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A rousing call to action from one of the nation's foremost religious leaders

November 2, 2010

Immigration, environmental concerns and lack of proper medical care are just three major issues faced by people around the world each day. Whose job is it to fix these problems? Can communities of faith sit idly by and wait for governments to address the crises threatening society, or is it up to individuals to provide solutions? What responsibilities do people of faith have to help heal this fractured world?

"As Christians—indeed as people of faith of any tradition—we are called to tend to the needs of the least among us," writes Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, in THE HEARTBEAT OF GOD: Finding the Sacred in the Middle of Everything (SkyLight Paths / January 2010 / Hardcover / $21.99). "Our response to them must be the response of faith. God gives us a new heart to do this work, and every time we gather to do it, God offers a pacemaker jolt to tweak our heart"s rhythm. The challenge is this: will our hearts respond with a strengthened beat, in tune with God"s own heartbeat, sending more life out into the world?"

Explore the connections—as human beings with each other, as one nation with all other nations, as the human species with the whole of the environment—through the lens of faith. Bishop Jefferts Schori examines these connections as she looks at the intersections of faith with the major issues of our day:

• How does faith speak to poverty, climate change, the economy, health care, and what is the faith response?

• How can believers from many faith traditions find common ground while honoring the Divine, serving one another and creating deeper community?

• How do we best use the resources of faith to connect us to the hearts of our neighbors and to the heart of God?

This is an up-close look at the major secular issues of our day that have profoundly religious roots, and our responsibility to take action as individuals and communities of faith. Jefferts Schori, an inspiring leader in world religion, confronts the most pressing moral and ethical challenges we face today and shows us how our decisions can be—should be—informed by our faith.


The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori is the Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church. She is the first female Primate in the Anglican Communion. Prior to her 2006 election as Presiding Bishop, she was the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Nevada. Previous to her ordination to the priesthood in 1994, she was an oceanographer with the National Marine Fisheries Service in Seattle. She was also a visiting assistant professor in Oregon State University"s Department of Religious Studies and a visiting scientist at Oregon State"s College of Oceanography. She is the author of A Wing and a Prayer: A Message of Faith and Hope and The Gospel in the Global Village: Seeking God"s Dream of Shalom.

Joan Chittister, OSB, is an international lecturer and award-winning author of more than thirty-five books, including The Gift of Years: Growing Older Gracefully. She is founder and executive director of Benetvision, a resource and research center for contemporary spirituality located in Erie, Pennsylvania. She serves as co-chair of the Global Peace Initiative of Women and the Network of Spiritual Progressives.



NOTE: THE HEARTBEAT OF GOD: Finding the Sacred in the Middle of Everything is available through Episcopal Books & Resources, 1-800-903-5544,


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Nancy Cox Davidge
Public Affairs Officer