When Pope John Paul II died, Suzanne Strempek Shea, who had not been an active member of a church community for some years, recognized in his mourners a faith-filled passion that she longed to recapture in her own life. So she set out on a pilgrimage to visit a different church every Sunday for one year-a journey that would take her through the broad spectrum of contemporary Protestant Christianity practiced in this country. From a rousing Easter Baptist service in Harlem, to Colorado's Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame for a sing-along at the Cowboy Church; from a roofless Episcopal church in Hawaii, to a storefront African orthodox church where jazz legend John Coltrane is considered a bona fide saint; from the largest church in the country to a small-town church packed for a Sunday school class taught by Jimmy Carter, Shea toured more than thirty states in search of the meaning of Christian faith to the many who practice it. The result, Sundays in America, is an essential guide for those seeking a new house for their worship as well as a colorful road trip for the armchair explorer.
About the Author
Suzanne Strempek Shea, winner of the 2000 New England Book Award for Fiction, is the author of the novels "Selling the Lite of Heaven; Hoopi Shoopi Donna; Lily of the Valley;" and "Around Again;" and the memoirs "Songs from a Lead-Lined Room: Notes -- High and Low -- From My Journey Through Breast Cancer and Radiation;" and "Shelf Life: Romance, Mystery, Drama, and Other Page-Turning Adventures from a Year in a Bookstore." She lives in Bondsville, Massachusetts.
A captivating trip into the heart of non-Catholic Christian America that reveals the amazing diversity of one complex faith.—Booklist, starred review
"It's not the famous people and places that make this book a good read; it's the typical Americans practicing their faith, day by day."—John Lewis, Baltimore magazine
"Sundays in America does for us what most of us cannot do for ourselves: it puts us in the pews of dozens of churches all across America as an 'inside outsider' to contemporary Christianity. This book is for anyone looking to understand, evaluate, or reignite their Christian faith through the prism of curiosity and the spirit of exploration."—Kristin Hahn, author of In Search of Grace
"I can think of no better companion on a spiritual journey than Suzanne Strempek Shea. In Sundays in America, with her trademark humor and grace, she takes the reader's hand and shows us churches across the United States, pointing out the subtleties and details that we would otherwise have missed." —Ann Hood, author of The Knitting Circle