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A Love Quilt: Later Faith Patches

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Trish McBride

Book Description

Do you wrestle with institutional religion but have a desire to encounter God as Divine Love?

This collection of later-life writings integrates deep Christian spiritual experiences of God with sometimes unorthodox thinking on many aspects of love, life, interfaith, race & social issues, and sciences.

Distilled wisdom, from Trish’s 70-year spiritual journey, will encourage and support you on your own journey. Her stories, poems and liturgies will engage you and challenge you to look at your life story and direction.

Trish writes as a post-denominational Christian.

“This is a work of such richness and spiritual insight… Trish McBride has opened her story and her soul to her readers and enabled us all to profit from her deep understanding of her own pilgrimage. … In many ways Trish’s story is so different from my own, that it was surprising and exciting to discover that her bold experiments, her deep experiences and her explorations have significant benefit even for those of us who have gone in different directions.” Peter Lineham, MNZM, Emeritus Professor of History

“…You will find stories that engage you and challenge you to look at your own deep story and most of all you will encounter Love. You will discover her rich poetic voice and her deep commitment to Love.

A Love Quilt: Later Faith Patches gives witness to the power of Divine Love in all its rawness. As Trish shares her many sacred encounters with Divine Love, she draws on her deep experience of life in personal relationships, through creation, community, and social justice. She shares her journey with us beyond denominational labels, and her evolving understanding of what it means to be Christian about which she says: “It’s so challenging, yet so simple: Love one another as I have loved you!” Dr Bernadette Miles, Co-founder and Director of Kardia Formation P/L, Australia Member, Coordinating Council of Spiritual Directors International

“The book is arranged in a collection of ‘patches’, which hold true to the title, ‘A Love Quilt’. The theme of each patch talks about Love which is to be found embedded in story, poetry and ponderings. Patch headings include: Love and Creation, Love in Community and Love and Social Justice; all of which are close to the heart of the author.

Within Trish’s central theme of love, comes some refreshing and diverse contexts for example, working alongside mental health consumers; engaging with people of different faiths and ethnicities and those in our community who identify as LGBTI. We find subjects as varied as quantum physics, cosmology, ecology, evolution and interspirituality. Although social justice is the backbone of Trish’s faith in action; contemplation, mysticism and playing with metaphors of the Nameless One, are also essential companions on her journey of love.

Some of this wisdom, shaped through life experience of Trish and others, will bring confirmation to some of us who are often living on the edge of orthodoxy that we were taught in the past. However, the author’s learnings may also bring disquiet. As Trish says, ‘With discomfort comes the necessity to examine our own settled theology which may need some shaking up’. Within our uneasiness comes an invitation to ‘dismantle our tidy jigsaws and incorporate new experiences, insights and understandings’ into our faith matrix. I encourage you to be dismayed and reassured.” Heather Sangster-Smith, Educator, Advocate, Facilitator

More praise for A Love Quilt

"…McBride’s spiritual memoir is set in the context of Aotearoa New Zealand, a nation which, from my perspective, has a far greater appreciation of Māori culture than we in Australia have of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and spirituality. One way this manifests itself is the frequent inclusion of the Māori language in her writings. We could learn much from our close neighbours! What became evident as I immersed myself in A Love Quilt was McBride’s own developing understanding and relationship with Indigenous peoples and the land.

Spiritual directors may find A Love Quilt a helpful resource to offer their directees so they may recognise how God, named or unnamed, is present in each and every experience of life. As McBride notes in her introduction, while ‘[a] secondary purpose of it is to document some of Christian thinking in the 2000s… [the] primary purpose… is to encourage you, the reader, to reflect on the happenings and ponderings of your own life, …your own stories of inner and outer journeys.’ McBride’s book has done that for me and could do so for you and your directees. May those who pick up A Love Quilt: Later Faith Patches be invited to engage with their own story, see it filled with divine grace and maybe create their own ‘love quilt’.”
Reviewed by Elizabeth Lee in Coolamon issue 6 – Sept 2022
(Australian Network for Spiritual Direction Inc)

• • •

“This is the story of the faith patches that make up the later stages of one woman’s spiritual life. You too may indeed identify with and discover anew, but you will not find this book mundane or prescriptive or even the end of the journey. Trish ends with a brief and beautiful blessing: may her writing bring rich blessing to you and those with whom you share it. Thank you, Trish, for trusting us with the mystery and multi-layered fabric pieces of your later life.” Rev Dr Jenny Dawson from the Foreword

“A quilt is the perfect metaphor for this beautiful patchwork of what the author describes as ‘pieces of my learning and thinking from the last decade.’ As in her earlier volumes, Trish engages the reader in an intimate personal conversation about the spiritual journey.” John Broomfield, Former President, California Institute of Integral Studies

“It’s always a pleasure to learn from Trish’s words and history. And it’s a privilege to have access here to her meditations, experiences and wisdom. If you have the chance, try also to reach her previous books. In each piece, you will hear the voice of the Universe asking you to stop for a bit, reflect and feel its magnificence.” Antonio Lima, Liberation Theologian, Sociologist, Activist, Brazil

“A rich reading experience! This is a wonderfully multifaceted quilt – inspiring, challenging, and thought provoking. All the pieces are sewn together with the continuous thread of love.” Sheila Pritchard, Spiritual director and supervisor

“Trish is an enchanting storyteller who secretly embeds insights and wisdom within, for those who have eyes to see.” Heather Sangster-Smith, Educator, Advocate, Facilitator

About the Author

Trish McBride spent more than 25 years as a lay chaplain in workplaces, a hospice and a mental health context, and is a retired counsellor and spiritual director. Formal studies included an MA (Hons) in Classics, Diploma in Pastoral Ministry, and recognition as an Associate in Christian Ministry (inter-denominational).

Her articles and academic papers have appeared in several periodicals in Aotearoa NZ and elsewhere. She was awarded third prize in The (London) Tablet’s international John Harriott religious journalism competition in 1993, and contributed chapters to five Catholic-based New Zealand theology books by Accent Publications between 2008 and 2016.

These writings have been gathered and supplemented to be the basis of what has now become an accidental trilogy, recording her spiritual journey for most of the last 70 years. Faith Evolving (2005) covered 30 years from the 1970s. Exploring the Presence went backwards, forwards and very widely. And now A Love Quilt covers the last decade. She is passionate about Social Justice, the well-being and stories of women and other marginalised people.

Trish was born in Lancaster, England, emigrated with her family as a child to live in Tauranga, and has lived in Wellington since 1959. She has a large extended family, including 21 precious grandchildren. She was a deeply-involved Catholic until her late 50s, and since 2012 has belonged to St Andrew’s on The Terrace, a Progressive Presbyterian Parish. She enjoys family, nurturing her friendships, reading, swimming, and walking, as well making quilts, three of which have appeared on the covers of her books.
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