About the Book

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Sabbath in the Suburbs: A Family’s Experiment with Holy Time

by MaryAnn McKibben Dana,
published by Chalice Press.


“Life felt like a 500-piece jigsaw puzzle with 600 pieces.” So writes MaryAnn McKibben Dana in the introduction of her book. As she considered her family’s frenetic suburban existence—a relentless list of work, errands, carpool, dishes, e-mail, bills, yardwork—she knew something had to change.

The family faced a choice: to continue at the same frantic pace or to fight back with a radically different way of being. They went radical. For one year, they committed to a practice of Sabbath-keeping. For a whole day each week, they set aside their doing in order to simply be. Work took a backseat to games, walks, Legos, naps, homebrewing, and leisurely contentment. The practice never got easier—the house was a mess, the kids still fought—but Sabbath became the one essential “to-do” each week.

With lively prose (“a fresh voice and energy” -Publishers Weekly), Dana documents the Sabbath experiment as a guide for families of all shapes and sizes. Each chapter includes tips to help you claim Sabbath moments—to see time not as an enemy to subdue, but as a friend to savor.

Part of the Young Clergy Women Project series.

Praise from Publishers Weekly:

“Dana, a Presbyterian pastor, brings a fresh voice and energy to the familiar topic of time management as understood by people who would describe themselves as either religious or spiritual but not religious: Sabbath-keeping. She writes from a perspective that many can relate to, that of a suburban mother of three who works part-time. Bringing the gift of self-awareness and irony, Dana notes that a four-minute difference in school bus rides ought not to prompt a letter-writing campaign from anxious parents. She also brings theological awareness of the historical practice and meaning of Sabbath-keeping. Dana writes in a distinct voice about making a traditional religious practice meaningful to contemporary families.”

1 Response to About the Book

  1. Pingback: Sabbath and Justice | Sabbath in the Suburbs… and Beyond

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