Embracing Midlife

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This book discusses the patterns of

  • spiritual development
  • emotional development

that happen at midlife, with practical suggestions for leaders of congregations

  • Jewish
  • Christian
  • Unitarian

who would like to do a better job serving their members at midlife.

Only a small percentage of people have a true midlife crisis, but the years between 35 and 55 are often rich years of spiritual growth, and congregations could do a much better job nurturing that growth.

Be sure to check out the "articles" pages of this website, which has an article Lynne wrote on midlife: Faith at Midlife.


Anonymous review: "offers delightful, realistic stories from people in their middle years." »

"What is wonderfully rewarding about Embracing Midlife is that it is not only enriching as a guide to one's own spiritual growth, it is written as the foundation for a community of faith that wants to join with its members on their midlife pilgrimage," notes Speed B. Leas, Senior Consultant, Alban Institute. Just published by the Alban Institute, Embracing Midlife: Congregations as Support Systems explores ways congregations can serve and support growth at midlife.

According to Lynne M. Baab, the book's author and an associate pastor at Bethany Presbyterian Church in Seattle, people look to their faith communities for reassurance. In Embracing Midlife, Baab addresses special issues faced by many of today's adult in congregations whether experiencing their midlife years as a struggle with gentle but persistent questions, as a welcome change of direction, or as a life-altering period of crisis.

"The voice of midlife can be loud, intrusive, and defiant but it is more likely to be soft, evasive, and sad. It is most often a voice that simply becomes less and less audible as it moves from the front row of the institution to the back row on its way toward an unobtrusive, and often final, exit," notes Nancy Bost Millner--adult development expert--in the foreword of Embracing Midlife. Millner says that Baab assists the reader in recognizing these midlife voices and "offers delightful, realistic stories from people in their middle years."

Rabbi James Mirel, co-author of Stepping Stones to Jewish Spiritual Living: Walking the Path Morning, Noon, and Night, applauds Embracing Midlife for addressing "a vital topic that few, if any, have ever addressed." Mirel says, "The human issues of midlife play a significant role in every congregation, whether it be Jewish or Christian, large or small, city or town. Lynne Baab's Embracing Midlife is a unique resource to help congregations support both individuals and groups in the midlife demographic as they explore the new possibilities ahead and come to terms with what has come before." Lynne M. Baab has led seminars in a variety of settings and taught classes at Seattle Pacific University and Christian Bible Institute, Seattle, WA. Baab served from 1993 to 1997 as the religious and spiritual issues interest area consultant for the Association for Psychological Type. She is the author of Personality Type in Congregations: How to Work with Others More Effectively (Alban Institute, 1998).