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Recovering Abundance

06sep(sep 6)6:00 pm09jan(jan 9)7:30 pmRecovering Abundance12 Practices for Small-Town Ordinary Leaders

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We are starting into a series of Mondays looking into RECOVERING ABUNDANCE:  12 practices for small-town (ordinary) leaders.

You can browse and buy the book here:  and it is also available on Amazon, Walmart and at Fortress Press in paperback and Kindle editions.


A week ago, 15 of us gathered on Zoom to look at the Introduction and the overall contents of the book.  We decided to continue, with different people offering to guide us on different practices.  We’re gathering at 6:00 pm (Central time) on Mondays starting on October 3.  We’ll meet via Zoom for an hour and a half or so.  Interested?  Join us.  We’ll do a bit of a reprise to get the big picture.  Then we will dive into Ch. 1:  The Practice of Retreat. Ruth Gilbert is our guide.  The author, Andy Stanton-Henry,  will be with us again.  Here is his website:  Recovering Abundance.

This book invites readers to live a new story–to join a movement of renewal for small towns and rural communities. Offering twelve civic-spiritual practices, rooted in Jesus’s miracle among the multitude, that rural and small-town leaders can use to renew their congregations and communities. Through these twelve practices, Henry helps readers tune in to an alternative story, one he discovered in his own rural Ohio community. Yes, he saw the commonly lamented decline and devastation that have brought suffering to rural Americans and that seem to foster resentment and despair. However, as he dug deeper into the stories of his neighbors, he began to notice that small towns and rural regions are working. They are working to build inclusive, thriving, local economies, to weave a welcoming social fabric in their region, to co-create a positive future–following the practices he explores in this book. Recovering Abundance is a new story about the agency and creativity of what Henry calls “ordinary leaders,” not a story about scarcity and deprivation but one of abundance and generosity.




Introduction 1  Jim Wiegel

6:00 PM (Central time) ( Chicago) October 3:  chapter 1: The Practice of Retreat 10  Ruth Gilbert
6:00 PM (Central time) ( Chicago) October 10:  Chapter 2: The Practice of Discernment 32  Martin Rafanan
6:00 PM (Central time) ( Chicago) October 17:  Chanter 3: The Practice of Stability 56  Ronnie Seagren, Jim Wiegel
6:00 PM (Central time) ( Chicago) October 24:  Chapter 4: The Practice of Inventory 77 Sharon Fisher

Chapter 5: The Practice of Imagination 97

Chapter 6: The Practice of Organizing 118

Chapter 7: The Practice of Hospitality 137

Chapter 8: The Practice of Grounding 159

Chapter 9: The Practice of Gratitude 179

Chapter 10: The Practice of Generosity 198

Chapter 11: The Practice of Solidarity 217

Chapter 12: The Practice of Memory 239

Here is the Zoom link for Monday, October 3 6 pm Chicago time

A few excerpts from this first chapter:
Come with my by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.  Mark 6:31
Have you ever been so caught up in “coming and going” that you didn’t have “leisure even to eat”?
Sometimes, though, our weariness has nothing to do with manual labor.  It has to do with the emotional labor . . .Ordinary leaders have all manner of “lavbors of love” that occupy their minds, break their harts and demand their energy.
C. S. Lewis observed in the first half of the twentieth century that “we live, in fact, in a world starved for solitude, silence and private: and therefore starved for meditation and true friendship.  Still very true.



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