This Odd and Wondrous Calling by Lillian Daniel

This Odd and Wondrous Calling

This Odd and Wondrous Calling offers something different from most books available on ministry. Two people still pastoring reflect honestly here on both the joys and the challenges of their vocation. Anecdotal and extremely readable, the book covers a diversity of subjects revealing the incredible variety of a pastor’s day. The chapters move from comedy to pathos, story to theology, Scripture to contemporary culture. This Odd and Wondrous Call...

Details This Odd and Wondrous Calling

TitleThis Odd and Wondrous Calling
Release DateSep 11th, 2009
GenreReligion, Nonfiction, Spirituality, Autobiography, Memoir, Theology, Church

Reviews This Odd and Wondrous Calling

  • Laura
    I'm a layperson in the Episcopal church, and I absolutely loved this book. I have a whole new appreciation for our priests and the work they do. And, I have to admit, there were certain places where I recognized myself in the parishioners, and had to cringe a bit! This book is definitely recommended, especially the first chapter, which discusses the holy imagination and chili mac. Hilarious and heartbreaking.
  • Liralen
    This should have been required reading in my first semester of divinity school. (I still would have quit, and without regret at that. But I might have felt a tad less isolated.) I know of no other book like This Odd and Wondrous Calling, writes Peter J. Gomes in the foreword, and I am convinced that it will come to play a useful and significant part of the formation of the clergy of the next generation (xiii). But let's come back to that.At any r...
  • Katherine Pershey
    I loved this book so much, and recommend it not only to fellow pastors, but also to the people who love us but think we might be a little bit nuts for doing what we do (including perhaps parishioners...)Many of the essays were familiar - literally, because I've read them in previous iterations in the pages of the Christian Century and Journal for Preachers. Others were familiar because they so faithfully reflected my own experiences in congregati...
  • Martha
    While I was glad to read a book that celebrates being in ministry (Copenhaver dialogues with Barbara Brown Taylor's "Leaving Church"), 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 writ...
  • Tad
    I would highly recommend this book for anyone considering going into the ministry (like myself) as it gives an honest, unflinching portrait of what it is really like to be in that field that can be so frustrating and exciting at the same time. Also recommended for current clergy who will probably be able to relate to many of the stories shared here. All in all, a wonderful and well-written book that had me both laughing and holding back tears, so...
  • Jonelle
    Just finished reading another book that I'll be reviewing this Sunday on pastor memoirs. This one was well written and offered two points of view--a 40-something female pastor and an older male pastor--both from the UCC denomination. It seemed to offer an honest appraisal of the work and would be a great book to read for those considering this kind of vocation.
  • Frances
    Enjoyed this book so much that I've given it to several people for ordination / installation gift.
  • Sadie
    Have you ever had the experience of reading a book and realizing that you're heard some of it before? I hadn't either until I read this book. There were a couple of chapters that were so familiar. I already knew the stories and I couldn't figure out why because I knew I had never read this book. That's when I remembered that I went to a book reading and discussion with both authors while I was in divinity school duh?I think it's better that I did...
  • Julie Golding Page
    Ever wondered what the everyday life of a minister is like? Or maybe you are one yourself, whether seasoned or brand-new to the role? Then this book is for you.This honest and eminently readable book takes those who are curious about or committed to life in the church through what is "ordinary" in the daily existence of a church pastor or priest. Topics include such varied things as what ministers' marriages are like and how ministers do regular ...
  • Trisha DeBoer
    "This Odd and Wondrous Calling" is an interesting book written from the perspectives of two pastors; one male, one female. Not only do they speak of their professional roles, but their private ones, as well. More interesting, both speak of how their private and professional roles mingle and enhance the other. The book was interesting, engaging, and theologically minded. I took very little issue with any of their theological views, and truly, I ap...
  • Abigail
    A really lovely collection. Beautifully written, with beautiful content too. As a parishioner, I appreciate the insights this gave me to pastoral life. As a reader, I appreciated how accessible this book is. Pick up and read a short, interesting chapter, one at a time. Skim and hop around. A book you might leave sitting out to dip into here and there - and I suspect more often than not you'll come out refreshed.
  • Melissa
    This is a very easy-to-digest and informative peek into the lives of two UCC ministers, in essay format. The authors alternate chapters, covering all kinds of topics, from being a minister in public to the politics of associate ministers. It's a quick reading, with some very touching and enlightening stories.
  • Jennifer
    This is such a wonderful book, written by two people who are candid and forthright and vulnerable in the expression of their opinions. I love being a pastor and have loved this calling for twenty eight years. Daniel and Copenhaver remind me of why I felt called to the ministry and still do after all these years.
  • Lydia
    This book is fantastic - it addressed just about every issue or question that I am facing in my first few months as a pastor - how to navigate titles, marriage, gender, money, preaching, ordination, community... I remember thinking at the beginning of every chapterm "oh yes, I was wondering about that, too." This book should be given to every newly ordained minister along with their stole.
  • Emma
    Wow. I really enjoyed this book. I appreciate their candor -- their ability to say things truthfully in a way that is both grounding and inspiring. Also, it's funny. I recommend to anyone with a minister somewhere in their life. [Reread January 2017]: Really glad to be rereading with my campus discernment group. Themes of prayer and humility especially resonated with me this time around.
  • Elsa
    There were many moments among these stories about the calling to be and remain in pastoral ministry that made me cry. Indeed, it is unique and wonderful work. And it's so odd how we come together to be the church but that's why I love it.
  • Anita
    Funny, winsome, wise and true, Lillian Daniel and Martin Copenhaver tell stories of their lives as parish pastors. The authors alternate chapters and topics. Both are gifted writers, and I found this book very enjoyable to read.
  • Joy Laughridge
    Lillian Daniel is my new inspiration. I related to the chapters on preaching and tithing and found a lot of humor and encouragement in them. The discovery that she was the bass player in an all-girl punk band before going to seminary also endeared me to her.
  • Ann
    I appreciated the honest reflections of these two pastors on the blessings and hard parts of everyday ministry. As a new pastor myself, I found the stories comforting, inspiring, and occasionally challenging. Plus, there were a few things to steal for future sermons, which is always a plus.
  • Shelie
    I think this may be the best book I've read in 2010. Personal stories of 2 ministers finding grace in the situations in which they have found themselves due to their vocational calling. Anyone involved in ministry at any level would enjoy this book.
  • Tamara Roberts
    This is an excellent book for an inside look at the life of a Pastor. This would be an important book for anyone in seminary (or considering going to seminary). I imagine it would also be a good book for lay people interested in just what (and why) their pastors do.
  • Evelyn
    A very insightful and provocative read about the lives of two ministers, one young and the other older, one a woman and the other a man. I would highly recommend for those interested in pastoral ministry.
  • Travis Stanley
    Best book on ministry I've ever read. Seriously. It's honest, compelling, and beautiful.
  • Nancy
    The two authors are ministers and write about various topics from their perspectives. It was interesting to read about their lives and there were lessons to be shared for my own life.
  • John Allen
    Wonderful anecdotal account of two different ministers experience of their vocations. Both the mundane and the profound.
  • David Bocock
    I think every minister, minister-wannabe, and seminary student simply must read this book. Regardless of your faith tradition, it is heartwarming, sad, powerful, and VERY insightful. I loved it!
  • John
    I enjoyed this far more than I expected to. Some great insights.
  • Lis
    An excellent book that all congregants should read. It gives a great look into what the life of a pastor is really like. It's very well written and a pleasure to read.
  • Dan Brunner
    I use this book in my Pastoral Ministry course. It is really one of the best books that I have read, in describing the joys and drawbacks of this unique calling.
  • Sarah King
    This made me laugh out loud in recognition in so many places!