Novelist and essayist Anne Lamott is known for her candor and humor on subjects such as addiction, religion, and motherhood. "Why I Make Sam Go to Church" is taken from Traveling Mercies(1999), a collection of autobiographical essays on faith. In this selection, Lamott describes the role her church community played as she undertook single motherhood and raised her son. She reflects on the meaning of spiritual community, saying of her relationship with her faith and her son, "I want to give [Sam] what I found in the world, which is to say a path and a little light to see by." What sorts of gifts does Lamott receive from fellow parishioners? How does she receive them? What is her gift to Sam, and what response might he have?
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Lamott, Anne. “Why I Make Sam Go to Church. Hearing the Call Across Traditions: Readings on Faith and Service . Ed. Adam Davis. Skylight Paths Publishing, 2009. 102-105.
What do people gain from joining a group? What do they lose?What do people gain or lose from joining a group or a community?How much do we need to know in order to act?Where do our values come from? Why do we care about what we care about?
Hearing the Call Across Traditions