Once, Sunday mornings meant something special to me. But I now face them with dread, with a bittersweet sorrow that tugs at my heart and a headache-inducing tension that makes me reach for the Advil, writes John W. Fountain, award-winning journalist and grandson of a Pentecostal pastor. Yet I now feel disconnected. I am disconnected. Not necessarily from God, but from the church.
In No Place for Me: Letters to the Church, Fountain writes about faith and his personal journey through the age-old institution called the Christian church. He writes about growing up as a boy in his grandparent's storefront church on Chicago s West Side. About a church he came to love. A church he grew to hate. He writes about his eventual decision to stop attending church and his agony over having to explain to his little daughter why.
This book was spurred by a 2005 essay Fountain penned in the Washington Post titled, No Place for Me.
No Place For Me: Letters to the Church in America is more than the narrative of one man's religious journey. It is reflective of the quandary facing thousands of men and women who love God but no longer can bring themselves to go to church on Sundays. Instead they file into coffee shops, bowling alleys or baseball stadiums, or else lose themselves in a haze of myriad other activities. In fact, the Pew Research Center cites evidence of an exodus from institutional Christian churches by the millions.
Fountain's original essay and also his later writings as a weekly columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times have drawn thousands of stirring letters from readers: men and women, people of all races and from all walks of life even some of them pastors. Some supportive of Fountain's assertions, others angered by them.
No Place for Me allows readers to eavesdrop on Fountain's conversations with other believers, far too many of them broken by their church experience. These conversations and Fountain's own spiritual narrative form the tapestry of revelation for a disconnected and disillusioned son of the church who ultimately discovers the place for him. He finds it along a winding road that leads him full circle, not back to church per se, but back to the Cross.
A must read written from the heart of one of its sons who openly declares: I still love God. But I've lost faith in the church. No Place for Me: Letters to the Church calls upon us all to wrestle with and find the true meaning of church. To review and ultimately to renew our faith. A message of hope. A moving collection of contemporary letters to the Church.
Publisher - WestSide Press Publishing, Chicago