Monday, February 18, 2008

Book Sale Redux and Lenten Reflections

I mentioned this in passing in a bullet point below, but it's really worth highlighting again: Park Slope United Methodist is holding its annual Book Sale this weekend, Saturday the 23rd from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday the 24th from 1-4 p.m. This is a fabulous event if you're a book lover, as the prices are cheap ($2 hardcover, $1 paperback) and the stock is plentiful and diverse -- I vow every year that I'm not allowed to buy anything until I've read everything I purchased the year before, and then of course I need Pale Fire or the Naomi Novik dragon books or Bel Canto (which I adored) or A Backward Glance . . . (You may remember my post on this from last year.) CDs, DVDs, videos, tapes, records, and puzzles are also for sale.

The church is also accepting donations for the sale this afternoon (Monday) from 12-7 p.m., Thursday from 7-10 p.m., and Friday from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. The books, CDs, DVDs, records, etc. should be in good condition and not unsaleable (e.g. no The Collector's Guide to the Best Eight-Tracks of 1979, second edition, please). You can bring them to the church at 6th Avenue and 8th Street in Park Slope at any of the times mentioned above. Hope to see you there!

Finally, if you follow the traditional Christian church calendar, you know that we are now in the season of Lent. I grew up in the Southern Baptist church, which does not practice Lent, so it's a tradition I've been learning about only in my past seven years as a Methodist; and while I am not a very good Lenten practitioner (Lentenee? Lentenizer?), I find the season's thinking about devotion, discipline, sacrifice, and service clarifying and challenging. This year I've been reading two blogs reflecting on the season:

  • Amoroma, where my friend and former Scholastic Store colleague Larry Litman shares words and pictures from the churches of Rome (where he now lives); and
  • The Park Slope United Methodist Church blog, where our pastor is posting excerpts from various writers, thinkers, and devotionals every day.
If I may say this without sounding insufferably stuffy and pretentious: Blessings to you in whatever you practice (or not) this time of year.


  1. I know this is slightly out of place but there are these THINGS you say, Cheryl, that produce giggles that wake the house up at 12 am, and later when you're looking for a word or your favourite sock. Either way, it makes you grin like an idiot and feel extremely pleased about it..

    "Arent footnotes a happiness all by themselves?"

    "Thank you for putting up with my happy bubbling"

    And that pic of the pink boots you put up. HOW AWESOME is that?

    Thank you for the chuckles and that sunshiny day that these thoughts are going to bring..

  2. In a world that seems to respect everything except being a Christian, it's refreshing to see someone who isn't afraid to admit their faith.

    pj lyons

  3. Hmm, P.J. I appreciate the compliment, but I have to say that I strongly disagree with the premise on which it's based -- that is, my supposed bravery in stating my faith in a world reportedly hostile to Christianity. Measured by political weight, cultural presence, and sheer numbers, Christianity is by far the U.S.'s most dominant and influential religion, so I don't believe anyone is truly suffering under hostility towards it. And while some people certainly think negatively of those who call themselves Christians, I know those people are usually thinking of the Christianity modeled by Pat Robertson, the late Jerry Falwell, Tim LaHaye and their ilk, whose arrogance, self-righteousness, and ridiculous claims of omniscience and/or oppression gave all Christians a bad reputation. Jesus modeled a faith of love, humility, and service to others, and if all we Christians practiced that -- rather than just talking about it or saying "Help! Help! We're being oppressed!" -- no one would think badly of us at all.

    Sorry to come back at you with this after what was obviously meant to be a kind remark, but your comment struck a nerve, and I don't want to receive credit for something I don't feel I deserve.

  4. Sorry I hit a nerve. Since I used the word "afraid," I can see how you thought I was commending your bravery. But that wasn't the point of the post. The point was that I found your faith refreshing: i.e., your faith reinvigorated my faith.