The calling to parish ministry involves a journey leading through lowland thickets and high plateau vistas. It's a vocation not for weak spirits. The parish presents general challenges rather than specialist endeavors. So, wearing one hat after another, the pastor may speak from the pulpit, join a team processing a current social concern, visit the intensive care hospital unit, and offer counsel at birth, marriage, or death--maybe all in one day. Clergy and non-ordained alike will find that Parish, the Thought provides a closeup insight into this ministry, telling the truth about the defeats and victories experienced over the course of forty years in the parish. This memoir spends little time in navel gazing. Rather, the author explores the humor, conflicts, ventures, and achievements that rise in his memory. The reader will detect a commitment to priestly and prophetic ministry, one that seeks to comfort the distressed and to nudge the comfortable out of apathy, encompassing the personal and public dimensions of the faith. All this as an adventure following the Pioneer, Jesus, the Christ. ""The selections from this forthcoming book are elegantly written and spiritually profound in a way that effectively synthesizes a convincing true-to-life immediate concreteness of real persons in real situations of spiritual significance, on the one hand, with the essential Christian realities of guilt, confession, forgiveness, redemption, humility, humor, joy, hope, and a continuous sense of God's living presence in the heart, on the other."" --Russell Pannier, Professor, William Mitchell College of Law, St. Paul, Minnesota ""David Bowman's pastoral recollections in Parish, the Thought is a Socratic exercise in an examined life. It is a collection of stories that stand on their own, but within which lie deeper truths that David has had both the wit and wisdom to mine. Insightful, sensitive, but most of all searching . . . an excellent example of a well-lived life I recommend it highly "" --Thomas E. Smith, Pastor, Presbyterian Chapel of the Lakes, Adjunct Instructor, Trine University ""Bowman's approach to ministry was to look directly at current moral and ethical issues, and using scripture and his own wisdom, to deal publicly and personally with the issues, encouraging community of dialogue. . . . Dave's voice then showed wisdom, insight, and patience, and those qualities persist in this engaging new book. I commend it to thoughtful readers."" --W. James Halfaker, Former Conference Minister for the United Church of Christ in Washington and North Idaho ""David Bowman's sketches and recollections each summon up a unique moment and place with crystal clarity; yet the characters, moods, and feelings are universal. His life in active ministry glosses on social protest, race, ecumenicism, and Alexander Calder's sculpture, and at the same time the delicateness of person-to-person pastoral relationships shine through with the same humanity and emotion as the largest historical trends. This memoir is a joy to read and an inspiration of lived faith."" --Joe Kanofsky, Rabbi, Toronto, Canada The Rev. David B. Bowman, PhD, lives in semi-retirement in Saratoga, California. He is the author of a previous book, Saints Along the Way: Women and Men Who Have Influenced My Life. His parish ministry, following doctoral studies at Glasgow University (Scotland), has spanned the continent from New York to California, including Michigan, Washington State, Iowa, Indiana, and Ohio. Such a journey led a friend to call him ""a wanderer in the earth.""