Pastor Sam Gardner is back in his fourth year serving the eccentric Quaker community of Harmony, Indiana, which continues to bustle with gossip, scandals, and small-town fervor. This year, the Sausage Queen is impeached after a shocking revelation, plunging the town into anarchy as her many and varied responsibilities go unmet. Dale Hinshaw gets his comeuppance when his wife, Dolores, hits the road, leaving Sam to cook Dale's food and do his laundry. With a new doctor in town, Deena Morrison's days of spinsterhood might be drawing to a close, while the Friendly Women's Circle beseeches the Lord for new kitchen cabinets.
Amidst the surprising and annoying struggles of his congregants, Sam's commitment is put to the test. As he sits in the empty meetinghouse on a snowy Sunday, Sam wrestles with what it means to faithfully preach the gospel to this community. He becomes even more endearing as he faithfully seeks to serve his quirky flock.
A masterful storyteller who peppers his narrative with profound spiritual truths in the most natural way, Gulley has created a fictional world that will quickly become a welcome refuge.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
In the latest instalment of the beloved Harmony saga, the town is scandalized to learn that the newly crowned Sausage Queen, Tiffany Nagle, is a vegetarian. She is, of course, dethroned, which plunges the town into anarchy as no one is available to fulful the many and varied responsibilities of the Sausage Queen.About the Author:
I was born in February of 1961. My mother went into labor while she and my father were watching Gunsmoke. My father was taken with that program and wanted to name me for one of the characters. Unfortunately, my cousin was named Matt, which left the name Festus for me. My mother, a Catholic, wanted to name me after her favorite pope, Cletus. They compromised by naming me Philip, the guy in the Bible who became a disciple of Jesus and was never heard from again.
I live in the same town where I was born. I moved away at the age of 19 to work, where I met my wife, Joan Apple. We were married on June 2nd of 1984 at the Quaker meetinghouse in Paoli, Indiana. I began attending Marian College in Indianapolis where I studied theology and sociology. I then enrolled at Christian Theological Seminary where I graduated with honors, to the utter amazement of everyone who knew me.
While in seminary, I became the pastor of Irvington Friends Meeting in Indianapolis. While there, our two sons were born, and I began writing essays for our church's newsletter. One Sunday, Paul Harvey, Jr. and Dina Kinnan attended our meeting for worship and began receiving our newsletter. A few months later, they were approached by a publisher with an offer to write. Already committed to a publisher, they recommended my writing instead. I was invited to send the newsletters I'd written to the publisher, who agreed to publish them. That was my first book, Front Porch Tales. I've been writing ever since.
In 1998, my family and I moved back to my hometown. I took a year off to write, then agreed to become the part-time pastor of Fairfield Friends Meeting, a small Quaker meeting near my home, where I continue to minister.
I write five days a week, usually in the morning. I knock off for lunch and a nap, then am back at it until my boys get home from school. Once a week or so, I travel somewhere to give a speech. This is not nearly as exotic as it sounds. If humanity has invented a more dismal way to travel than the airplane, I'm not aware of it.
I don't work on Saturdays, unless I've goofed off through the week and need to catch up, a not uncommon occurrence. Sundays are spent at Quaker meeting for worship and in my recliner, asleep, with the newspaper in my lap. I have single-handedly raised the Sunday afternoon nap to an art form.
This marriage of pastoring, writing and speaking is one that appeals to me. Each activity complements the other. I once spent a summer during college working for the state highway picking up roadkill. Compared to that, what I do now is a breeze.
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