Like millions of her millennial peers, Rachel didn’t want to go to church anymore. The hypocrisy, the politics, the gargantuan building budgets, the scandals—church culture seemed so far removed from Jesus. Yet, despite her cynicism and misgivings, something kept drawing her back...
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Companion album suggestion: Seven Songs
Arranged around the imagery of seven sacraments, Searching for Sunday is a book about all that is frustrating and beautiful and complicated about church, and I dedicated it to my blog readers and my sister, Amanda Opelt. Amanda is a singer/songwriter out of Boone, North Carolina.
Her songs are haunting, beautiful, and lyrically profound. Amanda and I have always been close in mind and spirit, but there were moments in listening to the first cuts of Seven Songs that I felt she had reached into my brain and put my best dreams into song. (The “Marriage” song will totally wreck you.) Written and recorded in the mountains of western North Carolina, the album is the effort of a community of musicians and artists seeking to creatively express the longing inherent in each of the sacraments: the hunger for new life, healing, and harvest. It’s the perfect companion to Searching for Sunday.
“Evans has written a zinger of a book. Grounded in the deep things of faith, she writes in a vivid style and transposes the claims of faith into compelling concrete narrative. Her book is a forceful invitation to reconsider that faith has been misunderstood as a package of certitudes rather than a relationship of fidelity.”
-Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary
“As I tore through the pages in this book, I realized I’d been waiting my whole life for Searching for Sunday. The Jesus that Rachel loves fiercely is the same Jesus I fell in love with long ago, before I let my the hypocrisy of the church and my own heart muddle everything up. Searching for Sunday helped me forgive the church and myself and fall in love with God all over again … It is, quite simply, my favorite book by my favorite writer.”
-Glennon Doyle Melton, author of Carry On, Warrior and founder of Momastery.com and Together Rising
“If you’re done with church or simply on the verge of throwing in the towel, then please, please, please read this book. It’s a brave, wry, and exquisitely penned meditation from someone who knows precisely how you feel. I loved every word.”
-Ian Morgan Cron, best-selling author, speaker, and Episcopal priest
“Rachel Held Evans has written a spiritual travel guide for religious runaways…I love this book. I love how Rachel doesn’t shy away from what’s ugly in her search for what’s beautiful both in herself and the church.”
-Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber, author of Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint
“Oh my goodness, this is Rachel’s best book yet—and that’s saying something. In this beautifully honest, hopefully wry book, Rachel speaks for so many of us. I believe that her hard-fought words will heal many wounds. A must-read for all who love Jesus but struggle with loving or understanding or finding their place in the Church.”
-Sarah Bessey, author of Jesus Feminist and Out of Sorts
“In Searching for Sunday, Rachel’s honest and hopeful wrestling tore through my cynicism about the perils of organized religion and touched my heart, reminding me why this broken but beautiful Bride is worth the fight.”
-Michael Gungor, musician, composer, and author of The Crowd, the Critic, and the Muse: A Book for Creators
“As you read Searching for Sunday, you will feel that you are being breathed into, not just by Evans, but also I think, by the Holy Spirit, who felt very near, right at hand, as I was turning these pages.”
-Lauren F. Winner, author of Wearing God and Still: Notes on a Mid-faith Crisis
“...In these pages there is room for sacred doubting and holy tantrums because ultimately the love and grace of God permits us all that room.”
-Enuma Okoro, Nigerian-American speaker and award-winning author of Reluctant Pilgrim: A Moody Somewhat Self-Indulgent Introvert’s Search for Spiritual Community
“Rachel Held Evans burst onto the scene a few years ago as a young writer with great promise. In Searching for Sunday, she fulfills that promise, writing with beauty, insight, maturity, humility, and plenty of humor. If you need a book to pastor you, befriend you, pick you up and dust you off, and maybe even give you a spiritual kiss on the cheek and a devotional kick in the pants, you’ve found it here.”
-Brian D. McLaren, author and speaker (brianmclaren.net)