Colleges can do it. Hospitals can do it. Workplaces can do it. Why does the church in the United States still find it so difficult to integrate across racial and ethnic divides? In Blessed and Beautiful Lisa Lamb trains her sights on one often overlooked facet of forging life together: the magnetic power of shared memories. Those common narratives bind ethnic groups together and keep them apart. This book explores the sociological and theological dimensions of social memory and considers the particularly powerful tool preaching could be for shaping individuals who are willing to risk remembering their people's past in church and for shaping churches capable of hearing those stories. While keenly aware of the complex dynamics involved, Lamb ultimately gives pastors and other church leaders a glimmer of hope as they seek to build reconciled communities of faith.
Endorsements & Reviews-
"Here is help for those who are dissatisfied with quick, shallow, and finally ineffectual 'y'all come' approaches to the important, difficult task of forming healthy multi-ethnic churches. Lamb provides challenging but hope-giving guidance for thoughtful preachers and congregational leaders who take seriously their calling to honor congregants' diverse histories. Especially noteworthy is her theologically sensitive exploration of the role of memory for ethnic and Christian identity." --Marguerite Shuster, Senior Professor of Preaching and Theology, Fuller Theological Seminary
"The church is in need of a serious 'come to Jesus moment' to figure out who they are and who they need to be in a changing world. This book does it ingeniously by honoring a community's collective memory at the center. Lamb tackles the issues of preaching in multi-cultural churches with integrity and intentionality that are important both to the future church and in the honoring of memory in those communities." --Karyn Wiseman, Homiletics Professor at Lutheran Seminary, Philadelphia
Lisa Washington Lamb
Lisa Lamb has taught preaching at Fuller Theological Seminary and is an ordained minister with the Presbyterian Church (USA). She served on staff with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at UC Santa Cruz and at Harvard University.