A Faithful Public-Prophetic Witness

Dynamics, Challenges, and Ambiguities of Success in Urban & Community Ministries

By Barry K. Morris

Foreword by Tracy J. Trothen

A Faithful Public-Prophetic Witness

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  • ISBN: 9781532684340
  • Pages: 198
  • Publication Date: 3/20/2020
  • Retail Price: $25.00
Web Price: $20.00
Web Price: $20.00

A Faithful Public-Prophetic Witness

Dynamics, Challenges, and Ambiguities of Success in Urban & Community Ministries

By Barry K. Morris

Foreword by Tracy J. Trothen

paperback-logo

PAPERBACK

  • ISBN: 9781532684340
  • Pages: 198
  • Publication Date: 3/20/2020
  • Retail Price: $25.00
Web Price: $20.00

About-

This book hails from decades of challenging trial-and-error work, abundant reading, and an enduring obligation to ministers, activists, and unsung lay heroes whose legacies matter. As there is little that actually addresses the elusive meanings, if not the dangers inherent in pursuing alleged spoils of “success,” it is kairos time. Seemingly scarce resources and competition to make and maintain ministries in the city challenge those of us in the field, or on the sidelines, to speak, write, and communicate clearly, and convincingly—not only for ourselves and our “people,” past and present, but for those who come along soon to receive the baton or wear the mantle.

Concretely narrated, with unique case studies, a cast of dozens contribute their earthy, earnest testimonies and are, at long last, energetically affirmed. Specifically, this work proffers constructive attention to the critical cautions concerning subtle temptations to “succeed,” including: commodification, cooptation, communalism, clientelism, and cowardice—and, not bailing on fierce charity-justice tensions (with benevolence protectively dominant). Narrative analysis and biography-as-theology, social ethics, biblical theology, and recent church history give apt attention to how a compelling case is possible for success, if justice is practiced, given a hopeful realism and perspective of prophetic eschatology.

Endorsements & Reviews-

“Barry Morris serves as a creative and faithful guide through the tensions of pursuing both systemic justice and a personal ministry of solidarity and compassion. If you want to learn how to be a faithful prophetic witness to the justice and love of the triune God in the urban context, Morris’s book provides a superb resource. Reading it inspired me to get back at it.”

—Tim Dickau, author of Plunging into the Kingdom Way



“Many seminarians idealize true ministry as service to society’s neglected and forgotten, but clergy who faithfully dedicate themselves to showing the face of Christ to the inhabitants of and sojourners through urban alleyways, parks, and shelters encounter the realities of systemic obstacles, including the easy temptation to deliver charity rather than working justice. Barry Morris is one such dedicated minister.”

—Bruce Taylor, author of The Word in the Wind



“We North Americans live in an era when our grasp of Christian ministry is torn between a defense of nineteenth-century moralism and capitulation to the demands of a consumer society. A Faithful Public-Prophetic Witness calls us to something far more biblical, recovering what genuinely good news (the real meaning of ‘evangelical’) would look like. Barry Morris has given us an opening toward that recovery.”

—John Badertscher, retired Methodist minister and professor



“Compassion marked Barry as a teenager and marks him still—along with his determination to journey into the darkest corners of cities, armored with the love of God and all whom God has created. This book is an account of Barry’s urban ministry. It is about love. It is about championing justice over charity. It is moving.”

—Michael Valpy, University of Toronto



“Barry acquired his wisdom as a sage by walking among the humble on the notorious east side of Vancouver for decades. Those of us who know his work here hold him in the highest esteem. In this important book he enlarges our understanding with case studies from the world beyond Vancouver. This is the book I have been waiting for.”

—Bruce K. Alexander, Simon Fraser University

Contributors-

Barry K. Morris
Tracy J. Trothen

Bio(s)-

Barry K. Morris is a United Church of Canada urban minister of several decades; an independent scholar; social justice and New Green Deal activist; member of the AAR, Merton, and Niebuhr societies; and author/coauthor of The Word on the Street (1991); Hopeful Realism in Urban Ministry (2016); and, via theses, engaging urban ministry and theology for both MTh (1999) and MPhil (2017) degrees.

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