Wednesday, March 18, 2015

On a mission from God and I'm up in alms!

(See what I did there?)
Performance art is overrated.

Hi all, how have you been doing?  I hope well.  I have been, um, busy!  Let's see, I've been--
  1. trying to get a second (fully written) book published, called The Gift of Birth
  2. teaching a lot of general education theology in a country where we lost 7.5 million believers since 2012
  3. writing an academic article on reader-response criticism, genre, and the Theology of the Body (trust me, its better than it sounds)
  4. trying to start a second academic article on a Theology of Disability.  The non-academic version is getting published in a couple of weeks
  5. lassoing my five kids into school, back home, to various events
  6. negotiating Alex's great big surgery to alleviate his CP spasticity this coming May
  7. getting named chair of my department at work, because I guess I looked bored (all the responsibility and none of the power)
  8. Pondering my friend Rob Kroese's brilliant statement: "If Pi Day, the Ides of March and St. Patrick's Day could get their act together, they could combine into one awesome celebration of beer, pie, snakes and stabbing."  We so missed an opportunity here.
Oh, and this thing: my husband has been starting a small press devoted to making it easier and more practical for families to pass on the faith!

(Everyone who has started a small business, we are feeling each other's joys and pains right now!)

Here's the thing. We Catholics have a problem, a big problem. Parents are not teaching the faith to their children. They may be taking them to mass, or enrolling them in Catholic schools.  But they aren't talking about the faith--and all the studies say this has devastating effects.  But to be fair, a lot of parents don't know what to do.  They had poor catechesis themselves, or just aren't comfortable being in a teaching role of any sort.  These parents need family faith helps that are as simple as slapping together a Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich: good stuff, tasty, solid nutrition for the next couple of hours.

My husband used to work as an editor at a press, and has been doing free lance writing and editing for years.  He's good at design and social media engagement.  he has a solid background (including a master's degree) in Catholic theology.  He can create these books and more.  So in October, he decided to take the plunge and do it.  He created an imprint called Peanut Butter and Grace: books and resources for parents to better teach, pray, and live the faith with their kids, and books for kids to read with their parents.

Amazingly, my teaching career at a small liberal arts mission college and sporadic success as a blogger (erp) has not put us on easy street.  He got a little help to begin this ministry and has made it work so far based on a lot of blood, sweat, and tears.  Lack of sleep has factored in too.  But the time has come to fundraise some money to get these items out more quickly.  He has published three books (two books that help children and adults pray the rosary with a classical art image for each prayer, and one book for parents needing ideas beyond saying grace, called 77 Ways to Pray With Your Kids.)

He wants to publish seven more books by the end of the year.  But there are some costs--paying illustrators, copyright permissions, editing costs, and especially marketing.  People love these books so far.  But there needs to be marketing so others know they exist!

To that end, in addition to the top eight items I am also the "campaign manager" for a crowdfunding endeavor to raise some funds to move this press forward quickly and well.  There is a lot more at the website: all about the books, published and upcoming, FAQ, the weekly newsletter with ideas to implement in your family's life this week, and more!  But consider this passing the collection plate.  Brother, if you have a dime, could you drop it in here?  There are perks for this almsgiving, and you have our heartfelt gratitude as well.  

If you don't have a dime, maybe you could spread the word.  Just like you spread peanut butter?  OK, OK, I'm done.  Thanks for reading and blessings to all of you!

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