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Frederick Buechner
107 followers -
Christian author of more than 30 books including fiction, memoirs, and nonfiction.
Christian author of more than 30 books including fiction, memoirs, and nonfiction.

107 followers
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Wherever people love each other and are true to each other and take risks for each other, God is with them and for them and they are doing God’s will.
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Never question the truth of what you fail to understand, for the world is filled with wonders.
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God himself does not give answers. He gives himself.
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For Immediate Release

Anne Lamott and Diana Butler Bass to Headline 3rd Annual Frederick Buechner Writer’s Workshop at Princeton Seminary

Princeton, NJ, June 14, 2016–The Frederick Buechner Center and Princeton Theological Seminary are pleased to announce the 3rd Annual Frederick Buechner Writer’s Workshop. Slated for June 6–9, 2017 at Princeton Seminary, best-selling authors Anne Lamott and Diana Butler Bass will headline the event. Registration information is forthcoming and will be available on the websites of both organizations.

“This workshop is designed to appeal to writers who, like Buechner, think honestly about their Christian faith and are not afraid of where that thinking will take them,” said Brian Allain, Buechner Center spokesperson. “We are thrilled to have Anne and Diana lead our 2017 program.”

Lamott, the author of several best-selling books of nonfiction, and seven novels including, Hard Laughter, Rosie, Joe Jones, Blue Shoe, All New People, Crooked Little Heart, and Imperfect Birds, writes about subjects people don’t like to think about. In all her novels, she writes about loss—loss of loved ones and loss of personal control. Her newest book of essays is called Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace.

Butler Bass is an author, speaker, and independent scholar specializing in American religion and culture. She is the author of nine books, including Grounded: Finding God in the World—A Spiritual Revolution and the widely influential Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening.
Butler Bass writes for The Huffington Post and The Washington Post and comments on religion, politics, and culture in USA TODAY, Time, Newsweek, CBS, CNN, FOX, PBS, and NPR. She is a contributing editor for Sojourners Magazine, and has written widely in the religious press, including The Christian Century, Clergy Journal, and Congregations.

“Princeton Theological Seminary celebrates the work of thoughtful writers who inspire us, teach us, and help us to experience the presence of God,” said M. Craig Barnes, president of Princeton Seminary. “We are delighted to partner with the Frederick Buechner Center in promoting the writing vocation, and we look forward to another engaging series of workshops.”

“We have again assembled a fantastic lineup of published authors, literary agents, preachers, and editors,” said Dayle Gillespie Rounds, associate dean of continuing education at Princeton Seminary. “I encourage Christian ministry leaders to join us for four days of rich and engaging teaching and conversation.”
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2016-06-14
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To Celebrate His 90th Birthday, Frederick Buechner is Publishing
a New Book to Reach a New Generation of Readers

As the widely-admired and critically-acclaimed writer Frederick Buechner approaches his 90th birthday on July 11, Buechner 101 seeks to highlight his legacy for a new generation of readers, many
of whom already know him from widely shared quotes on social media. Published by The Frederick Buechner Center, and curated by Anne Lamott, the volume samples his essays, sermons, and excerpts from memoirs and novels. The book also features tributes by admirers such as Lamott, Barbara Brown Taylor, and Brian McLaren.
http://www.amazon.com/Buechner-101-Essays-Sermons-Frederick/dp/0990871908/

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

To Celebrate His 90th Birthday, Frederick Buechner is Publishing
a New Book to Reach a New Generation of Readers

As the widely-admired and critically-acclaimed writer Frederick Buechner approaches his 90th birthday on July 11, Buechner 101 seeks to highlight his legacy for a new generation of readers, many
of whom already know him from widely shared quotes on social media. Published by The Frederick Buechner Center, and curated by Anne Lamott, the volume samples his essays, sermons, and excerpts from memoirs and novels. The book also features tributes by admirers such as Lamott, Barbara Brown Taylor, and Brian McLaren.

Lamott considers Buechner “America’s most important living theologian,” and says she has been “foisting” his books on friends for thirty years. “I think I can be a pest in my insistence that anyone
interested in God, grace, meaning, and truth needs to immerse his or herself in his memoirs, essays, novels and sermons.”

Buechner enters his ninth decade with a strong presence on social media. More than 1.6 million people follow his Facebook page, and more than 282,000 people follow Buechner’s Twitter feed, both managed by The Frederick Buechner Center. His famous definition of vocation is one of his most frequently quoted lines, on social media and elsewhere: “The place God calls you to is the place
where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”

One of the most important writer-theologians of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, Buechner is an ordained Presbyterian minister and a Pulitzer-nominated writers’ writer. His first novel, A Long Day’s Dying, published not long after his graduation from Princeton University, received enthusiastic reviews. He then surprised all who knew him by entering Union Theological Seminary, where he studied under Reinhold Niebuhr and Paul Tillich.

A prolific writer for six decades, Buecher has published more than thirty books in a variety of genres: fiction, autobiography, theology, essays, and sermons. Among his most beloved works are The Book
of Bebb, a tetralogy based on the character Leo Bebb; Godric, a first person narrative of the life of the medieval saint, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1981; Secrets in the Dark, a collection of
sermons; four volumes of memoir, The Sacred Journey, Now and Then, Telling Secrets, and The Eyes of the Heart; and his best-selling Listening to Your Life: Daily Meditations with Frederick Buechner.

Running through Buechner’s rich body of work is a timeless call to pay attention to what it means to be human:
• “From the simplest lyric to the most complex novel and densest drama, literature is asking us to pay attention.”—The Alphabet of Grace
• “...all theology, like all fiction, is at its heart autobiography, and what a theologian is doing essentially is examining as honestly as he can the rough-and-tumble of his own experience with all its ups and downs, its mysteries and loose ends, and expressing in logical, abstract terms the truths about human life and about God that he believes he has found implicit there.”
—The Sacred Journey.

It’s a message that continues to resonate with readers living amidst the dehumanizing tendencies of the modern world. As Barbara Brown Taylor writes, “From [Buechner] I have learned that it is only
when I give my full attention to what it means to be human that I am granted a glimpse of what it means to be divine.”

Other themes include listening to your life, faith despite doubt, hope through grace, the search for meaning, our shared human story, sinners as saints, and what it means to follow Christ.

Writers influenced by Buechner include his former student, John Irving, who thanked him in the acknowledgements to A Prayer for Owen Meany: “I acknowledge....how much I owe to the writing of
my former teacher Frederick Buechner...[His] correspondence, his criticism of the manuscript, and the constancy of his encouragement have meant a great deal....” Reviews have lauded his work as
“entrancing...poetically rich...a singularly graceful synthesis of memoir and theological [perspective]” (Washington Post); and “elegant, understated and elegiac...” (Publishers Weekly). The
New York Times described Buechner’s nonfiction work as “detective autobiography” for its depiction of the author’s journey toward (in Buechner’s own words) “the continuing dim spectacle of the
subterranean presence of grace in the world.”

Anne Lamott captures the essence of Buechner’s skill as a writer, confessing herself blown away byhow he manages to be “both plain and majestic at the same time.”

“Frederick Buechner continues to touch the lives of millions with his compassionate insight into the human condition, and his explorations of faith, grace, and hope,” says Brian Allain, director of The Frederick Buechner Center. “Buechner 101 celebrates his legacy by offering new readers the opportunity to dip into the deep well of his wisdom, experiencing a taste of his work in several
genres. Anne Lamott and other reliable guides offer context for those readers who may be encountering Buechner for the first time.”

The Frederick Buechner Center is in the midst of compiling video interviews with a range of writers, thinkers, clergy, and journalists speaking about Buechner’s legacy and influence on their work. Those videos will be available on the Center’s website, www.frederickbuechner.com/, a rich resource for all
things Buechner.

The Center maintains Buechner’s social media presence on
Twitter:@Fred_Buechner
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Frederick.Buechner.Center/ Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/fredbuechner/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/
19982.Frederick_Buechner.
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RELIGION
The word religion points to that area of human experience where one way or another we come upon Mystery as a summons to pilgrimage; where we sense beyond and beneath the realities of every day a Reality no less real because it can only be hinted at in myths and rituals; where we glimpse a destination that we can never fully know until we reach it.Since the Reality that religion claims to deal with is beyond space and time, we cannot use normal space-and-time language (i.e. nouns and verbs) to describe it directly. We must fall back on the language of metaphor and resign ourselves to describing it at best indirectly.It is obvious that this is what we are doing when we say Jesus is the "Son of God," or the Lord is our "shepherd," or the Kingdom of God is "within you." It is not so obvious that this is what we are doingbut we are doing it no lesswhen we say, "God exists." This does not mean that God "exists" literally as you and I dothat is, exists now and not then, here and not there, and stands out of (ex + sistere) some prior reality. It is at best a crude metaphor.To say that God "does not exist" may be a better metaphor to suggest the nature of God's reality. But since it also is bound to be taken literally, it is better not to say it.
~originally published in Wishful Thinking and later in Beyond Words  

Quote of the Day: Religious Books

There are poetry books and poetic books—the first a book with poems in it, the second a book that may or may not have poems in it, but that is in some sense a poem itself.

In much the same way there are religion books and religious books. A religion book is a book with religion in it in the everyday sense of religious ideas, symbols, attitudes, and—if it takes the form of fiction—with characters and settings that have overfly religious associations and implications. There are good religion books like The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne or Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor, and there are miserable ones like most of what is called "Christian" fiction.

A religious book may not have any religion as such in it at all, but to read it is in some measure to experience firsthand what a religion book can only tell about. A religion book is a canvas. A religious book is a transparency. With a religious book it is less what we see in it than what we see through it that matters. John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany would be an example. Huckleberry Finn would be another.

Writers of religious books tend to achieve most when they are least conscious of doing so. The attempt to be religious is as doomed as the attempt to be poetic. Thus in the writing, as in the reading, a religious book is an act of grace—no less rare, no less precious, no less improbable.
~originally published in Wishful Thinking and later in Beyond Words

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With words as valueless as poker chips, we play games whose object it is to keep us from seeing each other's cards.

- from The Alphabet of Grace
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Quote of the Day: Remember

When you remember me, it means that you have carried something of who I am with you, that I have left some mark of who I am on who you are. It means that you can summon me back to your mind even though countless years and miles may stand between us. It means that if we meet again, you will know me. It means that even after I die, you can still see my face and hear my voice and speak to me in your heart.

For as long as you remember me, I am never entirely lost. When I'm feeling most ghostlike, it's your remembering me that helps remind me that I actually exist. When I'm feeling sad, it's my consolation. When I'm feeling happy, it's part of why I feel that way.

If you forget me, one of the ways I remember who I am will be gone. If you forget me, part of who I am will be gone.

"Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom," the good thief said from his cross (Luke 23:42). There are perhaps no more human words in all of Scripture, no prayer we can pray so well.
~originally published in Whistling in the Dark and later in Beyond Words
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