Wednesday, December 4, 2013

An appreciation of Church Libraries

Author Paul Stoble published a thought-provoking appreciation of church libraries in his "Journeys Home" blog:
On the day after All Saints’ Day, here is an appreciation of church libraries---books that continue to witness to us whether the authors are living or gone. 
I love church libraries. Just as a bibliophile loves shelves of books in a home, I think that a church, too, needs a room filled with varieties of texts. Such a room becomes a comforting and important ecclesial place. 
*** 
Do people use church libraries? I’ve a melancholy feeling that few do. Many congregations have an emphasis upon disciplining people---and encouraging members to be faithful disciples---but I wonder if the opportunity to choose a good book from the church library is part of many people’s faith-journey.
"When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments," writes Paul to Timothy (2 Tim. 4:13). "Parchments" would have been Bible scrolls, of better quality than papyrus. To me, it is a lovely thought that, among Paul's final recorded statements, he requested Scriptures and books to sustain him. These surely would have been his lifelong companions, too. The next time you're in a church library, browse the selection and see if any of the volumes call out for your attention. 
Read the full article here

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