Item description for Christmas in Harmony (Harmony - Harper San Francisco) by Philip Gulley...
Overview Quaker minister Sam Gardner copes with the eccentrics of his congregation while attempting to counter church elder Dale Hinshaw's plans for a "progressive" nativity scene on Christmas Eve.
Philip Gulley takes us to Harmony, Indiana, at Christmastime as inspiration strikes the inimitable Dale Hinshaw. Always looking for a way to increase the church's profit margins, Hinshaw brainstorms a progressive nativity scene that will involve the whole town, complete with a map like those for the Hollywood stars. Neither Pastor Sam Gardner nor the other members of the Harmony Friends meeting express any enthusiasm for this idea, but Dale is unstoppable. Meanwhile, Pastor Sam has his own concerns: he's having his annual argument with his wife, and he's worried that the four-slotted toaster he bought for her may be too lavish a gift.
Amidst the bustle of the season, the citizens of Harmony experience the simple joys and sometime loneliness that often go unseen. Sam comes to the realization that Dale, in his own misguided way, is only trying to draw meaning from the eternal story of Christmas. "In this unsettled world, it is good to have this steadiness -- the Christmas Eve service, the peal of the bell. . . .There is a holiness to memory, a sense of God's presence in these mangers of the mind. Which might explain why it is that the occasions that change the least are often the very occasions that change us the most."
Citations And Professional Reviews Christmas in Harmony (Harmony - Harper San Francisco) by Philip Gulley has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Bookpage - 12/01/2002 page 20
Publishers Weekly - 09/30/2002 page 50
Library Journal - 11/01/2002 page 72
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.42" Width: 5.38" Height: 0.54" Weight: 0.45 lbs.
Release Date Oct 15, 2002
Publisher Harper Collins Publishers
Series Harmony - Harper San Francisco
ISBN 0060520124 ISBN13 9780060520120
Availability 0 units.
More About Philip Gulley
PHILIP GULLEY, a Quaker pastor, has become the voice of small-town American life. Along with writing Front Porch Tales, Hometown Tales, and For Everything a Season, he is the author of the Harmony series of novels. Gulley lives in Indiana with his wife, Joan, and their sons.
Philip Gulley currently resides in Danville, in the state of Indiana. Philip Gulley was born in 1944.
Philip Gulley has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Christmas in Harmony?
Heartwarming little book Dec 6, 2006
Pastor Sam Gardner is hoping for peace at Christmas in his little Quaker church in Indiana. Instead he gets Dale Hinshaw, one of his elders, who decides that the church needs to change its Christmas celebration. Always full of ideas, Dale proposes a progressive nativity scene with bits and pieces of the Christmas story on the lawns of several different parishioners. Instead of simplifying Christmas, the nativity scene seems to make it more complicated as the Gardners grapple with livestock which is delivered to their house as their part of the celebration. With his usual wit, Philip Gulley again brings readers a delightful story of the folks who live in Harmony, Indiana, and who worship at Harmony Friends Church.
Book good for Church Libraries Mar 19, 2006
This is a very well written if small book, which had to be replaced for a church library. The book was so good that someone at the church stole it, and it was up to me to replace it. Hypocrites.
Good book Dec 20, 2004
The whole Harmony series is very enjoyable, and it among my favorite in the fiction genre. They are all light-hearted and full of wonderful and entertaining characters. The books follow Sam, a pastor in a small-town Quaker church, and the eclectic group of individuals who are members.
You will likely find yourself laughing out loud at the antics of Dale, as he undertakes his scripture-egg project or his salvation balloons. Fern Hampton may drive you nuts, but you'll learn to love her. I will say that this one is shorter than all the rest, and didn't leave me quite as fulfilled.
Many reviewers compared this to the Mitford series, reading this one because they enjoyed the Mitford series so much. I tried reading the series after this one, and found it dry and dull.
These books are easy, pleasant and clean reads. Enjoy!
Harmony is such a wonderful home, Jun 3, 2004
and this book is a great read for the holidays. A nice, short easy Christmas story, but still the same warm, wonderful small town we have grown to love. Being a pastor is a lot of work and tiring as we read in this book. All the parishoners provide lots of laughs and insights. Mr Gulley provides us with a wonderful story, without foul language and a few holiday messages. Pick up this book, you won't be sorry. One of those you will want to read every holiday season thereafter.
Inaccurately compared to Karon's Mitford series May 22, 2004
this site, bookstores, and readers on this site often compare the Harmony series to the Mitford series by Jan Karon. I think the comparison is misguided. Certainly there are obvious similarities; but Gulley's stories have a crucial difference. Mitford, while idealized, is supposed to be a plausibly realistic place, with realistic people. Gulley, on the other hand, cannot keep himself from lapsing constantly into hyperbole for comic effect (sort of like Garrison Keillor's Lake Wobegon stories). This becomes apparent in just the first few pages of this book: Would a local beauty queen, asked to dress in a bathrobe to portray Mary in a Christmas pageant, really wear a revealing negligee? And would the church allow the pageant to proceed if she did? Would a church board member seriously propose that the church obtain W-2s of prospective members to evaluate their potential financial contributions? In both cases, of course not. Don't get me wrong -- I agree with other reviewers that the book is funny. It's just a different kind of book from Karon's; hers are gentle humor within a realistic framework, while Gulley's emphasize humor (sometimes to the point of wackiness) over realism.