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In Shame-Less Lives, Grace-Full Congregations, author Karen McClintock invites readers to become shame-less, so they can assist others in a congregational system to find a life of joy and grace. McClintock explores shame as a theological and psychological emotion, defining it as "a feeling of unworthiness in the sight of God or significant others." While guilt says, "I made a mistake," shame says,"I am a mistake," she explains. With skilled storytelling and gentle humor, McClintock takes readers on a journey in which we learn to recognize the many forms shame takes and explore and heal the shame of our own upbringing, particularly the shame-laden messages within our own religious teachings and practices. She illustrates the ways shame-laden leaders interact with congregations and ways congregational shame influences clergy and laity within the system. She shows us how to recognize shame in the behavior of other leaders and clergy around us, to reduce shame-reinforcing theology, and to provide alternative messages of hope and healing. She also guides us in liberating others from their shame, be they friends, colleagues, or people in a congregation where we worship and serve. McClintock advises readers that eradicating shame may take a few weeks, months, years, or a lifetime. This book is not written so that we can be free of all shame. It is written so we can become shame-less by acknowledging old patterns and consciously changing them, because shame-less leaders create shame-less congregations.

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