Winner of a 2004 Wilbur Award
Breathing Space is the story of Heidi Neumark and the Hispanic and African-American Lutheran church-Transfiguration-that took a chance calling on a pastor from a starkly different background. Despite living and working in a milieu of overwhelming poverty and violence, Neumark and the congregation encounter even more powerful forces of hope and renewal.
This story of a community creating space for new life and breath is also the story of a young woman-working, raising her children, and struggling for spiritual breathing space. Through poignant, intimate stories, Neumark charts her journey alongside her parishioners as pastor, church, and community grow in wisdom and together experience transformation.
“With its hard-nosed realism and passion for God, this memoir should appeal to people of faith across the political spectrum.” -Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Surrounded by violence and poverty and threatened by urban renewal, Transfiguration Lutheran Church under pastor Neumark survived and, perhaps miraculously, thrived . . . Her story proves genuinely inspirational as we follow her from despair and frustration to cautious optimism in the face of a still tenuous future.” -Booklist
“Breathing Space is a beautifully produced book, and it has a utopian poignancy . . . Yet it is grounded in the virtue of hope.” -James S. Torrens, America: The National Catholic Weekly