Saturday, August 09, 2008

Trespassers Will Be Baptized

I do like stories of journeys to and from faith, so when I read the title Trespassers Will Be Baptized, I knew I wanted to know more.

Elizabeth Emerson Hancock was growing up in Kentucky where her daddy was a Baptist Preacher. She herself was a deeply religious child who felt the call. In fact, during a block yard sale, Elizabeth and her sister Meg saw the other kids setting up lemonade stands and took matters into their own hands. They set up their own stand..."Baptisms: 25 Cents"!

Hancock weaves humour into this story of growing up religious. She reminds us what it is to look at our parents with awe and then inevitably become disappointed in their choices.

Readers move from the pulpit to Vacation Bible School, to mother-daughter retreats and back. We see the hypocrisy and the love in the church environment. The story is told anecdotally focusing primarily on Hancock's relationship with her father, sister and mother in turn.

When I first picked this book up, I thought it might have a bit more of a Jesusland feel to it, but I was wrong. We simply follow Elizabeth (Em) and her family along the way. It is a description rather than an analysis. It is enjoyable, and gives a good look into the ways of the South and the way that her own family had a journey to faith both within the church and within the home.

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