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Author(s): Martin L Smith, Julia Gatta
Go In Peace is a unique resource to develop the skills of clergy in exercising pastoral ministry as confessors - ministers of the sacramental Rite of Reconciliation. This book makes available the kind of teaching and coaching that has been done individually and informally to pass on skills and accumulated pastoral wisdom, but has not been widely accessible or well integrated into clergy training. The book provides an overview of the theology and history of the Anglican Rite of Reconciliation and its place in our tradition. The authors discuss and explore the pastoral skills needed in the ministry of reconciliation, its relationship to pastoral counselling, the disciplines of confidentiality and the integration of this ministry into mature priestly identity and spirituality. They offer practical insights into helping people to prepare for the Rite and pastoral guidance for administering the Rite itself. Finally they explore how to offer spiritual guidance that helps people to take God's forgiveness to heart and supports them in their intention to amend their lives.
Christian talk a lot about sin without quite knowing what to do with it. Clergy and lay Christians who know their need to do real business with God have long needed such a wise, compassionate and practical guide. This thoroughly readable and humane exploration includes clear examples of the kind of confessions ministers may hear and people may need to make. Go in Peace should be required reading for all clergy engaged in this vital and deeply renewing ministry. -- Gordon Oliver This excellent book covers concisely the history, theology and practice of the sacrament of reconciliation, and emphasises the importance of confession and absolution in the Christian life. Written in a clear and straightforward style, it is an admirable introduction to its subject for clergy who so far have had little or no experience of this ministry, and offers practical guidance that experienced confessors too may well find helpful.' -- Hugh Wybrew Wise, down-to-earth and constructively confronting, this book helps clergy reclaim the sacrament of confession, a pastoral practice fundamental to the cure of souls. This compassionate, theologically- accessible exploration considers the Christian tradition of confession, the current context, and practical issues and includes examples of counsel offered to a range of penitents. These lovingly crafted combinations of thanksgiving, Scripture, prayer and action reinforce the reality of God's love for each penitent and, if you have never made a formal confession, may encourage you to experience for yourself the freedom God longs to give you, and those you serve. -- Sue Pickering
Martin L. Smith is the Senior Associate Rector at St. Columba's Church in Washington DC and pursues a wide-ranging ministry of lecturing, retreats and workshops. Julia Gatta is Professor of Pastoral Theology at the School of Theology in the University of the South.
Martin L. Smith is the author of a number of books on the spiritual life that have found a wide following throughout the Anglican Communion and beyond, including Love Set Free and Compass and Stars. Formerly a member of the Society of St John the Evangelist, he currently serves as Senior Associate Rector of St Columba's, Washington DC.