To Drink From the Silver Cup: From Faith Through Exile and Beyond by Anna RedsandTo Drink From the Silver Cup: From Faith Through Exile and Beyond by Anna Redsand

To Drink From the Silver Cup: From Faith Through Exile and Beyond

byAnna Redsand

Paperback | September 1, 2016

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Anna Redsand was sixteen when she heard her mother say of two missionary women who'd been discovered to be lovers, "They're living in sin. They should see a doctor." She knew in that moment that she would have to leave the security and intimacy of family, church, and home?the only world she had ever known. As that world faded, so too did everything that had been religious or spiritual inside her. The journey was to find what she'd lost-or replace it. Was there a faith community that could accept Anna as a lesbian, a doubter, and someone committed to social justice?To Drink From the Silver Cup is the story of Anna Redsand's quest. It took her from a devout missionary life in the Navajo Nation into the shame and exile of being unwanted in the homeland, and then beyond through the uncharted territory of different religious, spiritual, and political directions. Always striving for authenticity, continuing to long for home, forty years after taking leave, Anna embarked on a deliberate experiment to see if return was possible?or whether too much had changed in her and too little in the church. In the past, most memoirs about conflicts between fundamentalist Christianity and sexuality have been written by gay men. Few, if any, have come to the same resolution that To Drink From the Silver Cup does. This is a unique and memorable story with resonance for both seekers and those who have never challenged their held beliefs.
Title:To Drink From the Silver Cup: From Faith Through Exile and BeyondFormat:PaperbackDimensions:200 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.5 inPublished:September 1, 2016Publisher:Terra Nova BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1938288726

ISBN - 13:9781938288722

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Over the years I found myself picking up the works of Christians I respected. These were thoughtful, intelligent, inclusive, socially conscious people. I kept asking myself, how does Anne Lamott do it? Why is John Shelby Spong still a Christian? What enabled Marcus Borg to return to the church? If they can be Christians, what can I learn from them? Could they be pointing a way that might allow me to return to the church? Most of my family would contend that some of these folks are not Christians because they are not their kind of Christians. But they are people who have struggled with the beliefs that lie at the heart of Christianity. In the process, they found a way to claim Christianity for themselves. I wondered, too, about all the Diné I know who have remained Christian. I understood Navajos who had left Christianity, but what about the ones who have stayed? What holds them there? I've asked myself this, but I've been reluctant to ask my friends. I felt that if they were content, I didn't want to sow doubt. I also repeatedly asked myself an obvious question as I looked at the lives of the people who claim Christianity: Why would I want to be connected in any way with a church that had so roundly rejected me? Why would I want to belong to an institution whose basis for existence I no longer believed in? I was pretty sure my desire was the same as what got Nelson Willy singing the old songs as he approached death-the longing for one's deepest and oldest connections. As Jeanette Winterson, another lesbian raised to be a preacher, writes in Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? "If you are raised on the Bible, you don't just walk away, whatever anybody says." Most of the time I felt hopeless about the idea of returning to the church. Part of me wanted to return, wanted to recreate what had become the greatest loss in my life. Yet I couldn't remake what I had lost and at the same time be myself. Besides, on the few occasions when I attended a CRC, I saw that it no longer looked so much like what I'd left behind. It had changed, too-in some ways for the better and in other ways that I didn't care for, ways that had done away with the marks of home. What I missed most often-the songs-had changed. An old hymn might be sandwiched in now and then, but mostly they sang new ones, and these were projected on the walls without musical notes, which I need if the song is new and I'm going to harmonize.

Editorial Reviews

"...not just another book about "coming out" from a strict evangelical past, this is a gem of literary nonfiction and sexual self-discovery. It is "about" only one truth: that love, beauty, and God go hand-in-hand." -- Frank Schaeffer, Crazy for God