Grace: A Memoir
Mary Cartledgehayes's life was going along swimmingly. Her husband, Fred, was about to take early retirement so the two of them could embark on a life of travel and leisure. There was just one problem: God. It had all started when the roof of her new gold Chevette became transparent and radiance poured in on her head. Now it was clear that a life of leisure was out; Mary embarked on the arduous, exhausting, and wonderful experience of becoming a minister. Grace is her story.
Divinity school wasn't an obvious choice for Mary in middle age, once a wildly unconventional single mother of two who'd been twice divorced by age twenty-five, who had pretty dresses in her closet and expletives on the tip of her tongue. Grace reveals how an all-too-ordinary woman comes to terms with the sometimes devastating impact of the sacred. With unabashed exuberance, Mary tells of leading a congregation as its first female pastor, of her moving struggle to knit the congregation around its most ailing member, and her painful realization that in order to live faithfully she must leave a job she loves. Simultaneously, she decides to take up piano and discovers a pursuit whose spiritual rewards are both abundant and unexpected.
Inspired and inspiring, Grace is a wickedly delightful account of spiritual and personal renewal in midlife and a lively testament to the transformative power of grace in all its many guises.
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He told me quite a few things about the church, asked me a few questions, and
then told me the names, ages, and occupations of every single adult male in the
congregation. I was perplexed; the last thing I needed was to meet one more ...
Fred asked. "The ones the candidates were asked. Are you going on to perfection
and do you know the Rules and the doctrines and do you approve of our church
government, and are you determined to devote your time to God?" I can still see ...
Kelly Clem, when asked whether the experience at the Alabama church had
changed her as a pastor, replied, "I'm less patient with petty stuff and power
struggles that go on in the church, not only in the local church but in the
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - zappa - LibraryThing
It's awkward, really. How do you review so personal a tale? Too personal, in fact. Call me a prude, but that's too many details about the author's sex life, included, I presume because she wants to ... Read full review
GRACE: A MemoirUser Review - Kirkus
Recently ordained United Methodist minister Cartledgehayes debuts with no-holds-barred reflections on her decision to be ordained, her experiences while in charge of a church, and her uncertainty ... Read full review