Announcing the Nouwen Book Discussion for Advent

We are delighted to announce Following Jesus: Finding Our Way Home in and Age of Anxiety as the selection for our Advent 2019 online book discussion.

The year was 1985. It was an uncertain time in Henri Nouwen’s life. Two years earlier he had returned from a missionary effort in Peru to a prestigious teaching position at Harvard Divinity School. However, feelings of isolation and restlessness had followed him from South America, and the competitive and ambitious atmosphere of Harvard only added to his feelings of unease and loneliness.

During Lent of that year, Henri gave six talks at St. Paul Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Never one to shirk from asking the hard questions of faith, Henri used this opportunity to ask himself, as well as his listeners, how does one live and follow Jesus in anxious times. By articulating his vision for what it meant to be a follower of Jesus, Nouwen clarified his own vocational path. Less than four months after delivering these talks, he would leave his tenured position at Harvard to become the pastor for L’Arche Daybreak, one of a network of communities founded by Jean Vanier for and with people with intellectual disabilities.

Edited by Gabrielle Earnshaw, Following Jesus artfully reveals what sustained Nouwen to remain faithful to the teachings of Jesus and led him to become an icon of compassion and vulnerability. Henri speaks eloquently about calling and purpose, fear and hope. And he explains why—with so many choices available to the twenty-first-century seeker—the greatest reward for those looking for spiritual direction is rediscovering Jesus’s teaching on love.

Please join us on Wednesday, November 27th for greetings and introductions. Then beginning on Sunday, December 1st we’ll journey through the Advent season reading and sharing insights gleaned from this wonderful, never-before-published work of inspiration.

Following Jesus offers a compelling case for why Christianity is still relevant, beautiful, intelligent, and necessary in the modern world.

A reading schedule can be viewed by clicking on the Reading Schedule tab in the menu bar above. Facilitator Ray Glennon will prompt each week’s discussion by offering thoughtful questions and insights to get the discussion going.

The Advent online book discussion is a wonderful way to enhance your Christmas preparations and make this Advent particularly meaningful and memorable. We hope that you will join us!

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.

12 Replies to “Announcing the Nouwen Book Discussion for Advent”

  1. I just started reading this new book today. It has already been challenging and helpful in focusing my heart right now. I joined in one of the reading/discussion groups a few years back and always enjoy learning about new books from Henri’s pen. At last count, I had read over 37 of his published works. I first learned of his writings through a friend and family member, but became more immersed in his work as I joined the L’Arche community in Atlanta as both a volunteer and employee. I have often quoted Henri in my own books and blogs and reflections.

    Peace and love,
    Jimmy Locklear

  2. Each Advent and Lent for the past few years I have eagerly awaited each new discussion of one of Henri’s books. Given that we indeed live in an age of anxiety, I am most eager to delve into this book and explore with all of you the ways in which we might find peace and become peace in our world. Thanks, Ray, for serving as moderator once again.

  3. I have read about half of the Following Jesus book so far. Having read many of Henri’s books over the years, I think this offers his usual “timeless wisdom” (as James Martin notes) for our current age of anxiety.
    Thanks, Ray, for leading this discussion!

  4. Welcome friends old and new.

    It will be my privilege to be the moderator for the Henri Nouwen Society Advent book discussion of Following Jesus. I’m looking forward to joining you beginning on November 27th for what promises to be an interesting, inspiring, and fruitful discussion. I read Following Jesus. when it was published in September and I was deeply touched. I can’t wait to read it again and benefit from the insights, understanding, and wisdom of the community that assembles here every Advent and Lent to share the spiritual journey through the season together.

    I have posted the reading schedule in the Reading Schedule tab in the menu bar above. It is repeated here as well.

    Nov 27 to Nov 30: Welcome and Introductions
    Forward by Richard Rohr, OFM p. 7-10
    Editor’s Note by Gabrielle Earnshaw, p. 135-136
    Dec 1 to Dec 7: Introduction, Chapter 1, and Chapter 2
    Dec 8 to Dec 14: Chapter 3 and Chapter 4
    Dec 15 to Dec 21: Chapter 5 and Chapter 6
    Dec 22 to Dec 28: Review, Reflect, and Respond

    Enjoy the fall season, and make sure to check back beginning on Wednesday, November 27th for welcome and introductions.

    Peace and all good.

    Ray Glennon

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