Holy Adventure: 41 Days of Audacious Living

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Life is a holy adventure in which our lives emerge from our relationships and the institutions that have shaped us. In this second edition, I want to give thanks to the institutions that have most shaped me spiritually and professionally: Claremont School of Theology, Claremont Graduate School, and the Disciples Seminary Foundation in Claremont; the United Church of Christ; and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). This book is an embodiment of the United Church of Christ’s affirmation: “God is still speaking.” I give thanks daily for my wife and partner in life, ministry, parenting, and grand parenting, Kate Epperly. Life is always an adventure with Kate: her Myers-Briggs “P” (perceiving) spirit keeps my “J” (judging) on my toes and challenges me to modify my plans at a moment’s notice. Her “E” (extroversion) has energized my “I” (introversion) personally and professionally. I am grateful for the impact of being a father on my personal and professional life. My son Matt has awakened me to the meaning of unconditional love and has expanded the circle of love to include his wife Ingrid and two very adventurous young boys. This book is an affirmation of God’s holy adventure in every season of life from childhood to eldership, and my two grandsons have deepened my commitment to be God’s companion in healing the world for their generation and their children’s children. I am thankful for the “cloud of witness” and “creative companions” who have inspired my adventures. In that cloud of adventurers, journeying in God’s realm of adventurous shalom, I give thanks for my mom and dad, Loretta and Everett Epperly, my brother Bill, and for mentors – Bernie Loomer, Shorty Collins, Marie Fox, and Howard Thurman. I give thanks for living adventurers whose mentoring and teaching still shapes my life – John Cobb, David Ray Griffin, and John Akers. This text reflects the encouragement of dear friends, many of whom regularly repeat back to me my own words – “it’s a holy adventure” – when I am tempted to shrink from making great plans or embarking on journeys to new places – Anna Rollins, Patricia Adams Farmer, Suzanne Schmidt, Monica Coleman, Kathy Harvey Nelson, Jay McDaniel, and Edwin David Aponte. Two churches have shaped the writing of this text – Disciples United Community Church in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, whose open-spirit and partnership encouraged theological, spiritual, and worship adventures, and South Congregational United Church of Christ, Centerville, Massachusetts, whose faithful ministry on Cape Cod lures me forward to new and creative adventures. Finally, this second edition emerged through an invitation from David Tullock, Publisher of Parson’s Porch Books, who joins publication with social concern and healing. Publishing, for David, is more about prophets than profits, in his quest to bring sustenance and joy to vulnerable persons so that they might have the freedom to see their lives as adventurous and holy. Pentecost 2013

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