I am a big fan of Post-Secret, an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a postcard with sometimes funny, sometimes startling, sometimes heartbreaking results. That’s why I was thrilled to read about a new project by author, blogger Anne Jackson called “Permission to Speak Freely” which, according to Anne’s blog, will be released by Zondervan next fall. 


Jackson, author of Mad Church Disease, writes that the book is “inspired a bit creatively by the Post Secret movement and the content is completely driven by a post on her blog titled “Things You Can’t Say in Church” which has generated more than 400 comments from readers. Similar to Post Secret, the book and a corresponding website (which is under construction) will scan confessions into the book.

The cool part it that she is collecting confessions now and, if you send your confession before August 8, 2009 and include your email she will send you the first 1200 words of the book. In the instructions below, she makes clear that this is open to anyone, of any faith (or no faith) in or outside of church. I look forward to seeing how this evolves and seeing the finished product next fall. In the meantime, here are the instructions if you want to be a part of the project…  

1) Write down your confession. What’s something you feel like you can’t say in church. You can make it as short or as long as you want. You can write it on anything you want – a piece of paper like a letter, a postcard, a bulletin, a page from the Bible, a photograph, a drawing, ANYTHING at all that you can mail. It can be any shape, any size. It doesn’t have uber creative (although it certainly can be). It can just be something written down. You also don’t have to currently attend church or even believe in God.

2) Put at LEAST your first name on it. Part of this book is a revolution to claim our brokenness and God’s redemption. If it is anonymous, it won’t end up being used. You can use your full name if you want. But your first name is fine.

3) Stick a stamp on it and mail it in. Send it to Anne Jackson, PO Box 90144, Nashville, TN 37209. Or if you’re a fancy Photoshopper, make it a digital file that is at least 300dpi at 6?x4? and email it to speak@permissiontospeakfreely.com

We will be talking MUCH MORE about how artistically you can be involved in the creation of this book. It is truly an art project focused on transparency and confession within community.


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