Pastor Brad Highum on “Just a Little Bit More”

Brad Highum, a pastor at Abiding Love Lutheran Church (ELCA) in Austin, highly recommends you and your congregation do a book study of Just a Little Bit More. As he emphasizes in the video clip below concerning social immobility, rising inequality, and elevated childhood poverty, “We have to know how we got here, in order to begin to address ideas about how we move from this place, how we move forward.”

Pastor Brad has been a passionate supporter of Just a Little Bit More from its very inception. Back in 2011, we lunched over gyro wraps at Phoenicia Bakery on South Lamar Boulevard in Austin. We sat on a picnic table outside in the hot fall wind (Phoenicia, abundantly stocked with Greek and Arab staples, doesn’t have indoor seating) and went back and forth about the 2007-08 economic swoon – and how our faith confronts what it has brought forth. Brad’s enthusiasm let me know that my thinking was on the right track.

The culmination of a three-year process, Just a Little Bit More, was published in May 2014. My own congregation, St. John’s/San Juan Lutheran in Austin, and Brad’s were the first congregations to participate in a book study of JaLBM. We conducted the studies concurrently with the purpose of compiling feedback and notes that would contribute toward a study guide for other faith communities.

I especially appreciate Brad’s comprehension and dissemination of JaLBM‘s message. Our faith does have something to say in mitigation of economic and social inequalities. Brad is absolutely “on point” in this video clip as he encourages others in faith communities to look into a book study of JaLBM.

I first met Brad Highum when he was a student at the Lutheran Seminary Program of the Southwest (LSPS). While studying for ordained ministry (and previous to), he was serving as minister of adult education and programs at Riverbend Church in Austin. Brad is an excellent teacher and preacher. His scripture knowledge and recall are superb; his interpretation is progressive. His fluid articulation pulls in listeners to understand the message being shared.

Pastor Brad and I both conducted seven week studies of JaLBM at our respective congregations. Halfway through the study, one of Brad’s congregants walked into the Sunday morning class at Abiding Love and gave Brad a knowing look. “Pastor Brad,” he offered, “this book is not a light read.”

Brad responded with a wink and a smile: “It’s not a light topic.”

Pastor Brad’s got a quick wit, too.

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For the congregant at Abiding Love and others who are looking for an easier version of JaLBM to digest, the Summary Version and Study Guide is now available. Amazon and the Blue Ocotillo Publishing website offer it for $6.95 (52 pages); ebook version, $2.99.

isbn 9780991532827As stated above, Brad and the folks at Abiding Love (along with my folks at St. John’s/San Juan) helped shape the discussion questions at the end of all eight summarized chapters. Consequently, readers of the full-length version of JaLBM and the Summary Version and Study Guide can join in the same discussion with the purpose of “understanding how we got here” so that we might better – together – construct societal common good.

Just a Little Bit More: The Culture of Excess and the Fate of the Common Good – full-length version, 277 pages – is available wherever books and ebooks are sold.

 

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