community at Christmas. What a wonderful way to give special meaning to your Christmas preparations. We do hope you can join us.

A reading schedule will be posted prior to the beginning of the book discussion.

Need a copy of the book? It is available at many bookstores, or you can order it online through the Bookstore tab in the menu bar above.