We’re planning a book sale …

… actually it makes your Borrower Bee a little sad, as it means losing some good old friends. Still, that gives us shelf space so we can bring in some new ones, while our hope is that the books that are leaving us (April 14) will find the good homes they have certainly earned. Besides the original gift that established the Behrens Library, we have benefited from many donations from members of the congregation, so the library is in that way, as in others, a treasure house of our congregational history. Sometimes making new history means letting go of older stuff that no longer fits our spiritual needs and our collective mission. In books as in other aspects of life — on to the future, even if we have not yet discerned our path. Our minister’s sermon yesterday took up the theme of paradox, which illuminates our library life — illuminates quite literally. She compares our congregational journey to that of Jonah in the belly of that great fish. Hey, it’s dark in here! Reminds me of another great piece of library wisdom: a book is man’s best friend outside of a dog. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read …

Something old, something new …

Well, yes. A blog post is how we keep up with what’s new. Of course it is. But, deep down, doesn’t keeping up with what’s new ever feel a little – well, old? We’re here to help. Our congregation has been through at least one name change, one denominational merger, two world wars, the culture wars, and who knows how many congregational meetings. And we know that the best way to be ready to take on whatever comes next is to understand where we’ve been. Us – we’ve been right here for over a century, and in the Behrens Library you can be refreshed and inspired by the love, labors, and achievements of our church and its traditions. Just the other day I came across a once famous book by Ralph Waldo Trine, called In Tune with the Infinite (1897). Our copy was given to us by our church founder M.T. Garvin on July 1st, 1919, “[i]n commemoration of the World’s greatest war for Freedom and Democracy and the League of Nations signed June 28th to preserve the peace and advance the cause of human Brotherhood and also to welcome home our store Boys who valiantly devoted themselves to this great cause on the soil of France”.

The book is a work of religious philosophy representing the New Thought movement, a part of a broader turn in early 20th-century religion to a sometimes startling mix of modernity and science with mysticism and spiritualism.