City of God: Faith in the Streets

City of God: Faith in the Streets free pdf download

Author:

Hardcover, Pages: 224

Genres: Autobiography, Memoir, Religion, Nonfiction

Language: English

Reads: 11

Downloads: 707

Rating: Rated: 331 timesRate It

City of God: Faith in the Streets
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Book Description

Paradise is a garden...but heaven is a city.

From the acclaimed author of Take This Bread and Jesus Freak comes a powerful new account of venturing beyond the borders of religion into the unpredictable territory of faith.

On Ash Wednesday, 2012, Sara Miles and her friends left their church buildings and carried ashes to the buzzing city streets: the crowded dollar stores, beauty shops, hospital waiting rooms, street corners and fast-food joints of her neighborhood. They marked the foreheads of neighbors and strangers, sharing blessings with waitresses and drunks, believers and doubters alike.

City of God narrates the events of the day in vivid detail, exploring the profound implications of touching strangers with a reminder of common mortality. As the story unfolds, Sara Miles also reflects on life in her city over the last two decades, where the people of God suffer and rejoice, building community amid the grit and beauty of this urban landscape.

City of God is a beautifully written personal narrative, rich in complex, real-life characters, and full of the wild, funny, joyful, raucous, reverent moments of struggle and faith that have made Miles one of the most enthralling Christian writers of our time.

Reviews
  •    Zulukasa Kettenbrink
    2020
    For those who are looking for a combination of Anglican and cultural approach to Ash Wednesday, Sarah Miles brings us City of God: Faith on the Streets.

    Miles, Director of Ministry at St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church in San Francisco, shares experiences from Ash Wednesday services over the years, as she and others share the experience on the streets of the Mission neighborhood.

    Miles writes in similar ways to Anne Lamott, as she almost talks to herself in the pages. At times questioning the effectiveness of ashes on the street program, wile also embracing a God given call to minister wherever there is a need, Miles walks us through her decision to take Ash Wednesday to the streets. By doing so, she shares wonderful stories of those who might otherwise not share in this meaningful day in our tradition.

    Notable comments from the book:

    Miles is confessional: "I wanted the benefits of the Church, and the solidarity of a movement, without the costs."

    She shares when the light goes on in her head: "There is no way to be a Christian at home by yourself." (yes, it's true. Spiritual but not religious eventually must also act out their faith)

    In pondering 'neighbors': "As much as I obsessed about neighbors and neighborhoods and neighborliness, it was clear, from experience as well as from Scripture, that "who is my neighbor?" was a question impossible to answer solely by geography or affinity.

    Miles has blunt reality: "The good news of Ash Wednesday, the blessing so many people seek so fervently, comes from acknowledging the truth: that we are all going to die."

    Chapter 11 brings wonderful imagery and commentary about the Virgin of Guadalupe - effective enough even to more progressive Christians.
    Reply
  •    Grogis Brizzree
    2020
    I've got a weak spot for Sara Miles, my favorite half-crazy half-inspired self-proclaimed lesbian Episcopalian Jesus Freak. None of which would matter a lot if she wasn't also a good writer with a nice eye for urban (in her case San Franciscan) detail. City of God chronicles her experience on Ash Wednesday (2012, I think, maybe 2011) when she accompanies a band of folks who go out onto the streets of the city to offer ashes and blessings. The core theme concerns the reminder of mortality, which is present in ways obvious and invisible at every turn. As in her previous books, Miles is a powerful narrative presence, struggling against her desire to isolate herself from ordinary people and her clear understanding that Christianity takes on meaning primarily when it takes us outside ourselves to connect with people we wouldn't necessarily choose as friends. That's to say that the "body of Christ" isn't limited to people who share our theology, ideology, behavior.

    There are times I get a bit impatient with Miles' self-presentation--she risks seeming coy at many turns--but finally she reels me back in.

    If you haven't read Miles, definitely start with Take This Bread.
    Reply

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