I received this book for free from NetGalley to facilitate my review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.All Saints by Michael Spurlock, Jeanette Windle
Published by Bethany House on August 22, 2017
Genres: Christian Life, Inspirational, Religion
The True Story Behind the Powerful Film ALL SAINTS
Newly ordained, Michael Spurlock's first assignment is to pastor All Saints, a struggling church with twenty-five devoted members and a mortgage well beyond its means. The best option may be to close the church rather than watch it wither any further. But when All Saints hesitantly risks welcoming a community of Karen refugees from Burma--former farmers scrambling for a fresh start in America--Michael feels they may be called to an improbable new mission.
Michael must choose between closing the church and selling the property--or listening to a still, small voice challenging the people of All Saints to risk it all and provide much-needed hope to their new community. Together, they risk everything to plant seeds for a future that might just save them all.
Discover the true story that inspired the film while also diving deeper into the background of the Karen people, the church, and how a community of believers rally to reach out to those in need, yet receive far more than they dared imagine.
The Reverend Michael Spurlock served All Saints Episcopal Church in Smyrna, Tennessee, for three years. He is currently on the clergy staff at Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue in New York City. Michael, his wife, Aimee, and their two children live in New York City.
Award-winning author and investigative journalist Jeanette Windle has lived in six countries, authored nineteen books, and mentors writers on five continents. To learn more, visit her at www.jeanettewindle.com.
Imagine being called to lead a church with issues. Dire financial issues, a recent split in the congregation, and a congregation that needs to heal from said split. Now imagine that you’ve been called to lead this church as your very first assignment out of seminary. That’s what Reverend Michael Spurlock faced when he was called to lead All Saints Episcopal Church in Smyrna, TN.
This book was nothing short of amazing to be perfectly honest. The telling of the backstories, which was essential to understanding what was happening with Rev. Spurlock, Ye Win, and other major players in the book, worked very well. I will say that I had hoped to learn more about All Saints’ split that happened just prior to Rev. Spurlock taking over, but that probably wasn’t something that was necessary to the story and was more to satisfy my own curiosity about the matter.
This book shows what it is to do as God and Christ command and love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Trust me when I say that by human standards, Rev. Spurlock would have been more than justified in telling the Burmese refugees that All Saints couldn’t help them and that they needed to find somewhere else to go. But he didn’t. He recalled scripture, when Christ said that if someone has done something for the least of these, they’ve done it for Christ. And to Rev. Spurlock’s surprise, those refugees helped All Saints as much as All Saints helped them.
This book is a great read that can be accomplished in about a day or so – at least that’s how long it took me to read it. It was very well written, easy to follow, and gives you a great glimpse into the world of the refugees so you can understand how they felt and where they came from. This book would make an excellent choice for a Christian book club to read and discuss. I gave it 4 stars and I have to say, I’m going to have to see that movie now.