By Will Choate

Pastor of Argenta UMC

Each month, we ask a featured contributor to the Arkansas United Methodist to tell us what they’re reading, and why we should be reading it as well. This month’s contributor is the Rev. Will Choate, founding pastor of Argenta United Methodist Church in North Little Rock, Arkansas.

The Spirituality of Fundraising
by Henri Nouwen

I just completed my first capital campaign. I would have preferred God to have just given us our beautiful new building rather than asking me to ask others for the money to build it. However, as Nouwen highlights, fundraising is not just a means to an end but is a ministry that is just as important as the ministry for which we are raising funds. Fundraising, whether we are asking or being asked, is always a call to conversion.

Immortal Diamond: The Search for Our True Self
by Richard Rohr

We often directly — or indirectly — ask, “Who am I?” and “Who is God?” Rohr helps me embrace the idea that the discovery of our true self is also at the same time a discovery of God. While our false self and its misplaced motives and desires help us create God in our own image, when we discover our true self we realize that now is enough, God is enough, and we are enough.

American Gospel
by Jon Meacham

Last month, the Satanic Temple installed a statue depicting their winged half-goat, half man deity on the lawn of the Arkansas State Capitol. This was in protest to the nearby Ten Commandments statue, which is protected by thick concrete bollards due to its first installment being destroyed by a man driving his Dodge through it while yelling, “Freedom!” Meacham reminds us that, from our founding, the American balancing act of church and state has never been easy. He highlights how our founders were neither apostles nor secularist — as the extremes would hope — but intended to create a nation where all people, regardless of belief, could uncover what Lincoln called “the better angels of our nature.”

Are you an avid reader? Do you want to submit your own books for recommended reads? Contact Caleb Hennington at caleb.hennington@arumc.org to submit your list for consideration, and you could be printed in next month’s Arkansas United Methodist.