This Odd and Wondrous Calling: The Public and Private Lives of Two Ministers by Lillian Daniel and Martin Copenhaver
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Daniel and Copenhaver are both UCC pastors, well known within the small circle of the denomination and also that of writing pastors and preachers. They’ve taken on a variety of topics, some of which they both engage. I think my original plan to read this collection of essays one at a time was better than running through them quickly, as I did with the second half of the book. I felt encouraged and challenged, in a positive way, by the first half, but in the end I felt like I wasn’t very good at any of the things they were writing about, either professionally or personally. That’s a little discouraging, and I’m sure it wasn’t the intention of the authors! I resonated more with Daniel’s chapters, and I don’t think that’s about age or gender. I like her writing style better. It’s more compact. Copenhaver’s style is a little more meandering. I found myself wanting to edit some of his chapters, but there were others I loved.
I recommend this book both for pastors and for involved lay people who might appreciate an insight into the pastoral life, with the limitation that these are two straight, white pastors who went to seminary young and are still married to the only spouse they’ve had, leaving out some significant portions of the pastoral population.