October 29, 2018

Walk in Love

When I saw a new book, Walk in Love: Episcopal Beliefs and Practices, promoted on the Forward Movement website, I ordered it as a gift for a Roman Catholic friend who is on his way to being received into the Episcopal Church. As soon as it arrived, I began reviewing its contents and quickly ordered a second copy to keep.

Reading Walk in Love is like enjoying a fireside chat with a good friend who knows a lot more than you do but doesn’t make you feel that way. Authors and priests Melody Wilson Shobe and Scott Gunn comprehensively reveal the “what and the why” of what we believe and do, in friendly, conversational style. There is familiarity in their explanations, but plenty of “ah-hah” moments as deeper understanding sinks in.

For instance, most of us are quite familiar with the promises made during Baptism. Here is how Wilson Shobe and Gunn summarize their significance:

In these promises, we make extraordinary, impossible commitments that we will never manage to get totally right, especially on our own. Our hope of fulfilling these promises is possible only through God who works in us. That is why we answer, “I will, with God’s help.”

Ah-hah… Yes, that makes so much sense!

From the Sacraments, through the liturgical year, to our basic beliefs, and even governance structure, Walk In Love brings our beloved church and traditions closer to us. Biblical scholar Derek Olsen sums it up beautifully when he calls Walk In Love “the perfect introduction to what it means to not only worship as an Episcopalian but also to live out the Christian life in this tradition.”

Each Walk In Love chapter includes discussion questions, making it a valuable resource for learning in community. In fact, it is the companion book to a new FREE curriculum from Forward Movement called Practicing Our Faith, part of the Living Discipleship series.

If you have any Episcopalians on your Christmas list, I highly recommend this book!