City of God by Sara Miles

Mixed Media

The “city of God” that Sara Miles writes about is real: a city of concrete, of streets and homes, hills and oceans. In particular, it is the Mission district of San Francisco, where Miles serves as director of ministry at St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church. The Mission is also the diverse, multicultural neighborhood in which she has lived for over 20 years.

This book focuses on a very specific time in the liturgical year: Ash Wednesday 2012. On that day, Miles, together with members of other worshiping communities in the district, takes to the streets with the service of ashes. They offer the cross on the forehead of everyone who needs to be reminded, “You are dust, and to dust you will return.”

Miles discovers that everyone is yearning to be touched and forgiven, and that in giving we often receive so much more. Whether Ash Wednesday is part of your Lenten liturgy or an unfamiliar practice, this book will unsettle, challenge, and ultimately remind readers that God is alive in our cities. Miles gives us a glimpse of God’s presence in one neighborhood. (Jericho Books)

About the Author

Jenny deGroot is a freelance media review and news writer for The Banner. She lives on Swallowfield Farm near Fort Langley B.C. with her husband, Dennis. Before retirement she worked as a teacher librarian and assistant principal.