City of God: Faith in the Streets
From the acclaimed author of Take This Bread and Jesus Freak comes a powerful new account of venturing beyond the borders of religion into the unpredictable territory of faith.
On Ash Wednesday, 2012, Sara Miles and her friends left their church buildings and carried ashes to the buzzing city streets: the crowded dollar stores...more
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Let me begin with the writing. Sara Miles is a talented storyteller, comparable to similar memoir writers like Anne Lamott and Augusten Burroughs. And her love for her city and the people in it is evident on every page of the book... mostly, anyway.
There is something beautiful going on here. I commend Sara Miles for her candor and her courage, and especially for her love for people of all kinds, all walks of life. There is much of the work of Chr ...more
Miles, Director of Ministry at St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church in San Francisco, shares experiences from Ash Wednesday services over the years, as she and others share the experience on the streets of the Mission neighborhood.
Miles writes in similar ways to Anne Lamott, as she almost talks to herself in the pages. At times questioning the e ...more
Here is a very insightful and experiential account of a personal encounter with humani ...more
The book is about taking ashes out into the street on Ash Wednesday 2012 in the Mission District of San Francisco where she's lived for about 20 years. She's a convert, attends St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church where she started a food pantry. She's somewhat surprised to be a convert.
One of the best things about the book is how s ...more
"God forgives you...but pay attention" (p. 105).
"And I believed in mercy because I knew how quickly even my stupidest, most ordinary sins could drag me into a spiral of misery. I'd be mean, or lazy, or selfish, and feel bad about it, and so I'd become meaner, less able ...more
My whole neighborhood is God's City. How do I manage to not pay attention for so long, when God is sending out signs as unsubtly as a popsicle vendor ringing the bells on his pushcart and screeching paleeeetttas to announce his presence. (61)
When you receive ashes in a church Vera said You have to work a little to connect it to the world, to suffering, loss and absence out on the street, there are still distractions but the scars are going to be visable everyone's life ...more
At one level, this is the story of Ash Wednesday as some Christians practice it in the Mission in San Francisco. At another level it is about faith getting out of church and into the neighborhood. Most powerfully, perhaps, it is about the author's journey into deeper relationship with those with whom she shares life in her chosen communities.
As one who has lived with questions about the "Ashes to Go" movement (a parallel development to the practices described in this book) I now ...more