Announcing the Book Selection for Advent 2021!

It would be fair to say that we are conditioned to measure ourselves in terms of our productivity and accomplishments.

We learn from a young age to gauge our worth by comparing ourselves to others.  Our achievements. Our skills. Even our possessions. We define ourselves by asking habitually and subconsciously, “Am I more or less than you?”  And we construct an identity – a singular sense of self and self-worth – by differentiating ourselves from other people.

Even when we know that life’s success and failures are not what define us, it’s still a pretty easy trap to fall into.

That’s why it’s so good to have a new opportunity for Henri Nouwen to speak into our lives. And that’s why we’re so excited about the new book Community.

“The great news of the gospel is that self-identification based on outstanding differences makes us competitive and violent people who hold on compulsively to our distinctions and defend them at all costs. Jesus Christ reveals to us that our real identity is not to be found on the edges of our existence where we can brag about our specialties, but in the center where we can recognize our basic human sameness and discover each other as brothers and sisters, children of the same God.”    

— Henri Nouwen

Henri Nouwen wrote and spoke often about community during his life and ministry as pastor, priest, professor and prolific author. His search for community propelled his writing and many of his most significant life choices, including his decision in 1986 to leave his teaching duties at Harvard Divinity School to serve as chaplain to the L’Arche Daybreak community in Richmond Hill, Ontario. There, living alongside those with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their assistants, his understanding and commitment to community ripened and matured.

And yet, surprisingly, he never actually wrote a book on the subject.

Researched and compiled by Stephen Lazarus from a trove of Henri’s previously unpublished material as well as a number of his published articles over many years, Henri Nouwen’s Community provides a complete picture of Nouwen’s understanding of Christian community and why he felt it to be such a necessary and integral part of the spiritual life in all its many dimensions.

Join us Wednesday, November 24th for greetings and introductions. Then beginning Sunday, November 28th, we’ll journey through Advent reading and discussing this timely and meaningful new 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 will 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. 

12 Replies to “Announcing the Book Selection for Advent 2021!”

    1. Hi Patricia,

      No registration is necessary for the book discussions. Simply show up at this site beginning on November 24th for casual greetings and introductions where you’ll get to meet other Nouwen readers from around the globe. The discussion itself begins on Sunday, November 28. A reading schedule has now been posted. Click “Advent 2021 Reading Schedule” in the black bar beneath the photo at the top of this page.

      Glad you plan on joining us!

  1. After reading the comments above, my questions were answered. I look forward in joining the book discussion and I will order the book.

    Many blessings and stay safe.

  2. Even though I have not previously participated in a moderated discussion group, the topic is so enticing I will be experiencing my first. I look forward to reading everyone’s insights.

    1. No, it will not be through Zoom. The discussion is a moderated discussion meaning participants can make comments and respond to other people’s comments through the “COMMENTS” tab (at the bottom of the page.) They will be posted just as soon as our moderator, Ray Glennon, has had a chance to review them.

      The benefit of a moderated discussion is that it allows time for participants to read, review, and comment while not having to be online at the same time as everyone else. The responses to each Sunday’s reflective questions – or responses to other comments – can happen anytime during the week. This allows people in different time zones to participate at their own convenience.

      Hope this helps.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *