When renowned speaker and family policy advocate Jack Calhoun embarked on a two-year cross-country quest to discover how faith motivates some of America’s hardest-working public servants the result was Hope Matters: The Untold Story of How Faith Works in America (Bartleby; $23.50; ISBN 978-0-910155-72-4), a book that captures the stories of twenty-four amazing people who pursue a range of innovative and ambitious plans to help their communities. Their accomplishments are impressive, deeply moving, and often surprising. The interviewees include Christians of every denomination, Muslims, Jews, and others, some of whom pray five times a day and some who are, frankly, “not that religious.” Through the stories, Calhoun reveals how people sustain their pubic work by privately calling upon their spiritual beliefs. Readers will discover how they overcome doubt, fear and burnout. They will learn about finding a calling, about concepts that most faith traditions share, such as tikkun olam, the Jewish belief that we all have a part in healing the world, and imago Dei, the Christian idea that we are all made in the image of God—and so much more.
What People Are Saying
“Jack Calhoun’s Hope Matters is a gift to the nation. For those of us steeped in “policy and programs” to help the poor and needy, it is nice to see an author who lifts up the real people who are transforming our communities.” — John M. Bridgeland, former Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, President and CEO of Civic Enterprises, Washington, DC
“The stories are absolutely wonderful and deeper than words can say. I can feel them in my flesh and bones. In pulling the people into chorus with one another, Calhoun connects them across places, experiences and faiths—making this book an incredible contribution.” — Diana Garland, Ph.D., Dean, School of Social Work, Baylor University
“Don’t miss the opportunity this book offers. Calhoun shines a light on the universal and wondrous alchemy of faith when people turn personal suffering into acts of compassion and service, bringing communities closer together. Reading about these “reshapers” is a renewing, inspiring and deeply affecting experience.” — The Reverend Dr. Robert W. Edgar, President and CEO Common Cause, Former General Secretary of the National Council of Churches USA
“It was a delight to read Hope Matters and rediscover from where remarkable people draw their strength. Calhoun has an uncanny ability to reflect of the common bonds and draw inspiration from them.” — Charles W. Gould, President, Volunteers of America
“Jack Calhoun demonstrates that a life based on service to others offers far greater personal fulfillment than any other path. These accounts from ordinary people of faith will inspire others to make the small sacrifices necessary to accomplish extraordinary things.” — Ernie Allen, President & CEO, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
“Jack Calhoun’s book is a refreshing take on the essence of religion and faith. Although faith is often used to sow conflict, this book is populated with people of faith who pray with their feet and use their “divine spark” in service of their fellow human beings. Consistent with Calhoun’s entire career, he deals with huge, abstract issues through the eyes of the individuals who live them. Hope Matters throbs with life: real people, real feelings, real stories. In so doing, Jack has found the Divine and brought it down to earth. For anyone who considers themselves a person of faith, this book is a primer on how to put piety to work.” — Georgette F. Bennett, Ph.D., President and Founder, Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding