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Take This Bread: A Radical Conversion by…
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Take This Bread: A Radical Conversion (2007)

by Sara Miles

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I just loved this book. Sara Miles describes an approach to church that is very refreshing. Connecting food and eating with he Gospel is so much what Jesus Himself seemed to be about. He ate with the roughest elements of his society, no one was excluded from His table and the food was free. I have always felt that the church needs to be much more inclusive. Where a lesbian, worldly, atheist can find God, we need more places like that, more churches that make such people feel welcome. ( )
  bness2 | May 23, 2017 |
This is the story of unlikely conversion: A radical lesbian activist, who spend much of her youth involved in people's uprisings in Mexico & Central America, one day walks into a church, receives communion, and is transformed. She becomes filled with the idea of "sharing the body," which for her becomes a command to feed the people. Which leads her to setting up a weekly food bank in the church, and then to helping others in the city start new food banks as well, challenging her congregation, those in her neighborhood, and even those who visit the food bank to expand their ideas of community, service, and comfort.

What I appreciated most about this book was the author's meditations on what it means to "be the body of Christ," and sharing in that call with those whose religious beliefs differed significantly from hers. (And vice versa!) It's a thought that I've been mulling over all summer, and it's helping me be less reticent expressing my beliefs around those with more conservative views (Pretty much everyone.) ( )
  greeniezona | Sep 20, 2014 |
A fascinating and thought-provoking account of Sara Miles' journey to Christ, mediated through food, feeding, and the Eucharist. If ever someone was pre-disposed to ignore Jesus and his church, it was Miles, with a devoutly atheistic upbringing, complicated sexuality and relationships, and knowing know Christians. But God drew her to himself, and her faith found expression in the most direct way, following Jesus' command to the disciples to "feed my sheep", starting nine food pantries around poor neighbourhoods of San Francisco.

As a journalist for many years, she writes beautifully, weaving her many experiences together. Through them you can see God moving to draw her to him, and then draw her deeper into a discipleship often with cost.

Recommended for anyone interested in the spiritual life, including to those sensing a call from God to new vocations. ( )
  jandm | Jul 25, 2013 |
Sara Miles wrote a book that speaks to the graces and insights I have received during the years of my involvement in feeding hungry people in a different context from hers. This book is Miles's story of her discovery of what it means to be Christ for others and see Christ in others. I am deeply moved by her stories and reflections, by her concrete experience of the body of Christ, blessed and broken. ( )
  nmele | Apr 6, 2013 |
Pretty good! Lively, down-to-Earth account. ( )
  pmerriam | Apr 9, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345495799, Paperback)

Early one morning, for no earthly reason, Sara Miles, raised an atheist, wandered into a church, received communion, and found herself transformed–embracing a faith she’d once scorned. A lesbian left-wing journalist who’d covered revolutions around the world, Miles didn’t discover a religion that was about angels or good behavior or piety; her faith centered on real hunger, real food, and real bodies. Before long, she turned the bread she ate at communion into tons of groceries, piled on the church’s altar to be given away. Within a few years, she and the people she served had started nearly a dozen food pantries in the poorest parts of their city.

Take This Bread is rich with real-life Dickensian characters–church ladies, millionaires, schizophrenics, bishops, and thieves–all blown into Miles’s life by the relentless force of her newfound calling. Here, in this achingly beautiful, passionate book, is the living communion of Christ.

“The most amazing book.”
–Anne Lamott

“Engaging, funny, and highly entertaining . . . Miles comments, often with great insight, on the ugliness that many people associate with a particular brand of Christianity. Why would any thinking person become a Christian? is one of the questions she addresses, and her answer is also compelling reading.”
–Booklist

“Powerful . . . This book is a gem [and] will remain with you forever.”
–The Decatur Daily

“What Miles learns about faith, about herself and about the gift of giving and receiving graciously are wonderful gifts for the reader.”
–National Public Radio

“[A] joyful memoir . . . advocates big-tent Christianity in the truest sense . . . a story of finding sustenance and passing it on.”
–National Catholic Reporter

“Rigorously honest, Take This Bread demonstrates how hard–and how necessary–it is to welcome everyone to the table, without exception.”
–San Francisco Chronicle

“Moving, delightful and significant.”
–The Christian Century

Don’t miss the reading group guide in the back of the book.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:50 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Raised as an atheist, Sara Miles lived an enthusiastically secular life. Then early one morning, for no earthly reason, she wandered into a church. "I was certainly not interested in becoming a Christian," she writes, "or, as I thought of it rather less politely, a religious nut." But she ate a piece of bread, took a sip of wine, and found herself radically transformed. The sacrament of communion has sustained Miles ever since, in a faith she'd scorned, in work she'd never imagined. Here she tells how the seeds of her conversion were sown, and what her life has been like since she took that bread: as a lesbian left-wing journalist, religion for her was not about angels or good behavior or piety. She writes about the economy of hunger and the ugly politics of food; the meaning of prayer and the physicality of faith. Here, in this passionate book, is the living communion of Christ.--From publisher description.… (more)

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