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Sacred Stories of Ordinary Families: Living the Faith in Daily Life

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9780787962579: Sacred Stories of Ordinary Families: Living the Faith in Daily Life
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When families are faced with crises and challenges— unemployment, the untimely death of a family member, natural disasters and chronic illnesses— those who seem to weather the crisis best are often those who have an active spiritual dimension to their lives together. And in times of joy and celebration families with strong spiritual lives rejoice in deeper and more wondrous ways. But what exactly is it that characterizes faith and spirituality in family life? Identifying resilience, strength, and faith in the stories of all kinds of families, Sacred Stories of Ordinary Families motivates readers to think about how faith shapes their own family lives. Drawn from Diana R. Garland's extensive interviews with 110 families, this book includes stories from ordinary families whose lives together both reveal and rely on extraordinary faith.

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About the Author:

DIANA R. GARLAND is the chair of the School of Social Work Department at Baylor University and director of Baylor's Center for Family and Community Ministries. Her previous works include Family Ministry: A Comprehensive Guide.

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Garland, chair for the School of Social Work Department at Baylor University, poses an interesting bevy of questions as she explores the relationship between faith and family. In the course of her research to seek and locate the broadest range of participants, Garland interviewed over 110 families individually and conducted 32 congregational surveys from four regions in the United States. Garland purposefully selected contributors from the Southern Baptist, National Baptist, United Methodist, and Presbyterian denominations in her quest to discover how families interact with one another in times of celebration as well as through stretches of hardship and trial. Garland's interviewees were presented with thoughtful, reflective questions to gauge how faith informs family dynamics: How does the family live out its faith? When was God perceived as close? What Bible story best reflects the family's own experience? Given that Garland revisits each family's stories chapter by chapter, this text might have developed into a reader's nightmare in an attempt to follow each family's journey, yet Garland does an excellent job meshing new topics with ongoing conversations. Interested readers will find her gentle probing both fascinating and insightful as she draws the deeper life lessons from those she interviewed. However, religion professionals, clergy and educators will likely appreciate her findings more than the typical lay reader.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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