Since the first of the year, I’ve traveled to several states—coast to coast—to lead conversations about the themes and issues raised in my book, Beyond the Comma. I’ve been blessed with some amazing hospitality and in-depth interest in these discussions, resulting in some deeply gratifying reviews about the book and comments about the events themselves.
I was especially humbled by a review from Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat on their web site Spirituality & Practice. The Brussats have been pioneers in the intersection of spirituality and culture for a half-century. I first became aware of their work in 1970—when I was still in seminary—and I viewed them even then as important voices in the meaningful convergence of faith and the arts.
Their words about my book: “Chase models for us a fresh, path-breaking, and engaging adventure that is always alert to God’s word… With surging energy, Chase probes the various ways in which God is still speaking in the rough-and-tumble world of war and hatred, humor, and moments of deep joy, mundane meetings and meaningful mishaps…Whether writing about race, his 9/11 experiences, interreligious cooperation, a severe concussion, or his sensitivity toward transitions, Chase convinces us again and again of the marvelous miracles that abound in our lives and demand to be acknowledged and appreciated.” (You can read their full review here.)
Following an event at Georgetown University, Melody Fox Ahmed; Associate Director for Programs, Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs; shared these thoughts: “Rev. Chase’s interactive session was an uplifting call to arms for justice. His book arrives at a moment in history that finds us seeking to make sense of a changing world order giving rise to increasing intolerance and community compartmentalization.
“Rev. Chase invited us to pause and reflect deeply with him, through his engaging technique of participatory dialogue, textual, theological, and personal reflections. The session offered timeless insights that are applicable across a wide range of disciplines and causes, while also being very conscious of this moment in history where gun violence and systemic racism are on the minds of young people seeking change. The audience left with practical tools and guidance and a welcome invitation to continue the conversation, as the title suggests, ‘beyond the comma’!”
I’ve now completed more than two dozen events, and—with ten or so more on the spring schedule–I’m beginning to look ahead to the next program year, 2018-2019. If you are interested in hosting an event next fall or the following spring, please be in touch via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Many thanks and stay tuned!