Church, senior minister of All Souls Unitarian Church in Manhattan, notes in this quasi-autobiographical spiritual self-help book that he surprised everyone when he, the agnostic son of a U.S. Senator, decided to be a pastor. His own "Lifecraft" has involved the balancing of many different and overlapping projects, the "God project" standing alongside the parenting project, the career project, and the marriage project, among others.

There are some stunning moments here, such as when Church reflects upon the death of Princess Diana. Unable to understand the outpouring of grief around him--particularly when Mother Teresa, whose life had been about unselfish service, received relatively minimal notice when she died just a few days later--Church was at first incensed by the overwhelming attention paid to Diana's demise. Ultimately, however, he came to understand that what touched people about Diana was her own lack of self-worth. People could identify with her choice to help others despite her personal misery, whereas Mother Teresa strong saintliness inspires awe, but not empathy. Church's quiet ruminations on Diana's unworthiness reflect a deeper theme of "Lifecraft"--that "weakness strikes a closer chord" than strength, and that people need to get in touch with their failings and frailties before ascribing meaning to any of their various life projects. This is one of the most mature titles to grace the spiritual self-help genre.

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