Book: Grace in the Rearview Mirror

Four Women Priests on Brokenness, Belonging, and the Beauty of God

Wipf and Stock Publishers
Posted Jun 20, 2023

Grace in the Rearview Mirror: Four Women Priests on Brokenness, Belonging, and the Beauty of God

By Kelly Demo, Mary Luck Stanley, Samantha Vincent-Alexander, & Melissa Q. Wilcox

Wipf and Stock Publishers: 04/27/2023, ISBN: 978-1-6667-5475-9


Have you ever wondered if God is missing in the mundane? Four women priests have found God in the most unexpected places: in a dive bar, at the drugstore, and even at the grave. As we go about our everyday lives, the divine can feel elusive: grappling with the realities of cancer, infertility treatments, searching for a birth story, and honoring the divine in a child with autism. Yet God was there all along. This book is a guide to help you name God’s presence in your own history. Reflection questions and instructions are included for writing and sharing your spiritual autobiography in the hope that you, too, discover grace in the rearview mirror.

“They are priests and the spouses of priests, they are mothers and daughters, they are pastoral leaders offering their wit and wisdom, and fellow pilgrims sharing their struggles and doubts. And the stories my sisters share in these pages are poignant, inspiring, moving, and, above all, real. Come spend some time with Kelly, Mary, Samantha, and Melissa. Whoever you are and wherever you are on your own journey as a beloved child of God, you will count yourself blessed to be in their company.” –Michael B. Curry, presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church

“Clergy are trained to hone listening ears and hearts as they tend to the people in their care, and it is rare to glimpse the sometimes intimate and interior moments of grace in their spiritual lives. Grace in the Rearview Mirror offers exactly that. To the very end, this book reminded me that looking back to see God’s grace at work helps me to step boldly into the future with the assurance that God will be there.” –Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis

Grace in the Rear View Mirror is steeped in Scripture and theology from four seasoned priests while evoking sensory experiences of everyday life and death, plus a generous helping of humor. I wish this book had been around when I was discerning ordination as a young woman. An excellent choice for church book studies or retreats.”

–Elizabeth Felicetti, author of Unexpected Abundance: The Fruitful Lives of Women Without Children

“Every life has its moments–from challenges to achievements. Reading these moments with a deep sense of faith is the achievement of this remarkable book. Each vignette is manageable and moving. Reflection questions are provided. The result is a book that will invite you to read your own life–to see the grace in the rearview mirror. From childbirth to shoplifting, all of life is touched. Prepare to laugh, cry, marvel, and find grace in the most surprising of places.” –Ian S. Markham, dean and president, Virginia Theological Seminary

“We look backwards in order to look forward. Grace in the Rearview Mirror by this select group of women offers an opportunity to listen to the beauty of God through lives lived. Here is offered a curiosity about God’s beauty in our bodies, in our relationships, in our prayer, and ministry. Reading back into the lives of these women enables us to open our eyes wide to the possibility of God’s beauty revealed in our own lives.” –C. Andrew Doyle, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas


About the Authors

Kelly Demo is the author of The Micah Paradigm: Building a Culture of Justice and Mercy in Your Church’s Children and Youth Programs and is the associate rector of St. Thomas the Apostle Episcopal Church in Overland Park, Kansas.
Mary Luck Stanley graduated from Texas A&M University and the Church Divinity School of the Pacific. She has been an Episcopal priest since 1997 and is co-rector of Old St. Paul’s Church in Baltimore, Maryland. (
Samantha Vincent-Alexander is a priest, wife, mother, writer, and sometimes yoga instructor and is constantly in search of cute but marginally sensible shoes.
Melissa Q. Wilcox is a graduate of Colby College and Virginia Theological Seminary. She serves as the associate rector at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.