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Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  7,951 Ratings  ·  992 Reviews
From New York Times bestselling author Rachel Held Evans comes a book that is both a heartfelt ode to the past and hopeful gaze into the future of what it means to be a part of the Church.


Like millions of her millennial peers, Rachel Held Evans didn't want to go to church anymore. The hypocrisy, the politics, the gargantuan building budgets, the scandals--church culture se
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Paperback, 268 pages
Published April 14th 2015 by Thomas Nelson
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Sarah Hi Tiffany, Sorry I didn't answer your question sooner! I'm just now seeing it...Not the best at navigating Goodreads yet.

I actually wrote a couple…more
Hi Tiffany, Sorry I didn't answer your question sooner! I'm just now seeing it...Not the best at navigating Goodreads yet.

I actually wrote a couple reviews about this book (shameless link to my blog below). I bought a copy after reading it the first time, have re-read it multiple times since, and have recommended it to quite a few people. If you end up liking this book, her "Year of Biblical Womanhood" is also quite good.

https://sarahchristinewritesablog.wor...

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Lizzy
Mar 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was raised in the Christian tradition of Evangelicalism and have become, and seen friends become, increasingly unsettled and discouraged by trends we see in the American Church. We have watched churches value purity over people, a new building over their neighbors, and one's political party over their participation in the Kingdom of God. It is with this backdrop I read Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans. Rachel brilliantly weaves story, humor, history, and exhortation to share about "th ...more
Robert Durough, Jr.
Apr 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
Rachel Held Evans is a blogger with a substantial following, from what I hear, though I’ve not read any of her posts. In fact, Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church is the first bit of writing I’ve read of Rachel’s. Friends who speak positively about her (those who know her and those who read her) tend to be of the same theological cloth—promote ordination of women as leaders in churches and promote the acceptance of homosexual relationships in the church; those who speak ...more
Jessica Brazeal
Mar 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This was the perfect book for me in the present moment. If I said nothing else about Rachel Held Evans' new book 'Searching for Sunday,' I would say this: this book made me feel like I am not alone.

I was given the opportunity to receive an advance copy of 'Searching for Sunday' and I am so very grateful. This book hit the spot in my heart that has been so wounded, so hurt, and so incredibly scared and spoke words that comforted, validated, and encouraged. This book made me feel hopeful and brav
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Ioana
I will not write a long review, I will simply say that Rachel Evans is very good with words, a fantastic writer, but her arguments are not biblical, no matter how you want to look at them. I think this is probably one of the "feel good" books we keep hearing about, making room for every form of "Christianity", whether its base is the Bible or not. She uses as arguments the Orthodox and Roman sacraments to support a very, very liberal mentality that is not rooted in the Scripture. What she calls ...more
Bob
Jul 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian
Searching for Sunday, Rachel Held Evans. Nashville: Nelson Books, 2015.

Summary: As the subtitle suggests, this is a narrative of the author's struggle between loving and leaving the Church, only to find her loved renewed through the sacramental practices that she sees at the heart of the Church's life.

True confessions. I've had a like-dislike affair (love-hate is too strong) with the writing of Rachel Held Evans. Ever since I first encountered her blog posts, I have admired the freshness, authen
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TinaB
Jun 22, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: religion
Drivel.

One woman's progressive look at how to be a liberal democrat and an acceptable modern day Christian....at the same time.....

My take on this book, the two personalities don't mix well, nor should they, each mindset completely contradicts the other. Most of this book is about demonizing conservative Christians and the Bible while Evans claims to be a liberal Christian fighting for gay rights and women's leadership roles in the church.

Her feet are dipped in both worlds, but clearly nothing
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Andi
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: re-read
6/5/18 - The re-read was just as good, if not better, than the first one.

Life changing. I'll write a whole review. OH yeah, right here: http://estellasrevenge.blogspot.com/2...
Valerie
Apr 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Jacob wrestled with God; I seem to be wrestling with the bride of Christ. My copy arrived yesterday, on a Sunday that had left me with more angst than usual about the church. I devoured the words in less than 24 hours. It's not that Rachel Held Evans gives a solution to my frustrations with the church, it's more that she just gives reassurance that it's not just me and that it is indeed the very nature of the church to be flawed. And so I find strength to continue in this relationship that both ...more
Banner
Apr 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: religious
I do love the church. And I admit that I don't always appreciate hearing harsh criticism toward the church. (Even though I freely admit sometimes the church deserve this). But what we find here is not harsh criticism but the sincer longings of a insider that has come to have some very serious problems with the church that she has loved (and I believe still loves).

She makes beautiful use of language to describe things spiritual. She takes us on a journey through the sacraments as she has experie
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Scott
Mar 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A Journey Towards the Trinity? Searching for Sunday

I am not a millennial. I live with two of them in my home – well, one is part time now that she has gone to college. However, I have always had a difficult time figuring out which group I truly relate to the most. I could be a “Boomer”. No doubt my bowing to the god of consumerism labels me this way many times. I could be a “Gen-X” or “Buster”. God, my supervisors and my colleagues in ministry know that I have spent more than my fair share of ti
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Bobbi
Apr 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
The strength of this book is the author's willingness to be transparent with her struggles and her love hate relationship with the Church.This personal struggle of how to be "Christian" and question the practices and beliefs of the church is the story of many of us--regardless of being boomers, genxers, or millennials. Using seven sacraments of the church, the author emphasizes the importance of each one and how they, "the sacraments invited me to touch, smell, taste, hear, and see God in the st ...more
Amy Langmaack
Aug 18, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2016, reviewed, netgalley
I found this book to be seriously lacking. I was intrigued by the title Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving and Finding the Church because I have upon occasion also felt like I was searching for the best church "home." Instead, what the book delivered was a memoir of Held Evans journey through dissatisfaction with most churches she has encountered. Held Evans recounts her journey of finding church congregations to be lacking and their belief systems to be lack luster.

Rather than providing cla
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Tim Chavel
Jul 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Rachel Held Evans and I have several things we disagree. She believes same sex marriage is Biblically acceptable, she believes women can be pastors; I disagree with both of these issues. By thw way, Rachel is happily married to a man. She is not a lesbian. However, Rachel does make me think and for that I am grateful. She grew up believing the same things I believe. She went to Bryan College in Dayton, TN. Her Dad taught on the staff of that college. I read this book because I enjoy reading this ...more
Kris
Jan 01, 2016 rated it it was ok
It's such good writing. If only it had good theology too...

I'm struggling with writing a review for this one. On the one hand, Evans has a real talent for writing, and uses words beautifully. This book was generally an enjoyable read. I'm sure Evans is a great motivational speaker and has inspired many people.

On the other hand, this book is a lot of talk, and little substance. It's vague and undefined. It's a lot of emphasis on Christians, not the cross. Oddly as an evangelical, Evans uses the s
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Paul
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
I've had to sit with this a while to figure out why I was so disappointed with it. I'm still not sure I've figured it out. I like Rachel as a person, as a speaker and as a blogger, and I really liked the concept of Searching for Sunday – telling her story of giving up on and returning to the church through the lens of the seven sacraments. But in the end, there wasn't much of her story, even though that's easily the part I most enjoyed. Instead, her journey was drowned out by overwritten prose o ...more
Sarah Hyatt
Mar 13, 2015 rated it did not like it
This was both Rachel Held Evans' strongest and weakest book.

Strongest, because the writing is, at times, gorgeous. Specifically, her imagery of Sunday afternoons called to mind my own childhood vividly. I love a good religious memoir, and this book is that.

Except.

Rachel Held Evans is someone who has built her "brand" and following on her continual struggle with the church, due primarily to the church's lack of concern for particular groups. I believe this was sincere, and while reading I got th
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Emma
Mar 22, 2016 rated it liked it
I've been struggling with my own faith and relationship to my church for several years now. It's a lonely journey and there need to be more books like this about such journeys. My background is not the same as the authors, but I saw so much of my struggle and my thoughts reflected back in many of her words.

It's difficult to be constructive about a piece that is so incredibly personal, but my one issue would likely be that the author goes off on some tangents, that, quite frankly, I ended up ski
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Annie Rim
Mar 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviews
What I appreciate most about the book is that Evans doesn't attempt to speak for an entire generation - she tells her story. But, in doing so, she captures many of the feelings and experiences of the millennial generation. This is not a theology text, but a story of journey and discovery. Anyone who is critical of or curious as to why millennials are leaving the church would benefit from the insights and questions this book brings up.

**I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for
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Danielle Wells
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was personally good for me and my state of affairs at the moment = 5 star rating. Coming from a fundamental, evangelical religious background, I could resonate with almost everything she wrote. I think this book wouldn't be for everyone unless you were dissatisfied with religion/"the church" or wanting to leave it or have friends/family who are in the same situation and you're wanting to understand. This crosses denominational barriers as well. The illustrations and stories contained i ...more
Faith
Jan 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was healing and freeing and convicting. It made me feel like a normal human and made me want the Church that God had in mind. Would definitely recommend!!!
Bekah Puddington
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
2.5-3 stars.
[Confession/Disclaimer - I skimmed the last two and a half parts; I was getting bored.]

It was okay. I definitely had some moments of resonance w/ RHE re: her frustrations w/ the evangelical church. Nothing really novel for me here in these pages. Most moving parts included stories in chapter "Healing." The book did also provide some interesting quotes & references to other resources for further reading, etc.

I appreciate the author writing this book & telling her story, but I
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Joy Matteson
Apr 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Disclaimer: I've read all of Evans' books, and have followed her blog for years. In my opinion, this is her best book yet, because she places her finger on the pulse of why so many of us hesitate before walking up to the church doors on Sunday mornings. Some of my friends and family dislike Evans' harsh tone on her blog or in her books. Yet here, she shows us her vulnerable side of church--how she was a part of a fledgling church plant that fizzled out. How the church she grew up in has a myster ...more
Steve
Jan 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
(March 7, 2016): 4.5 stars, really. Evans has such a way with language that seems to encapsulate profound truths in what appear to be simple statements. Fortunately for us all she marries that talent to great courage, humility, compassion, vulnerability, and an unflinching passion to know, and not simply accept. I very seldom do this, but I intend to read this book again, this time making notes, highlighting, thinking more carefully about what she says, and probably sharing quotes until my frien ...more
Larry Hansen
Jan 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Some people leave the Church and discover a wonderful world without it.
Others leave the Church but miss the community, social and worship, and they are troubled by the cognitive dissonance resulting from the culture and Christ's teaching. This book is for the latter.
The author tries to reconcile her childhood church experience with a more mature look at some of the crazy stuff done in the name of the church. She does a decent job but is obviously still on her journey.
If she ever transcends churc
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Judy
Jun 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
I ended up liking this book very much. Honest,painful, and smart, Rachel Held Evans holds on to her faith despite the failings of the church and its people. She lands in an Episcopalian community who loves her for showing up, not what she can do or say. Her call for community and sacrament resonates with me, even though she writes for millennials. Great read.
Shawn Birss
Jun 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction-2017
Searching for Sunday is composed of a series of vignettes that form a memoir of Rachel Held Evans' lifetime of experiences with church. It generally follows a path from her youth as a plugged in and sold out evangelical, through her disillusionment and doubt in her late adolescence, her disappointment and grief at the dissolution of a church she had helped start, to her finally making some piece with church as an idea, the church as a body, and finding her place in her own community.

Rachel Held
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Jim
Some friends and I (who I was reading this book with) compared her to some other popular Christian authors. She comes in above the rest because her writing is relatable. I think there are some stuffy old white men who don’t really get feedback from their writing. But RHE is a blogger and is constantly getting feedback - I think that’s part of the reason she’s so good. (I didn’t come up with that - I have to give credit to a friend for it.)

In this book, Rachel discusses her journey searching for
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Stephanie
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"In my struggle to find church, I've often felt that if I could just find the right denomination or the right congregation, if I could just become the right person or believe the right things, then my search would be over at last. But right's got nothing to do with it. Waiting around for right will leave you waiting around forever. The church is God saying: "I'm throwing a banquet, and all of these mismatched, messed-up people are invited. Here, have some wine." - page 152

Searching for Sunday is
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Rachel
Jul 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: faith
My main frustration with this book is that it felt like it was trying to be too many things at once all while lacking organization. A book can be a presentation and appreciation of the sacraments, a memoir, and a discussion of the church in present day America, but it cannot be all three equally. The focus of the book seemed to change from chapter to chapter, paragraph to paragraph. I think some books can pull this off, but it is certainly not easy to do, and even then it has to have a main focu ...more
Melodie Ellison
Apr 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I rarely write book reviews because I feel like each book is going to speak to us differently. But I want to write this review to thank the author, Rachel Held Evans, and to encourage others who have been in similar circumstances to read this book. The church can be a hostile place for those not wishing to put on the mask of “perfect Christian” or for those questioning, or for those wanting to have the tough conversations, or for women. I related on so many levels to the stories in this book and ...more
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #32 Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans 1 5 Mar 05, 2016 05:33PM  
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672 followers
Rachel Held Evans is a New York Times best-selling author whose books include Faith Unraveled (2010), A Year of Biblical Womanhood (2012), and Searching for Sunday (2015). Hailing from Dayton, Tennessee—home of the famous Scopes Monkey Trial of 1925— she writes about faith, doubt and life in the Bible Belt.

Rachel has been featured in The Washington Post, The Guardian, Christianity Today, Slate, T
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“I told them we’re tired of the culture wars, tired of Christianity getting entangled with party politics and power. Millennials want to be known by what we’re for, I said, not just what we’re against. We don’t want to choose between science and religion or between our intellectual integrity and our faith. Instead, we long for our churches to be safe places to doubt, to ask questions, and to tell the truth, even when it’s uncomfortable. We want to talk about the tough stuff—biblical interpretation, religious pluralism, sexuality, racial reconciliation, and social justice—but without predetermined conclusions or simplistic answers. We want to bring our whole selves through the church doors, without leaving our hearts and minds behind, without wearing a mask.” 28 likes
“Imagine if every church became a place where everyone is safe, but no one is comfortable. Imagine if every church became a place where we told one another the truth. We might just create sanctuary.” 26 likes
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