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Reframing Hope: Vital Ministry in a New Generation

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4.21  ·  Rating details ·  72 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Much has been written about the changing landscape the church finds itself in, and even more about the church's waning influence in our culture. From her vantage point as an under-40 pastor, Carol Howard Merritt, author of Tribal Church, moves away from the handwringing toward a discovery of what ministry in, with, and by a new generation might look like. What does the sub ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published August 23rd 2010 by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
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Abbie Watters
Feb 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Rereading in a new context.

Already a known quantity in the world of post-modernism in American Christianity, Carol Howard Merritt has published her second book Reframing Hope: Vital Ministry in a New Generation. This is not a rehash of her previous work. Rather it builds and expands on it. In Tribal Church, Merritt was primarily concerned with "Where are the young people? What do they want?" In Reframing Hope, she emphasizes the need to stay grounded in the traditions of our mainline churches, w
...more
Sara
Jan 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019, read-for-work
How quickly books about the "new" realities of culture and generation can already seem out of date! Despite that, I found this book to have many hopeful and useful ideas for staying vital and hopeful in the current reality of ministry and church work.
Jen
Jul 09, 2013 rated it liked it
This was a great book for reading over lunch breaks, really, as Merritt's writing voice is incredibly easy, accessible, and clear. Also funny, which is always a bonus.

So, the thing about this is that it was written by a woman. By an under-40 woman. By an under-40 woman in the Presbyterian church. Gasp! And she never lets you forget any of these things, because she understands that hitting that target is what has created the market for her voice. I get that, but I felt rather overwhelmed by the a
...more
David Glasgow
Carol Howard Merritt started her writing career as a blogger, which goes a long way toward explaining what's wrong with this book.

Not that there's anything implicitly wrong in the mind of "the blogger," or the habit of blogging, or even with the blog posts that Merritt has written. I follow many blogs, and find much wisdom, inspiration, and challenge in their pithy, Really Simply Syndicated words. But I couldn't help but feel, as I read through Reframing Hope, that I was reading a collection of
...more
Martha
Feb 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2011
In her second book, Carol Howard Merritt lays out the case that there is hope for vital ministry in mainline churches. She asks the reader to consider how our culture has shifted, beginning with an examination of how we view authority and the ways that has changed in recent generations. She goes on to explore the way technology has changed both the medium and the message. She asks us to look at the ways activism has changed and our relationship with creation, then encourages us to look at new wa ...more
Robert D. Cornwall
In this, her second book (the first being Tribal Church: Ministering to the Missing Generation), Carol Howard Merritt offers us a portal through which we can look at the church as it stands today and then begin to see a trajectory upon which a renewed and revisioned church can begin taking its journey into the future. In days of yore, we looked to the elders of the community for sage advice, but now is a time to hear valuable words of wisdom from those who are agile and adept in their participa ...more
Jennifer Brinkmeyer
Mar 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book raises more questions than it answers, and that's great. I'm still mulling it all over, and because of the subject matter, I don't need her to fix all my wonders. This book reframes the millennial generation--something, as a millennial, I am ashamed to admit I needed to hear. She shifts our assumption of millennial and subsequent digital natives as pathetic tech addicts to a stance of hope. She starts by explaining why we are the way we are and what greatness will come to the kingdom t ...more
Julia
Mar 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Merritt makes a powerful case for the future hope of the church. Rather than continuing to rework the same efforts and wondering (or damning) the lack of response, she encourages congregations of today to look how God is working in the world through technology, smaller communities, intentions and social justice in small and large scale efforts. If we can reframe our understanding of church, our ministries will be transformed and, through praying with our feet and our hands, so will our faith. He ...more
Diane
May 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
I really like this author, read Tribal Church, and liked this book too. But I did not find it as compelling as the former. I'm not sure why; it might be that I read this book just after I read Almost Christian, which I'm still thinking about.

I really appreciate Carol's insights about doing genuine ministry that connects with young adults, but I'm trying to connect the frames around hope with the content of our hope: what do we hope for? Is it the same or a different hope than that of other gener
...more
writer...
Aug 28, 2010 rated it liked it
here's a bit from Alban on the book ~

*Hope may look different to a 25-year-old web designer than it does to a 60-year-old deacon. But it is hope nonetheless.

In Reframing Hope, Carol Howard Merritt takes a look at what ministry in, with, and by a new generation might look like. She understands that we are not creating from nothing the vital ministry of the next generation. Instead, we are working through what we have, sorting out the best parts, acknowledging and healing from the worst, and refra
...more
Lauren
Aug 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: work
I read this book as part of a workshop on Adult Faith Development, and in general I've found it useful and astute. The author's comments on our new virtual reality speak strongly to the thoughts my congregation and I have been having together for the last year or so. Her language and observations about God and Jesus don't speak to me as strongly, but I could rethink those parts in Unitarian Universalist terms and be okay with them.
Naomi
Nov 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christianity
Carol Howard Merritt weaves together the People of the Word and the People of New Media, providing an accessible introductory text for congregational leaders and elders. Some questions for discussion to reflect on her text: How does technology shape generational ways of meaning-making? How are we currently engaged in many of the old familiar activities using new tools? How do we share authentically, stay true to what is most important, and innovate to meet the new needs in our world?
Elsa
Apr 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
It's surprising how only six years have changed how we talk about social media. I was reminded of this in reading Carol's words and gentle reminder to create new spaces for grace in the church. And yet, it seems we still need the reminder. These words still ring true.
Jim
Oct 20, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
Written from a mainline perspective this book contains some important insights about ministry and culture that those from other perspectives will find helpful.
Doug Browne
Sep 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
If you're concerned about generational issues in the Church, you need to read this book. It will be part of defining the conversation for years to come.
Sarah Weisiger
Jan 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Decent book, pretty standard for this category of literature, but some interesting ideas to think about, particularly in the area of nature and childhood.
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Rev. Carol Howard Merritt (@CarolHoward) is the award-winning author of Healing Spiritual Wounds: Reconnecting with a Loving God after Experiencing a Hurtful Church, (HarperOne) Tribal Church: Ministering to the Missing Generation (Alban) and Reframing Hope: Vital Ministry in a New Generation (Alban). She is a frequent contributor to books, websites, magazines, and journals. She blogs for the Ch ...more

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