Find Christ in Celtic tradition


Bishop’s Bookshelf

Suggested Reading from Bishop Hope Morgan Ward


Comments: Our Christian memory is selective: Few of us have been schooled in the rich heritage that is ours through the Celtic traditions. As St. Patrick’s Day approaches, embrace St. Patrick, the first missionary bishop and our teacher toward faithful evangelism.


At the age of 48, Patrick experienced a dream in which the people of Ireland urged him to come again among them. He was ordained a bishop and sent at his own request into a remarkable 27-year ministry among the people who had once enslaved him.


His Celtic strategy was distinctive. Patrick respected and engaged the indigenous culture of the people of Ireland. His movement utilized small, provisional buildings of wood and mud and featured laity in ministry more than clergy. The movement was imaginative, creative and heart-felt with high appreciation for the natural world and for complexity.


Storytelling, art and music were means of sharing the love of God through Jesus Christ. Prayer was continual, from the moment of rising  through the work and wonder of the day to sleep in the evening.


In contrast to the linear Roman strategy of presenting Christ, inviting for decision and finally welcoming, the Celtic strategy engaged the people in conversation and community out of which commitment arose. It was a highly effective strategy, with remarkable contemporary import for us.


Thanks to Brad Sartor, pastor of Drew and Shelby churches in the Greenwood District, for recommending this book to us all.


Cokesbury Bookstore in Ridgeland offers a 25-percent discount on the monthly Bishop’s Bookshelf selections. This is a limited-time offer.