Showing posts with label Braestrup. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Braestrup. Show all posts

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Here If You Need Me, the UUAWOL nonfiction book of the month for September, 2017

The UU A Way Of Life non fiction book of the month for September, 2017 has been Kate Braestrup's book, Here If You Need Me. It is a wonderful book about loss and grief and new life based on love, sharing, and ministry. Braestrup writes in Chapter 18 on page 194, "Mourning, that excruciating conspiracy of human memory and human love, demands rituals that can prolong the relationship between the living and the dead."

And it reminds me of what I have learned in my life which is that the physical body dies but the spirit continues to live on in the stories we tell about the person's values, opinions, beliefs, practices, preferences, and intentions.

In October, 2017, our nonfiction book will be Naomi Klein's book, "No Is Not Enough."

Friday, September 22, 2017

Why was I born? Kate Braestrup's answer

We continue out discussion of this month's nonfiction book, Here If You Need Me by Kate Braestrup. If you have suggestion for a nonfiction and/or a fiction book for October, please let me know in the comments or by sending the suggestion to me at

Kate Braestrup writes in Chapter 11 on page 117

"But I suspected and even feared that no one who actually needed a woman of God would be fooled into thinking I was it. I have to say, though, that mourners and wardens have thus far proved to be remarkably accepting, reassuringly capable of seeing beyond me, in all my flawed particularity, to the power, mercy, and love of God and neighbor that I, by grace alone, am striving to embody."

And we should all strive, shouldn't we, to be a conduit of God's love and grace? Is that not our function here?

Kate Braestup seems to me to be one of those prophetic women and men that UUs second source describes.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Should all police agencies have chaplains like Rev. Braestrup?

The UUAWOL book clubs will have articles for its nonfiction books on Fridays and its fiction books on Saturdays so that readers will have regular times they can comment weekly as articles on these books appear.

This month, September, 2017, the nonfiction selection is Kate Braestup's memoir, Here If You Need Me, describing her work as a chaplain with the Maine Warden Service. Kate's husband, Drew, a Maine State Trooper, is killed in a car crash while on duty and leaves Kate with 4 young children to raise. Drew had planned on going to seminary and becoming a UU minister after he retired. After his death, Kate decides to follow in his footsteps and goes to seminary herself and becomes a UU minister and gets a job as a chaplain to the Maine Warder Service.

It appears from the story that Rev. Braestrup provides crisis intervention, pastoral counseling, and support for staff, and people the Warden service serves.

"If you prefer applied and practical theology to the more abstract and vaporous varieties, it is difficult to find a more interesting and challenging ministry than a law enforcement chaplaincy.

Law enforcement officers, like all human beings, are presented with grand questions about life’s meaning and purpose. They consider the problem of evil, the suffering of innocents, the relationships between justice and mercy, power and responsibility, spirit and flesh. They ponder the impenetrable mystery of death. Cops, in short, think about the same theological issues seminary students research, discuss, argue, and write papers about, but a cop’s work lends immediacy and urgency to such questions. Apart from my familiarity with and affinity for police culture, I was sure working with cops would take me right up to where the theological rubber meets the road." P. 60

What do you think about the idea of law enforcement chaplaincy? If more law enforcement agencies had chaplains would there be less police abuse and corruption?

Friday, September 1, 2017

UUAWOL nonfiction book for September, 2017 - Here If You Need Me by Kate Braestrup

Thank you Maria for your interest in this month's UUAWOL nonfiction book selection, Here If You Need Me by Kate Braestrup. Having lost your own husband you might be able to identify with Kate's circumstances when her husband is killed suddenly in a car crash and she is left with four young children. You have been in a similar situation and I have admired your resilience and ability to grieve and yet continue to function to carry out your responsibilities to yourself, your children, your extended family, and your community.

From what I know about your life, Maria, you have become an activist protesting the police abuses especially toward minorities while Braestrup went back to school and became an ordained minister in the Maine Warden Service providing religious support when the Conservation officers were dealing with a tragedy. It seems to me that you and Kate have done similar work in different roles in the service of different causes but a ministry none the less.

Because of your similar experiences your thoughts about Braestrup's book will be of particular interest and use. What I believe you and Kate have in common is a way of turning grief into determined efforts to relieve the suffering in the world and make it a better place. Your membership in Unitarian Universalist churches also is a common factor and it may be of interest to readers of UUAWOL to learn how the UU faith and values have helped you manage your tragedies and reconfiguration of your lives on a new level.

We look forward to your comments on the book.


Monday, August 28, 2017

UU A Way Of Life monthly book discussion.

The UU A Way Of Life will begin a book club this fall beginning on September 1, 2017. We will read one fiction and one non fiction book per month. UU A Way Of Life blog readers are welcomed to read along and post comments on the blog articles which discuss these books. Guest articles are encouraged and should be sent to

The books for September, 2017 are:

Fiction - Heroes Of The New Frontier by Dave Eggers.
Non fiction - Here If You Need Me by Kate Braestrup.

We look forward to your comments throughout the month of September. Suggestions for upcoming books are welcome in the comments and to me by email at


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