O come, O come, Emmanuel And ransom captive Israel That mourns in lonely exile here Until the Son of God appear Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to thee, O Israel.
It is a carol that is tinged with sadness, but also with happiness -- or at least the promise of joy. And that promised joy will surpass anything and everything that has come before it. And that is how I am looking at the end of 2012 and the promise that is 2013.
Since last I posted, I had the opportunity to speak to the Questors, a group of retirees in nearby Greenfield, Indiana. It was an enjoyable evening, spent discussing religion in the 1920s (with an Indiana focus). We discussed a good deal about movement within the Mainline, both in terms of larger forces at work, as well as what many of the people who were there had experienced. We also talked a bit about the aftermath of the election, which of course provoked questions about if there was more to the Religious Left than perhaps many commentators believed or if 2012 witnessed the demise of the (political) Religious Right.
I also had the chance, a few days later, to give a copy the book to my childhood pastors as a thank you not only for my own spiritual development, as well as a thank you for performing the service at my grandfather's funeral.
Shortly after Thanksgiving, I was able to secure a January date (Saturday the 26th) to hold a book signing in Northern Indiana (the Barnes and Noble store at University Park Mall, South Bend). I am very much looking forward to it, as it will allow friends and family to come out and hear a bit about the book (and maybe pick up a copy with any Christmas money they have left over). So, there is much to look forward to in the New Year--including, one can hope, more chances to talk about the book with both the family, friends, the general public, and of course, students!
And then of course there was the big news in the midst of Advent. The Mainline was reviewed by CHOICE and given a very favorable rating ("Recommended for lower-division undergraduates and above [as well as] general readers.").
In short, dear readers, I have much professionally to be thankful for when it comes to this book -- and much more to look forward to in the coming year. I