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One Coin Found: How God's Love Stretches to the Margins

4.53  ·  Rating details ·  287 ratings  ·  47 reviews
The stories of Scripture are for everyone. No exceptions.

Emmy Kegler has a complicated relationship with the Bible. As a queer woman who grew up in both conservative Evangelical and progressive Protestant churches, she knows too well how Scripture can be used to wound and exclude. And yet, the stories of Scripture continue to captivate and inspire her--both as a person of
Paperback, 200 pages
Published April 2nd 2019 by Fortress Press
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Average rating 4.53  · 
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 ·  287 ratings  ·  47 reviews

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Hannah Bergstrom de Leon
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A bit about me: I am a pastor in a liberal progressive mainline denomination. I read a lot of theology and a lot of memoirs.

When the two collide, as they do in "One Coin Found," I often find moments of connection, but rarely am I overwhelmed and shouting "AMEN!" like I was while reading Kegler's story.

Kegler is able to mine her (rather short) life story and articulate how God has shown up, sometimes in the most frustrating of places. She uses her story of an "ordinary life" in suburban MN to ill
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’m a little amazed my pen still has ink in it after all the underlining I did in this book. Emmy Kegler honestly tells her story with strength and vulnerability. I laughed out loud at her snarky side comments and at the universality in the stories she shares of the human experience. Tears gathered in my eyes as I read experiences to which I have no direct connection. As an ally to the LGBTQ+ community, this book helped me to more fully understand her experience and to feel the pain of not being ...more
May 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sabbatical
Delightful read. Great story of a brave and strong young queer woman bringing boundless curiosity and fierce intellect to the stories of the Bible and the practices of the church--and finding a place where she (and readers) feel found and at home.
Layton E.
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I knew Emmy’s book would be good because I’ve known for years that she was a gifted theologian, writer, exegete, and storyteller. What I didn't know was how good her book would be *for me*. Shortly after starting it I told her, “I may have to read this slowly, in pieces. Because if I read it all at once I’m afraid it’ll make me sick the way you get sick from eating too fast after you’ve been starving.” I had no idea how hungry I was for Emmy’s words.

Like Emmy, I grew up loving the stories of ou
Ellie Roscher
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Put the Bible in the hands of a hyper-intelligent woman, a lover of stories, a vivacious reader and a queer human who lives with depression, anxiety and perfectionism. Then listen. Listen closely to her and to what sees, what she lives, and what she has to say. One Coin Found is a priceless gem. It is poetic, honest and oh so rich. Emmy Kegler reminds us of the necessity of impossibility when it comes to the God whose love is seeking us.
Melissa Flo-bix
Mar 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
For those of us who grew up in churches closed off from the gifts of LGBTQ+ people we often find the door to new possibilities opens in one of two directions. We are either given personal stories of LGBTQ+ Christians or exegetical/theological treatises. Rev. Emmy Kegler's One Coin Found offers us the best of both worlds with a compassionate, well-written personal account of her experience of coming to embrace the fullness of her identity as a queer Christian alongside rich, well-researched, and ...more
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If the last couple of years in the United States have taught us nothing else, they've taught us the importance of stories. In One Coin Found, Emmy Kegler tells us a story about struggling with mental illness, wrestling with faith, and rejecting human rejection in favor of God's infuriating grace. Her questions, her vulnerability, and her skill as a storyteller invite us into a place where we can be honest about who we are, and be loved for it. One Coin Found provides that space for everyone, but ...more
Dara (Dara Reads OK)
Jun 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: faith
Warm and lovely. Emmy has done a wonderful job of making a place for queer Christians online and I’m glad she was able to tell her own story.
Nov 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Not a book meant to convince or persuade anyone. This memoir weaves Bible and world together into a cohesive whole.
Jan 30, 2020 rated it liked it
Kegler is a magnificent writer. Her ability in words to draw a picture; to pull the reader into her narrative; to express in poetic prose the feelings and attitude of a soul is exceptional. She has to power to get a reader to grasp her feelings and thought.

If this monograph suffers from a flaw, it is falling in the crack between a memoir and a theological argument. She does both well, but I found both wanting, victim of the work of the other. She tells powerful stories of her childhood and adole
Corina Dulecki
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I became aware of Emmy Kegler through social media and lovingly call her one of my social media pastors. I was so excited when her book came out and finished reading it in one evening. Now I have to re read it so I can truly let her wisdom sink it. This author and pastor is wise beyond her years.
David Jordan
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Many Christian memoirs have been written in the last decade or so, some by ministers and other religious leaders, and a lot of those are worthwhile reads even for the non-religious community. Among those, One Coin Found may be one of the best. Earnest believers, skeptical religious wallflowers, and good-hearted heathens will be some of the readers most enthralled with this surprisingly well-written debut. You'll discover a powerful and moving account of growing up gay and devout among earnest Ch ...more
Walid Nasrallah
Aug 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Surprisingly coherent theology

This was recommended as the top work of a narrow genre, theology by a deeply introspective and intellectually incisive but refreshingly unpedantic worship leader who happens to know firsthand the struggle against acceptance of queer, female or outcast people.

In her own words :

"I returned to the stories, working my fingers into them like fibers in a loom, unwilling to let go of the God of the Scriptures for the easier God of masculinity and might."

"I knew the world p
Laura Parrott Perry
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As someone who left the church at a fairly young age, I am fascinated by Scripture and have an awful lot to learn. Trouble is, most books about the Bible make me feel sort of lonely. Too many authors when dealing with Scripture use it to tighten the circle, leave people out. Not this one. Emmy Kegler has the kind of warm and vulnerable voice that reads like an invitation. She uses the story of her own struggle to make sense of her calling to a church and profession that frequently seeks to exclu ...more
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Emmy Kegler beautifully and thoughtfully weaves her personal story with practical theology in a way that is accessible and powerful. Kegler's fresh perspective on well-known passages in scripture are life-giving to those who know the Bible well, and those who have never read it. Her smart humor and solid understanding of scripture makes this a great read for anyone, but especially for those longing to hear a word of grace. I consider this REQUIRED reading for folks who lead in congregations, esp ...more
Sandi Poyer
Dec 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I’d probably really rate this a 4 1/2 only because, for many people, the theology might be burdensome. But for someone who is actively engaged in church and questioning the direction that some churches might take, this is an excellent read. Emmy Kegler lays out her struggles with depression which I believe is a byproduct for many members of the LGBTQ+ community primarily because of how the world treats them. I’m tired of any humans being mistreated in the name of religion. Jesus loves all and th ...more
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The best books give us the gift of empathy, seeing the world through another's eyes so clearly that you can experience the pain and joy that they have gone through and hopefully add those lived experiences to our own cache of knowledge and wisdom, moving forward a better person, able to communicate and be in community with others in our shared world. This is one of those books, so illuminating I found myself highlighting, underlining, making comments in the margins and exclamation points next t ...more
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One Coin Found is the story of Pastor Emmy Kegler and her journey to discover herself, her relationship with God, and how she set out to fall in love with Scripture.

In doing so, she brings the reader along on her journey through a series of flashbacks, recounting her experiences with the Bible—learning as a queer woman how Scripture can be used to hurt and exclude, but also how God reaches beyond the hurt to lift up one’s spirit through love.

This book is for anyone who has a complicated relatio
Myles Markham
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
For anyone living the question about whether or not all the barriers that they were told exist between them and God, this book is for you. Emmy’s story is both her own and countless others who experience A Broke Back Mountain kind of “I-Can’t-Quit-You” sort of love affair with their faith and the often sharp edges of the Christian scriptures. The “good news” that Emmy illuminates in One Coin Found is that Jesus’ gospel isn’t a story that ends in star-crossed love between God and all our individu ...more
So much to love. Heartfelt story, thought-through theology, chock full scripture references (all footnoted!), includes suggestions for further reading..I sticky-notes so many pages to come back to. This particularly resonated with me because of my own queerness (and can I say how deeply I appreciate that Emmy Kegler didn’t leave out the T in LGBTQ but wrote about and to trans people too—it’s a rare thing, I’m coming to find out) but I think it’s a great book to read if you are straight and cisge ...more
Susan Marrier
I attended a workshop led by Ms. Kegler at the Affirm United convention in Calgary last summer (2019), so was looking forward to reading her book. Her memoir moves between her struggles with self-acceptance and non-acceptance by her church because of her sexuality, and her struggles with Scripture. There is some good in-depth, insightful writing, and I found myself nodding in agreement many times. However, because she tries to cover so much, seemingly trying to say everything at once, her thread ...more
Sylvia Radford
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“Dare to be found.” The final line the book summarizes its entirety. Whether you are new to the Bible, or have studied it for many years, this book can speak to you. Within the framework of memoir, Kegler reveals the all-encompassing nature of God’s love. She makes herself vulnerable, using herself as an example of how a queer female, hearing God’s call, can challenge standard interpretations of the Bible and succeed, becoming a pastor. At some point in our lives, most of us become broken and lo ...more
Tami Groth
Apr 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I could barely put this book down! Although our stories are different Emmy’s words reached out to my soul again and again. This book is pure gift to those of us drawn to God again and again in spite of all in this world that would seek to separate us.

I’m still pondering much of it and will return to it many times before I can offer you all anything more objective about this gift of a book. In the meantime I will continue to recommend it to all who have the desire to be found and rest in God’s l
Samantha Solberg
May 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"We are the sum of who we have been and who we are and who we might yet become, and to own that truth is to bear witness to a God who can make miracles out of mess."

In One Coin Found, Kegler does a beautiful job weaving her own story into her reflections on scripture. I was drawn in by her honesty, depth, and bravery as she revealed her journey in the pages. I would recommend this book to anyone who has struggled to find their place in scripture, in the church, or in the world. This book will we
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An intellectual and emotional appeal to grace

This book is important. It provides an intellectual, emotional appeal to grace. The author shares her story and the stories of others, relying on scripture, theological training, tradition, reason, and her lived experience. Her work joins the call of God for us to admit our failings and frailties, accept each other and God’s love for us, and work toward a better community of church.
Brittany Loughman
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christianity
What a gift this book is! Rev. Emmy Kegler helps me to believe that even here, “on this side of the veil,” in this Church that has caused and continues to cause so much pain, there is still beauty. There is still hope. God has not left or forsake us. He still searches us out, sweeping beneath the furniture and getting down on hands and knees to find His dusty, rusting, beloved coin.
Sue Leibnitz
May 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I wish I could give this book more than 5 stars - it's one of the most beautiful, most poignant books I've read. It’s s courageous story. So beautifully written, poetic even. It engages Scripture in way that’s honest and deeply thoughtful. But the way it touched my soul is the part that’s beyond words. And that’s not an understatement. Just read it. I promise you will not be disappointed.
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
One coin Found tells how God looks for those who feel they live in a lost corner on the edges of religion. As a queer woman Emmy Keller often felt this way and shares her memoir of never really feeling as belonging, always different and not welcome at her place of worship. Now as a pastor she writes about the love God has for all and how we all belong.
Matthew R Hazzard
While I enjoyed this book, I was a little surprised by the author's acceptance of the historical Paul having written all the letters attributed to him despite the general consensus among scholars that he did not. Some of her problems with Paul could have been solved if only she had been more familiar with the research. ...more
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
So beautifully written! Familiar Bible stories I love, I was able to be joyfully surprised by!! I want to read more widely this year and seek to understand and listen to stories that challenge me. This gay Christian pastor is so vulnerable in this memoir, and I am challenged by her journey!! Highly recommend!!
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