Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith

Book, 2006, 251 pp
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A moving and delightful story of the search to find an authentic way of being Christian—even when it means giving up the pulpit.

After nine years serving on the staff of a big urban church in Atlanta, Barbara Brown Taylor arrives in rural Clarkesville, Georgia (population 1,500), following her dream to become the pastor of her own small congregation. The adjustment from city life to country dweller is something of a shock -- Brown Taylor is one of the only professional women in the community -- but small-town life offers many of its own unique joys. Brown Taylor has five successful years that see significant growth in the church she serves, but ultimately she finds herself experiencing "compassion fatigue" and wonders what exactly God has called her to do. She realizes that in order to keep her faith she may have to leave.

Brown Taylor describes a rich spiritual journey in which God has given her more questions than answers. As she becomes part of the flock instead of the shepherd, she describes her poignant and sincere struggle to regain her footing in the world without her defining collar. Brown Taylor's realization that this may, in fact, be God's surprising path for her leads her to a refreshing search to find God in new places. Leaving Church will remind even the most skeptical among us that life is about both disappointment and hope -- and ultimately, renewal.

“This beautiful book is rich with wit and humanness and honesty and loving detail….I cannot overstate how liberating and transforming I have found Leaving Church to be.” —Frederick Buechner, author of Beyond Words
TypePrint
GenreBiography/Autobiography
ExpressionNarrative/Novel/Story
AudienceAdults
LanguageEnglish
PublisherHarperCollins
ISBN9780060872632

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