This is the central location to acquire Books and CDs from Peggy Senger Morrison and Alivia Biko. You can scroll down and find the offerings or look over on the right hand side and quick link to the item you want.
Friday, August 22, 2014
Me an Nadia hanging at Chapters Bookstore in Newberg.
Nadia looks a little downcast, or perhaps
she is just contemplating Richard Rohr at our feet!
August 13th is St Orville's Day. I believe deeply in keeping your own calendar. It should be populated with saints and commemorations.
my father. In his youth he was wild and reckless. It is a multiple
miracle that he lived to procreate. As an adult he was steady, and
funny, and observant. He had no cusswords that anyone else would
recognize. He never hit a child, or a woman. In the 48 years I knew him I
never heard him raise his voice, or use a racial slur, or treat any
human as anything less than fully human. He was crazy about our mother.
In old age he liked to prank nurses. He was musical and painted. He was
an amateur botanist, geologist and astronomer. He was thrifty, but never cheap. Appropriate ways to celebrate St Orville's Day.
Go out and watch the Perseid meteor shower that comes for his name day.
plant something, anything - especially a tree
eat a bacon lettuce and tomato sandwich, but only if you grow the tomato
My writing career is now old enough to get a driver's license...
In the Spring of 1998 I took a little motorcycle ride. To San Antonio, Texas and back. It was fun. I had some interesting experiences there and back again. I did not have the good sense to shut up about it.
My friend Marge Abbott started pestering me about writing the stories down. As Christmas rolled around I decided to write the story and make a few copies for my nearest and dearest as Christmas presents. My daughter Emily, a senior in high school, did the interior design and the cover for what became Extreme Unction: Christ and the lure of the open road. I was fond of the cover then and and still am today. I made the books at LazerQuick. The first run was about 20. The recipients were not discreet enough to keep it to themselves.
I made a batch of a hundred, and asked for money. I figured that would dry things up. Then I made another hundred, or two. Then I got tired of that and refused to make any more.
Barclay Press publisher, Dan McCracken, and one of his board members took me to breakfast at the Donald Cafe, and told me that it was good. And with work, publishable. But not by Barclay Press, because motorcycle travelogues were not really their thing.
At their insistence I put together a book proposal, which was ignored by many. I was relieved.
I was doing more preaching, and I never write sermons down before the speaking of them - very bad juju. But people thought I did, and kept asking for the messages. Bob Rodriguez, editor of a small town newspaper, offered to edit them if I would try and write them down after the fact. Marge thought this was a good idea. Alivia helped me print and mail them out.
Then I ran off to Africa, which generated a couple more stories.
I tried the blogging thing, which had the advantage of not involving late night runs to LazerQuick.
In the winter of '06 Pamela Calvert forwarded me a call for writers. United Press International wanted a broad spectrum of weekly religion writers for a spirituality page to appear on line. I sent them a column-length piece, expecting to be ignored. Within 24 hours I heard from Larry Moffitt, VP UPI. I had a gig.
I tried running off to Africa again, but Larry just sent me off with press creds, and I posted from the field.
When I had two years of columns done, I quit. But 100 columns makes a pretty good book, so I had it printed up by a real printer. Batches now came 250 at a time. I think I did it three times.
People said they wanted more about Africa - so I did one about that.
I tried making a book of ten years of sermons. Alvia painted me a very pretty cover for that. But people like motorcycle and war zone stories better than Gospel sermons and that one did not sell as well.
So I ran off to Africa Again.
When the 15 year anniversary of the Texas ride rolled around, I thought I might re-issue it. Now I had a day job, and some spare change, so I hired and editor and a designer. Kathy Hyzy, is pretty good at the double-dare-ya thing. She challenged me to make it much bigger than a one-ride-story. She dared me not just to write about weird stuff and my courage in face of it, but to actually tell the truth about the source of my courage. The whole thing got out of control.
Now I have a Summa Theologica Motorcyclica on my hands.
And yeah, its got the 1998 story, and a bunch of those columns and blog posts. But it has a whole lot of stuff I have never had the nerve to write before. And now it seems to have a story line under and through all the other stories that is much more important than the stories. Its got subtext - geez, when did that start to happen?
And now I can do it print-on-demand, and you can get it at any real bookstore, if you know what to ask for, or that under-cutting, on-line, behemoth that starts with an A.
And it makes me a little nervous.
But the cover's pretty, don't you think?
(I still like Emily's)
If it gets too big, I'll be picking up my mail in Bujumura.
This very impressive line of bikes was out in front of Chapters Books on August first for the release of Miracle Motors. We also visited NPYM. Rosie and I would be happy to visit your local Oregon Book store, church, or book group. Dates have to be arranged around my day job, but the rains won't start till November. Message me if you are curious.
photo credit Brandon Buerkle at brandonbuerkle.com
Miracle Motors: a Pert Near True Story
This book is the culmination of Peggy's writing to date. Part memoir, part free-lance theology, part page-turning travelogue, you will enjoy the ride! Long time readers of Peggy's writing will remember some of the stories, but there is a great deal that is new, and some that is stunning! It's got God, Texas, Africa, and heresy, what could go wrong?
How to get it: First Choice - Walk into, or call, your local bookstore and ask them to order you a copy. When you pick it up - ask them to stock a few. The ISBN is 978-0981998930. They can look it up on Ingram if you have the title and author. It will cost 15.00
The print on demand people have a printer in the UK - it should be orderable over there. Maybe even Australia. Chapters Books in Newberg, Oregon is stocking this book. Second choice - use the paypal button on this site and order one from me. $15 plus $2.50 for postage. Or see me if you are local.
Third choice - It is up on Barnes and Noble - print and ebook.
So, I read Messages to a Refugee Planet, and loved it. I read your introduction on not really wanting comments after preaching because perhaps people should listen to what God's Spirit is saying instead of analyzing the preach. Good comment, I thought, but then I thought, that is exactly what I'm about to do! That gave me pause for thought. So, I waited to see if the Spirit would give me anything to say back, and I waited and I waited. Finally I have had to settle for saying something which is not from God, but I think it's OK with God that I say it.
"Messages to a Refugee World is a revelation that brings us up short with the rare and astonishing truth that God thinks we are wonderful, and rejoices over our creation still. The book tells us that communities of faith can be places of restoration and Delight! That far from letting us sink in a mire of guilt and negativity, the Spirit of God urges us to speak kindness to people because kinds speaks of the deepest truth, that we are made in God's image. We are all made in God's image, not just the men, not just the whites, not just the rich or the stable, or the sorted, but everyone. When we walk guided by the Spirit of God we are unbeatable, even if we lose. With a message like this, who wouldn't choose to read this book!"
Hope all is well with you. Keep up the great work!
From William Ashworth is a member of South Mountain Friends Meeting in Ashland, OR, and of the Ministry and Oversight Committee of North Pacific Yearly Meeting.
Another stimulating and thought-provoking essay collection from Peggy Parsons, based this time on vocal ministry instead of blog entries.
Vocal ministry is one of the constants across all branches of the Society of Friends, from the most conservative evangelical Friends church to the most liberal unprogrammed meeting. It is why Quakers quake. True vocal ministry does not consist of the thoughts of the minister, but of pass-through from the Source of the message; the minister may tinker with the wording, but never with the content. One of the signs that you are given a message, rather than just thinking it up, is the "quaking before the Lord" described by early Friends and still felt by Friends preparing to minister today. The principal difference between a Friend who merely rises in Meeting to give a message and Peggy Parsons is that, as a recorded and released minister, she is expected to be able to hear and give voice to God's messages, in detail, at previously scheduled times and places.
Peggy spends her first chapter describing her methods of listening for ministry and of shaping its delivery to its intended recipients while attempting to avoid shaping the message itself. Most of the remainder of the book (all but the last chapter) is devoted to specific ministries she has given, written down only after the fact to avoid too much wordsmithing ahead of time, which would impose her own mind too far into the message before its audience receives it. The audience and the date are noted for each message, which helps the reader understand differences in style among them. For the most part, even when speaking to liberal Friends' groups, Peggy couches her ministry in evangelical Christian language. Do not be fooled by this. This is a book for everyone: the truths she captures are universal.
Those who know her previous books will find stories they have read elsewhere. Bear with her: they are placed in a different context here - the context of vocal ministry - and although the truths they publish are the same, the views of those truths provided here are far more subtle and complex than when she uses the same stories merely to kick off blog entries. It is difficult to read this book at one sitting. Not because it is long (it isn't) or difficult (it isn't that, either), but because there is so much meat in it that the reader needs to regularly pause and contemplate. A chapter that stopped me in my tracks was the message viewing a Quaker Meeting for Business - another constant across all flavors of Friends - through the lens of the Sermon on the Mount. Or perhaps vice versa. Other readers are likely to be grabbed at different places. But be warned: you will be grabbed.
And speaking of the Sermon on the Mount: do not miss Peggy's last chapter. It is a joyful retelling of several well-known scriptural passages, including the SOTM, in modern colloquial English. The translations are not just tossed off - Peggy has drawn carefully on her knowledge of ancient Greek and Hebrew as well as her considerable knowledge of Biblical exegesis - but neither are they stodgy. Friends often speak of the "Light within" or "holding in the Light." One of the functions of this book is to remind us that one of the meanings of "light" is "not heavy."
Messages to a Refugee Planet is a collection of Gospel Ministry given to Peggy between 1996-2004. It consists of nine messages, an essay on preaching, and a selection of Peggy's work with scripture translation and paraphrase. The messages cover Genesis to Apocalypse, and represent a generous, free, post-modern exegesis. As quick and uplifting a trip through the Bible as you are ever likely to take!
110 pages,$10 plus $2 postage. please add $1 per copy for paypal orders. for e-book options please see unction.org
Only available from the Author at this time. Write to Unction Press, 710 Thompson NE Salem OR 97301
By Kody Hersh - an edited version of this review appeared in Friends Journal.
So There I Was... By Peggy Senger Parsons, self-published, 2009. 267 pages. $20.00/paperback.
The summer of 2006 saw me, an 18-year-old Quaker boy in the honeymoon period of a call to ministry, wandering the west coast of the United States. I started out in Seattle and, with an ultimate destination of San Francisco, somehow developed an itinerary that included Vancouver, Los Angeles, and Iowa. I've never been very good at geography.
About a week into my trip, I ended up at Peggy Senger Parsons' house for a couple days. We'd never met, but I'd been reading her blog, where she was steadily publishing the essays that are collected in her new book, So There I Was.... I wanted to hang out with Peggy because I needed accompaniment as I figured out how to be faithful in life and ministry. It turns out that spiritual accompaniment is a gift Peggy has not just in person, but also as a writer. It is equal parts wisdom, humor, pastoral care, and prophetic challenge.
Peggy describes herself as a "freelance provocateur of grace," and in So There I Was..., she tells stories that illustrate what grace looks like when provoked. She rescues a pig-tailed runaway on a tricycle, avoids calamity by following the instructions of mysterious strangers, and plants small, subversive seeds of feminist thought in the minds of children. Her essays on 21st-century spiritual practice include things like "the Discipline of Spiritual Adventure," and her biblical exegesis is heavy on motorcycle metaphors.
So There I Was... could easily be gimmicky, if it weren't for the authenticity and depth of the author's underlying message. Peggy has been a pastoral counselor for a couple decades. She has done trauma healing work with survivors of genocide. When she writes about healing and grace, truth-telling and mythology, it is with palpable conviction and depth of understanding.
Peggy's colorful, creative facility with language often comes at the expense of grammatical convention. Also, she makes more than one oatmeal joke. A single oatmeal joke, in a single publication, might be a forgivable offense-- but two? Potential readers will need to exercise discretion in this matter.
As a whole, this wide-ranging collection of essays maintains a lively energy while presenting meaningful, substantive content. Friends and others with both a deep yearning to be faithful and an irreverent streak will find So There I Was... a valuable resource, a challenge and a comfort. I believe and hope that, in addition to serving these individuals well, Peggy's book may prove a significant contribution to Quakerism as a whole. We need more thoughtful voices speaking from beyond our binary perceptions of liberal vs. evangelical Quaker thought. We need more passion, and we need more public Friends embodying anachronism so that we may begin to face our preconceptions with fresh eyes.
Peggy, as a passionate and compassionate narrative essayist, does all of these things.
Kody Gabriel Hersh is a member of Miami Monthly Meeting (Southeastern YM), currently living in Philadelphia. He has been active with the FGC Youth Ministries Committee and Friends for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Concerns.
This review was written by Derek Lamson, of West Hills Friends Church in Portland Oregon. He is a good friend of mine and we were in Burundi at the same time for two months in 2007, but I did not solicit this review.
This is the original, a version of this appears in this month's Western Friend. WF is a fine Quaker publication.
Derek goes a bit over the top here. But that's just his charism.
So There I Was… In Africa, by Peggy Senger Parsons, is an introduction to several fascinating subjects. One is Burundi,a tiny overpopulated African appalachia so far off of our maps – literal and otherwise – that it might as well be Oz, for all we know. Peg’s twenty-eight pungent sketches, compiled from ministry trips from 2003to 2007, are vivid correctives, detailing the strength, beauty, humor, and profound spirituality of this people and land. Like the Burundians, Peg looks squarely at the genocide, the nagging confusing civil wars, ongoing deforestation, poverty. Like the Burundians she also witnesses to the country’s youthful energy, hope, and eagerness to do better. You will like it that she never condescends to them.
David Niyonzimais central to this collection, as he should be. Peg and David partnered in bringing simple effective PTSD therapies to help lay the ghosts of Burundi’s violent recent past. It was why she went in the first place. Do read about David’s pilgrimage in his book, (Unlocking Horns, Forgiveness and Reconciliation in Burundi, Barclay Press). Get more of the man’s walk with God, his work and ministry, his incredible church, and cool family, from Peg’s book.
Finally, these articles are great introductions to Peg herself. I probably should take this opportunity to scotch a little rumor going around: sorry, there is no Peggy Senger Parsons action figure doll. I know, I’ve heard it too, all about the motorcycle accessory, matching leathers, etc., but there’s no truth in it. The simple truth is that the woman is courage in boots, and she is all about encouraging others. The essence of her irresistiblyfun energy is that she is grounded in Christ. I believe she is one of the most important Quaker ministers at work today. Read this book and see why.