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Posts Tagged ‘Hutchmoot’

The Monster in the Hollows

May 26, 2011 5 comments

348 pages of captivating

I hereby review the best book of the year for anyone who likes the Neat, the Strange, and/or the Yummy.  Andrew Peterson has written the third in his Wingfeather Saga, The Monster in the Hollows, and I have no problem declaring it terrific.  It lands in the “sweet spot” of books for me.

It can be difficult to find novels that intentionally place themselves within the larger story God is telling, especially difficult to find ones that are great – or even good for that matter.  Too often a Christian writes a book for other Christians and spoon feeds them empty calories, but not Peterson.  He writes this story for young adults and old adults whether they are followers of Christ or just thoughtful humans. 

Do I have to read the first two in order to understand and appreciate the third one? You may ask.  To that I would say, kind of.  Peterson does a good job of gently reprising when necessary, but, like all good and longish stories it takes more than one book to get it across well.  So I would encourage you to read all three if possible.  If not possible, you could go it alone.

I’ve loved his music for over a decade so when his first novel came out I was uber excited to read it because I expected to find the quick pay-off I enjoy in his music.  When it was slow in coming with the first in the Wingfeather Saga, On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, I was a little disappointed – mainly because I like instant gratification.  Then, the second in the Saga came out, North! or Be Eaten, which won a Christy Award in 2010, and I found the pay-off I’d been looking for.

As The Monster in the Hollows came out I knew what might be coming.  Turns out I did and I didn’t.  I was right about the story going even deeper and more meaningful than the first two.  I was wrong about what the “monster” in the hollows was.  The tale Peterson is weaving is on its way to greatness.

All the aspects of our reconciled story in Christ is found within the pages (or promises to be by the end of the Saga).  Community, Trinitarian themes, forgiveness, redemption, and a beautiful story of strength despite the threat of a coffin are all found within. 

Warning: Cliche on its way.  “If you read one book this summer, make it The Monster in the Hollows.”  If you read two other books this summer before you read The Monster in the Hollows, make them On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness (book 1), and North! or Be Eaten (book 2).  You can pick up a copy at the Rabbit Room store.

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Hutchmoot Frustration

April 7, 2011 4 comments

Last year I really wanted to go to Hutchmoot.  It’s a gathering of artists (musicians, writers, visual artists, etc.) who are also thoughtful Christians.  They are the type of artists I dig on and who encourage me in my little corner of the world.  But, Hutchmoot sold out before I could get in.  I was determined to get in this year (they only take 100 people).  I found out that it sold out in under 6 HOURS!!!

So…I’m a bit frustrated because I was really looking forward to using Hutchmoot 2011 as my professional development.  I’ve been saving my prof. dev’t money in preparation, but now I’m at a loss.

See, there are tons of opportunities for pastors to gather and grow and learn and professionally develop, but…  Well…  I’m kind of picky and want to use my time not necessarily to take a class or listen to 20 steps to making your church become a megachurch or how to start a small group this or how to successfully do this or that.  I’d rather do something that fills my soul, empowers me and propells me in a similar-yet-nuanced trajectory.

So…if you’re interested in helping me out.  I’m up for suggestions.  Please don’t send me any ideas that start with “3,000 people will gather” or “Vendors will be present between sessions at…” or “Famous person so-and-so will share their helpful tips”.  If you do I will send you this reply: “Thanks so much for your suggestion of how I can spend my professional development time.  I will most likely attend said opportunity directly after I finish sticking bamboo shoots under my fingernails.”

Sorry for that…it’s a mixture of frustration about Hutchmoot and a cynicism around those types of big gatherings.  If you’re offended by me slamming your kind of gig, I’m sorry.  I can see the validity and importance of those things.  They’re just not for me right now.  Are we good?  Thanks.

But, if you have a good idea or you’ve done something that filled you up in a healthy way, let me know and I’d love to check it out to see if it’s for me, too.  Really…don’t be afraid to send me ideas.  I won’t be mean.

Hutchmoot 2010

I hear it’s important for pastors to keep learning.  I was talking with Toby Gruppen last night about how I should spend my educational time this year.  Late last night I was on one of my fave sites, The Rabbit Room, and saw that they are putting on Hutchmoot 2010.  It is exactly the kind of thing I would love to attend.  You can find out about Hutchmoot at this site.

Walter Wangerin Jr. will be there.  He wrote a great number of awesome books including The Book Of The Dun Cow.  There will be a lot of discussion about story and how we make it, are a part of it, how we tell it.  Oh, and a release party/concert of Andrew Peterson’s newest CD.  If you have to ask who Andrew Peterson is…you are in for a treat.  He’s only one of the bestest musicians that the “Christian” music scene has to offer.  Thoughtful and an artist. 

Sadly, I cannot attend Hutchmoot.  I will be attending a much happier affair with family…Dana’s brother’s wedding.  Fortunately, he’s the kind of guy who would love Hutchmoot, too.  In fact, Dana’s whole family is Hutchmoot material.  They can discuss art, music, literature, and dance in a thoughtful and energetic way.  So I won’t be missing much (I have to keep telling myself that because Hutchmoot would *rock* (not literally)).

Hutchmoot is about story this year, and don’t you think pastors should understand story?  We’re all a part of the big one, and we each have our little ones.  It’s been said that every person has only two stories to tell: his/her own and that of Jesus Christ.  So, like me, you’ll have to maintain your own Hutchmoot thoughout the year: consider your story and the larger story you are a part of.  Tell it…in your unique way.

And if you find any other cool learning/growing activities anything near what Hutchmoot 2010 is supposed to be – let me know.  I’m on the lookout.