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Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Harmony Series

Oh wow. I’ve discovered a series of novels that I’ve never read before and I can already tell that I’m going to enjoy them immensely. I don’t know whether the series has an official name or not, but I’ll call it the Harmony Series. Best I can tell, the series includes seven novels so far and I just started reading the first one this week. I’m loving every minute of it.

The series is written by Phillip Gulley. He’s a Quaker minister from Indiana and the series is about a Quaker minister named Sam Gardner from Harmony, Indiana. I’m only 90 pages into the first book and the small community is already starting to feel like home. Sort of reminds me of Mitford, the fictional town that Jan Karon created for her Mitford Series, but Harmony is distinct for a number of reasons. It has a Quaker feel to it. It’s set in the Midwest instead of the South. And the characters are different.

One character, named Bob Miles Sr. founded the “Live Free or Die” Sunday school class. Here’s how he’s described in the first book: “Concerned about the impending Communist threat and how President Kennedy was put into office by the pope, he began the class as a watchdog group to guard against foreign infiltration at Harmony Friends Meeting.” How funny is that? And can’t you just see a class like that?

One of Gardner’s parishioners, named Bill Muldock, is notorious for “sneaking in church announcements during prayer time.” He prays prayers like this, “Lord, we just ask Your blessings on our men’s softball practice this Tuesday night at seven o’clock at the park.” Hilarious! And again, can’t you just see this happening?

And then there’s this gem from Pastor Gardner himself about elder meetings at Harmony Friends Meeting: “Then we discussed several other matters, none of which had any bearing on the kingdom of God. This is what happens when you have elders who fancy themselves great philosophers. They can wax eloquent about eternal truths as long as it doesn’t get personal. Everyone is an expert. Everyone has a firm opinion about what we ought to do and no one gives an inch. If we accidentally appoint a saint to the elder’s committee, by midyear we have broken them of all Christlike tendencies.” How’s that for brute honesty?

I can’t wait to read more. I love when I find a new series to read!


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