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The Lake Drive Books Newsletter
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See below for a video of this recent event with authors Brandan Robertson and Brandon Flanery talking about growing up queer in evangelicalism. Millions are exiting the church, and one of the most salient issues they cite is its treatment of LGBTQ people. Evangelical...
Friends of Lake Drive Books, When it comes to religion and spirituality, one of the things I think about a lot is the question of whether we need to believe in a theistic, supernatural being to be spiritual beings ourselves. The idea that religion, above all, means...
Is it possible to be geopolitically informed and be happy at the same time? I wonder sometimes. It feels like the world is backsliding and getting uglier by the day. Although, I suppose the truth is that humans have been doing both good and bad things ever since they...
Less than one year ago I traveled to Israel/Palestine. Less than one year. I know there are people in my sphere who wonder today at my lack of a vocal or public response to the current terror in that land, and I understand that wonder. I find myself defaulting instead...
Author’s Note: “You were like this once. What did you do to get better?” A day after leaving a mental institution, my sister, devastated by flashbacks from childhood sexual abuse, posed this question to me. Within a few weeks, she took her own life. I wrote a book to...
Friends of Lake Drive Books, As I was editing Frank Rogers's Cradled in the Arms of Compassion, I couldn't help but think that never before had I heard a personal experience quite like this. Early in this book, you are drawn into storytelling about childhood abuse and...
Caroline Beidler, MSW is a recovery advocate and founder of the recovery storytelling platform Circle of Chairs, and has twenty years in leadership within social work and ministry. She is also the author of Downstairs Church: Finding Hope in the Grit of Addiction and Trauma Recovery. Her forthcoming book with Lake Drive will explore the connection between intergenerational trauma, recovery, and healing, offering five rhythms of transformation. She lives in eastern Tennessee.
Lemuel Blackett is an ordained minister and has been in ministry for 22 years. Originally from London, he moved to New York in the late 1980s. He is a graduate of Eastern Baptist School of Religion. He’s currently Donor and Corporate Relations Manager at Interfaith Community Services. His book, Help, I’m Dealing with Trauma offers stories and insights to help readers acknowledge all the ways we can experience trauma and how to create a mindset to move forward. He lives in San Diego, California.
Named as one of the “top 10 religion newsmakers” of 2022, Christa Brown has persisted for two decades in working to peel back the truth about clergy sex abuse and coverups in the nation’s largest Protestant denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention. She’s the author of Baptistland: A Memoir of Abuse, Betrayal, and Transformation, a retired appellate attorney, a mom, a grandma, and lives with her husband in Colorado.
Cynthia Vacca Davis is an adjunct professor with an MFA in writing, teaching narrative nonfiction at Christopher Newport University. She’s written hundreds of feature stories, columns, and essays, as well as young adult novels. She enjoys telling stories, always searching for the threads that connect us to community. Her memoir Intersexion is told from alternating first-person perspectives and plays out at the intersection of social and religious tension around gender and sexuality. She lives in southwestern Virginia.
Jeff Elkins, a graduate of Baylor University and Truett Seminary, was a pastor for 15 years. He left ministry to work as a writer for a tech company and is the author of more than 10 novels and 100 short stories. He is the host of the Dialogue Doctor and co-host with Leigh Erdman of the newly launched Just Came for the Tacos about life after the evangelical church. His forthcoming book will provide hope for a Christianity that can be resurrected post-evangelicalism. He lives north of Baltimore with his wife and five kids.
Trey Ferguson likes playing with words. Whether it be with tweets, videos, essays, sermonic presentations, Bible studies, podcasts, or speaking engagements, he’s always trying to provoke an image in a seeker with some combination of words. In addition to publishing his own newsletter, The Son Do Move, and hosting the New Living Treyslation and Three Black Men podcasts, and speaking especially in churches, his forthcoming, Theologizin’ Bigger, book helps our diverse world learn how to think bigger about God.
Brandon Flanery writes about honest, messy things, specifically around faith and sexuality. He’s published with the Colorado Springs Indy, The Scribe, Baptist News Global, and has academic essays with the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. His forthcoming memoir is about being raised in evangelical Christendom as a closeted gay man, and unwinding what is real and true for him post-closet, an ever-twisting journey—full of trailblazing, thorn bushes, and dead ends. He lives in Atlanta.
Sarah Henn Hayward is a physical therapist, a devoted book fanatic, and life-long seeker of truth. After traveling the world, meeting people of different faiths, making queer friends, and learning about human evolution, she surprised herself by rejecting her entire former belief system. Her Giving Up God: Resurrecting a Spirituality of Love and Wonder reveals the struggle for a new identity through exploring new vistas in physics, philosophy, and alternative theologies. Follow @shaywardwrites on Instagram or at sarahhennhayward.com
Matt Kendziera is a speaker, podcaster, and musician. He is the host of Chasing Goodness, engaging authors, activists, and influencers on questions most people run from. He’s also a collaborator with organizations such as Rachel’s Challenge. Matt’s Bring It Home: The Adventure of Finding Yourself after Being Lost in Religion shows how stories and experiences are what connect us most intimately to the Divine, and that in our quest to find God we must first find ourselves. Matt lives with his family in Wisconsin.
Kate J. Meyer is an author, the host of #MentalHealthMondayswithKate, a public speaker, professional counselor, and ordained minister. Kate is the author of The Red Couch, a novel just out in summer 2021 about missed expectations and seeing how the past doesn’t define but informs you. Kate’s book Faith Doesn’t Erase Grief is a get-help-now manual on loss and grief at the intersections of faith and psychology, helping spiritual readers see loss more clearly. A fan of NaNoRiMo writing goals, she lives in western Michigan.
David Morris is the author of Lost Faith and Wandering Souls: A Psychology of Disillusionment, Mourning, and the Return of Hope. He is the publisher of Lake Drive Books and a literary agent at Hyponymous Consulting, two innovative ventures working together to specialize in authors and books that help people heal, grow, and discover. David holds a PhD in psychology and religion from Drew University. He lives with his wife in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and they have two daughters. Visit davidrmorris.me.
Scott Okamoto is a writer, musician, podcaster, and storyteller. He’s spent much of his professional career teaching English at a Christian college, witnessing the experience of marginalized people there, which he relays in his podcast Chapel Probation. His Asian American Apostate: Losing Religion and Finding Myself at an Evangelical University tells his unlikely spiritual journey, bringing together an evangelical past, an Asian American experience, with a contemporary world of Christian evangelicalism. He lives in Southern California with his wife and three kids.
Julia Rocchi writes prose, poetry, and prayers. She holds an MA in Writing and has published stories in Furious Gravity and Dappled Things, and other stories in the Saturday Evening Post, jmww, Bourbon Penn, 3Elements Review, Reflex Fiction and others. Julia’s forthcoming book, Amen?, is a collection of graceful musings, prayers and poems for a wandering, wondering, doubt-laden, hope-filled faith that reflects the desire to believe as much as belief itself. Julia blogs at www.juliarocchi.com and lives in northern Virginia with her family.
Frank Rogers is a professor (Claremont School of Theology), trained spiritual guide, retreat leader, and the author of Practicing Compassion, Compassion in Practice: The Way of Jesus, and The God of Shattered Glass, a novel. He focuses on spirituality that is contemplative, creative, and socially liberative. Rogers’s Cradled in the Arms of Compassion is a spiritual memoir of going from trauma to recovery. He is the cofounder of the Center for Engaged Compassion and lives in Southern California.
Marla Taviano is into books, love, justice, globes, anti-racism, blue, gray, rainbows, poems. She reads and writes for a living (especially @whitegirllearning). She’s a mom to some freaking awesome kids, and wears her heart on her t-shirts. On a mission/ quest/ journey to live wholefarted (not a typo). She’s the author of unbelieve: poems on the journey to becoming a heretic and jaded: a poetic reckoning with white evangelical christian indoctrination.