Carolyn M. Chilton
Carolyn has been employed by the Episcopal Church for 25 years. She is the Assistant for Stewardship and Evangelism at Grace and Holy Trinity Church in Richmond, Virginia. Previous positions include Director of Programs and Congregational Development in the Diocese of Virginia and Canon for Christian Formation in the Diocese of Upper South Carolina. Carolyn was Executive Director of NAECED, the National Association for Episcopal Christian Education Directors, from 2001 until 2004, and served as a member of PEALL, Proclaiming Education for All, a task force of the Executive Council studying the future of theological education in the Episcopal Church. She is a trained spiritual director and leads conferences and retreats across the country. In her spare time, Carolyn enjoys reading (especially murder mysteries) and gardening.
Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life: How to Finally, Really Grow Up
By James Hollis (Gotham Books, 2005)
What does it really mean to be a grown-up in this modern world? Is it just having it all together with the right job, the right marriage, 2.5 children and a manageable mortgage? We all know that there is more to it than this, and that the questions of adulthood come back around to us over and over again. Have we made the right choices in life? What are our choices now with the changes in our vocation, relationships and age? Hollis's thesis is that it is only in the second half of life that we can answer many of these questions and know who we truly are. I find this book to be remarkable in the way that the author approaches the questions of life. It is a nice balance of psychology and personal wisdom. How can I live with a less diminished view of myself? What can my anxieties teach me about myself and how I respond to others and the situations of my life? How can I be a more genuine person and worry less about what others think of me or of how I should live my life?
Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation
By Parker Palmer (Jossey-Bass, 2000)
“Is the life that you are living the same as the life that wants to live in you?” asks Parker Palmer in this remarkable book. Who doesn’t ask this question of their life? But how do we find the answer? Palmer’s assertion is that we have to ask this question by learning to listen to our own lives. His phrase is to learn to listen to our lives “inside out” —listen for our passions, longings, what gives us joy, what diminishes us. This book has been instrumental in my own vocational and spiritual journey for many years. It brings me back to the fundamental questions of meaning in vocation and my relationships with myself, God and others.
The Bread of Angels: A Journey to Love and Faith
Stephanie Saldana (Doubleday, 2010)
This is the story of the unlikely year that changed Stephanie Saldana’s life. At the age of 27 she moves to Damascus, Syria, for a year to study Arabic, Christianity and Islam. When she arrives she knows no one and has no place to live, so she walks the streets of the Old City knocking on doors asking if anyone has a room to rent. She not only finds a wonderful room, but also encounters people that will influence the course of her life and help in the real journey of this year, which is her search for God. I loved this book because her story is the human story in our search for God and for meaning in our lives; because the story is captivating in its honesty, vividness and humor; and because it is a celebration of the spiritual in all people no matter their religion.
The Rule of Benedict: Insights for the Ages
By Joan Chittister (Crossroad, 1992)
Joan Chittister, a member of the Beneditine Sisters of Erie, PA, takes the Rule of Benedict chapter by chapter giving 21st century interpretations.
How, Then, Shall we Live: Four Simple Questions That Reveal the Beauty and Meaning of Our Lives
By Wayne Muller (Bantam Books, 1996)
Muller discusses four questions: Who am I? What do I love? How shall I live, knowing I will die? What is my gift to the family of the earth?
The Active Life: A Spirituality of Work, Creativity, and Caring
By Parker J. Palmer (Jossey-Bass, 1990)
The author gives a deep and graceful exploration of a spirituality for the busy, sometimes frenetic lives many of us lead.
Windows into the Soul: Art as Spiritual Expression
By Michael Sullivan (Morehouse Publishing, 2006)
An exploration into how the art of simple creativitiy can open the deep recesses of our hearts and bring about real change.
By Robert Benson (Tarcher, 1999)
In looking at his own life with candor and hope, the author helps us look at own.