Have you ever read a book that so resonated with you that you scribbled all over the margins?  This recently happened to me when I picked up John Dorhauer’s Beyond Resistance: The Institutional Church Meets the Postmodern World.  Here’s a taste:


“If we can accept that some churches are going to die; if we can trust the capacity of our faith to sustain us through the grief and the pain that will come every time one does; and if we can shift our strategic approach to these deaths from reactive to proactive (meaning we have to be honest in our assessments with church leaders about their future); then we can have a very different kind of conversation.” p. 27


“There is much more to see in front of us than a dying church. There is more to perceive than the diminishment of resources. There is more to experience than grief. It is time not just to hope against hope, but to discover what there is beyond the horizon of our grief that grounds us in hope.” p. 61


By the end of the book, I thought to myself, I could have written this. It so clearly describes my understanding of the deinstitutionalization of the church, and our own experiences right here in PGV. And then I discovered, this book was written in 2015. Before the acceleration brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. Yipes.


The response to an interest poll suggests you might enjoy wrestling with this book together. As we walk through the Lenten wilderness, we claim ourselves to be an Easter people. What does that mean, what does that look like in the context of Church in today’s postmodern world?


Join me by registering for one of the following six-week Zoom studies:



Purchase the book and read Chapter One: Death with Dignity for the first session.

Please contact me if financial assistance for securing the book would be helpful.


I look forward to continuing the journey with you!


Susan Orr

Transitional Leader

Presbytery of Genesee Valley