Book Giveaway: Three Copies of Spirit Rising: Young Quaker Voices

I don’t know about you but I love free books! So, in the spirit of Christmas I wanted to gift three people with a copy of the book I helped edit and love to share around. The book was published this year by Quaker Press and has been well received by many. The book is a collection of essays representing an international community of young Quakers (between 15 and 35 years old) and covers a broad span of theological convictions, as well as cultures and ways of practicing faith. It is a great snapshot of what it means to be a Quaker in today’s world.  The book was compiled over the course of two years by a team of ten editors. We are proud of the book and feel that there are many very rich writings, poetry, short stories, and reflections that are creative, inspiring and engaging. I think you’ll enjoy it as well (or may find it to be a nice gift for someone else!). If you want to purchase a copy you can go to Quaker Books online and you can find more out about the book on the book’s main webpage.

Here’s what one Quaker pastor said about the book:

Spirit rises like heat rises. It just does. No channel or label or barrier, real or perceived, can do anything about it. The evidence of this truth is on every page of this volume. These voices have been called by the Spirit, moved by the Holy Ghost, stunned into silence by the Living Presence. No seeing eyes or listening ears could deny it. It is the very hope of Quakerism that the writers can hear and see and accept this same Spirit in each other’s voices. Readers who claim to hold Quakerism dear owe each writer an open, expectant, non-dismissive hearing. I am grateful for their courage.

Peggy Senger Parsons, pastor of Freedom Friends Church and author of So There I Was…, Salem, Oregon, USA


In order to be placed in the drawing all you need to do is leave a comment below and answer this question: what is a favorite Christmas memory of yours?

There will be three winners chosen randomly from the comments below on 9am PST Monday December 20th. I will then email the winners, get their addresses and mail the books out on Tuesday the 21st.

And have a Merry Christmas!

Here’s two videos for you:

Editor Harriet Hart reading from the book’s introduction:


And here’s Noah Baker Merrill reading his piece from the book:


14 responses to “Book Giveaway: Three Copies of Spirit Rising: Young Quaker Voices”

  1. My favorite Christmas memory would have to be our first Christmas with our daughter. She was only a month and half and I couldn’t think of what a miracle God had blessed us with-a beautiful and healthy child of our own to love, to nurture, and to share our lives with. Just holding her that morning, celebrating the birth of our risen Savior while I held my own newborn baby in my arms was a beautiful thing and made me praise God in an even deeper way knowing that someday, by the Grace of God, my child would experience the blessing of knowing and walking in the light and love of God tool.

  2. One of my favorite Christmas memories is of my littlest sister. She was almost three years old. We woke up very very early to stockings full of small wrapped presents by our beds. Then, when it was a more sane hour, my mom called for us to come downstairs. “Time to open presents!” But my little sister was confused. She replied, “My presents are here!” (referring to her stocking). What a great reminder to be thankful for what we already have, and not let the commercialism and expectations of the season get in the way. Merry Christmas!

  3. My favorite Christmas memory is when my oldest son was 2. We had to stop and read or play with each item as it was unwrapped. We were still opening presents when it got dark.

  4. My favourite Christmas memory was gathering around the table for a meal with my family. The world seemed so dark outside with winter’s scarce light already gone, but at that table there was warmth and there was light.

  5. One of my favorite Christmas memories are Christmas Eve parties with as many family members as can make it.

  6. My most memorable Christmas memory is a midnight Christmas Eve Service at a Lutheran Church inside the Old City Walls of Jerusalem. There were five speakers, each spoke in his/her own language without interpretation. In closing we all held candles (no fire codes) and walked out singing ‘Silent Night’ – each in his/her own language, and English was NOT predominant.


  7. My favorite Christmas memory is when I came home from work one night to find my husband and two little boys (ages like 3 and 4) had totally decorated the tree including with that green plastic Easter Grass for baskets! It was an ugly mess but they were so proud.

  8. My favorite Christmas was in Moyamensing County Jail in Philadelphia. I had been sentenced to a year in prison in November for refusing to register for the draft, and was still waiting for transfer to federal prison. Lying on the cot in my cell, I had a powerful sense of God’s presence. And I wrote two poems. (One, a sonnet, was published in Christian Century; the other, on “this greater freedom” was published after my release from prison in Friends Intelligencer!)


  9. One of my favorite Christmas memories is when my older brother had made an elaborate scavenger hunt for my gift from him. It was really wonderful that he has put all that time and effort and thought into me. He was only 14 at the time, but already had such a giving heart.

  10. My favourite Christmas memories are the ones I will have next week. I want to make this the best Christmas ever.

  11. In 1991 I ended my last romantic relationship, assuming that after so many attempts, I simply wasn’t meant to be married. In June of that year, I realized a dream of mine — to own my own home. My home was a small two bedroom Cape Cod on a deep, silty, creek. Like most bodies of water, it had moods and seasons and I loved watching the creek from my back deck, or up close from my canoe. Because it was considered non-navigable, there were delightful snags and a general unkempt feel to the water. Six months later, I went out to cut my first Christmas tree as an intentionally single woman. I took my saw and a tarp and found a tree that was short and fat and had long needles — my favorite kind. I cut it down myself (always a bittersweet moment) and dragged it back to the car. I got it baled, put it on top of my Honda Civic and took it home. I wrestled it into the stand by myself. I played music from Christmas that I love. I put my decorations on it. I sipped a little eggnog with a tiny bit of brandy in it. And then, as I reached in to hang an ornament suddenly I couldn’t breathe. There, unseen by me an all the cutting, hauling, etc. was a beautiful bird’s nest, left over from summer. In my family, a bird’s nest in a Christmas tree is considered good luck.
    In one of those graced moments, I realized that all those “I” actions were not selfish. That celebrating this holy season my way, and in solitude was really a way of honoring the gift that was given to me when I stopped trying to create intimacy with someone else by accomodating their every whim. Suddenly, I was real to myself. I too had come home to nest in this cozy house, and I was creating a place where all would be welcome, as they were, how they were.
    I was home, Christmas was coming, Christ was coming. The bird had found her nest, a nest placed near living waters.
    Each December I take that first nest (I’ve never found another) and place it carefully in the branches of the newly cut Christmas tree. It has grown older and more fragile (me too) and shows the love of many hands.
    In one of God’s lovely ironies, I met a man at Quaker meeting a few years later who loved me as I was. We married, he moved into my house, his grandmother moved into our house, we had two beautiful children and both the house and Christmas have expanded to hold all of us.
    But each year, as I place that nest in the branches, I am reminded that I am bid to nest in what is, not in what I think it should be. Blessings beyond measure have accrued since I allowed myself to be who God made me.

  12. My favorite Christmas memory is from 2001 and she will turn nine in four short days!