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August 23, 2021: Sorting through Theology Books

I realized about a week ago that my footprint at the Meeting House has gotten too large. It is books we are talking here, not anything else. Some people, like my friend Becky, who is primarily a flower gardener, leave footprints that consist of plants, annuals and perennials. And some, like Pete, who is primarily a vegetable gardener, leave footprints that consist of all sorts of vegetables. Now that I think about it, my friends Fran and Sarah, who live in Fairbanks, leave a similar footprint. My friend Bill Schmidtkunz, who is a jack of all trades, leaves footprints that consist of horse manure. He’s taking our horse poop and spreading it on the far side of the Glenn Highway – right now he’s growing wildflowers – in the future he’s going to get some raised beds in place and grow potatoes.

Some leave less desirable footprints. For instance, hunters in our area (the amateurs) leave ATV cuts in their wake. The Murphy Road trailhead and our adjacent mounting block area is now all torn up.

Bill with the Valley Hotel bookcase

My book footprint – it GOT too large. I had books in the kids’ room, the library, and the meeting room area. I got a call from the pastor who, indirectly, indicated that I was the literary equivalent of Big Foot. So, Saturday and today, I worked at reducing the overall size of my footprint by redistributing some of the theology books in the Church of the Covenant. Some (those which are out of date) will be dropped off at VCRs and shredded, some (which have a theological bent) will be dropped off at the Alaska Bible College, and some (which have a spiritual bent) will be taken to rescue missions.

This is an amazingly tall order. And I’m only 5”2.

So today I sorted through the theological/spiritual books, examining each book before I made a decision as to its fate. It was tough. I have not read many books in either category. I had to go with what a quick perusal told me – and I didn’t feel very good about it. What I needed, and I did not have, was someone who’s area of expertise are these sorts of books.

Bibles, religious histories, theological treatises, I hung onto these books. I put the books about the end times and those that promised immediate salvation in the spirituality box. After, I put the outgoing (very happy) fiction books on the now vacant shelves.

It was easy dealing with duplicates – I hung on to one copy and boxed up the multiples.

My lack of expertise in making these determinations did bother me some. I was also bothered by the fact that I was disassembling a theological library, one in which someone put considerable time and thought into. However, I kept reminding myself that the books would become a part of others’ libraries, and good ones at that.

Tomorrow, I will go at it again, with an equally heavy heart.

Next: 233. 8/24/21: A Conversation with Tyra

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