Breaking and Entering: Unexpected Sermons for an Unfinished World

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When Elizabeth Goodman first arrived at the tiny congregation that would become her home as a pastor--a congregation of about seven people in a town of just under a thousand--the longest-standing member told her that though the congregation was small, her preaching need not be. In this collection of sermons, readers will witness a mind at work amidst a faithful congregation (whose numbers are now around thirty), mutually nurtured, and together having no small amount of fun. Meanwhile, the ramifications of the gospel in the world will sneak up and surprise. Guided always by a spirit of play and by scripture, as it is in conversation with life, Goodman illuminates both the quiet suggestions that undo what we think we know and the startling demands that are to be both feared and desired. This congregation has a tagline: ""It's not what you think."" They are probably right. ""This is a book of thirty-three sermons for both preachers and non-preachers. Preachers will discover rich resources for their own preaching ministries. But they will also find what non-preachers are looking for--faith nurtured, hope stirred, and guidance for Christian discipleship in the midst of honest and authentic questions."" --Erskine Clarke, Editor and Publisher, Journal for Preachers ""Elizabeth Goodman has provided a gift to everyone who longs for the beauty and wonder of God to break into our lives and to transform our world. Rarely is a collection of sermons so theologically rich, offering reflections on scripture that, like the Spirit herself, take us by surprise and lead us where we never before dreamed possible."" --Phil Snider, Author, Preaching After God ""Reading this book of sermons is like having an unfailingly interesting conversation with a friend who happens to have a degree in theology. Neither shaken by questions nor satisfied by glib answers, Goodman is a treasure."" --Louisa Gilder, Author, The Age of Entanglement: When Quantum Physics Was Reborn ""I don't know Elizabeth Goodman, but her sermons make me want to know her. Perhaps more importantly, her sermons make me want to better know the God of whom she speaks. Goodman writes with an intoxicating blend of gravity and lightness."" --Anthony B. Robinson, Author, Transforming Congregational Culture and What's Theology Got To Do With It? Elizabeth Goodman has been the pastor of the United Church of Christ in Monterey, a ""hilltown"" of the Berkshire Hills in Massachusetts, since 2001. A lifelong member of the UCC and a graduate of Harvard Divinity School, she is a regular contributor to the Journal for Preachers. She lives with her husband and their two sons at the foot of October Mountain, which makes for a good daily hike with her dogs.
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