The Ultimate Quest

A Geek’s Guide to (The Episcopal) Church

Jordan Haynie Ware

Feb/2017, 176 Pages, PAPERBACK, 5.5 x 8.5

ISBN-13: 9780819233257



• A thorough introduction to the Episcopal Church (vocabulary, theology, practice) for youth, young adults, seekers, geeks
• A humorous translation of Episcopal practices into geek lingo

This tongue-in-cheek introduction by Episcopal priest and certified geek J. M. H. Ware uses an "it's geek to me" approach to translate Episcopal theological concepts and rich church traditions into geek language, accompanied by comics that help the reader maneuver through the oft-dense liturgical and theological workings of the Christian tradition. A tool to evangelize and attract young people to church, it is useful for both those who have recently discovered The Episcopal Church and cradle Episcopalians who have always know there was magic here, helping them to deepen understanding of their faith and relate it to elements of their everyday life. It will also assist them in explaining their faith to friends, who may be even less familiar with Episcopal traditions than they are. This book endeavors to, as Rachel Held Evans has said, "creatively re-articulate the significance of the traditional teachings and sacraments of the church in a modern context" – specifically, in the geek context that is similar to, but more widely known, than church culture.

All nerds are welcome on this wild adventure through the Episcopal jungle: Begin the quest by diving into the Player's Handbook – otherwise known as the Book of Common Prayer. Discover the symbolism of every piece of equipment and vestment used during the service. Embrace the wonders of the Episcopal Disneyland we call General Convention. And embark on the adventure path that we call the Holy Eucharist. Ware's light and funny style make the impenetrable mysteries of theology, liturgy, and church history accessible for all, from fans of Star Wars to fans of Star Trek. Her church geekery is matched only by the depth of her knowledge of nerd culture. We solemnly swear that you will make your next Knowledge (religion) check!

Read an excerpt
Read a review from Theologybird Writes

Audience: Youth, young adults, campus ministries (and their leadership), emergent church and their leadership; Gathering of Leaders; Young Clergywoman Project; Why Christian? audience

Jordan Haynie Ware is a newly ordained Episcopal priest who has spent the last six years studying and interacting with youth and young adults who are either in church or seeking church. She is the founding moderator and contributor to All Faithful Can, Sermons that Work, and The Real World (a production of The Young Clergywoman Project). She is the Director of Youth & Young Adult Ministry at All Saints in Fort Worth, Texas, and is a 2013 graduate of Yale Divinity School.

Table of Contents
In which we explore that which is contained therein

In which an adventure begins

Introduction 2.0
In which the adventure is further explored

The Hero
In which Jesus Christ is Lord

The Ultimate Quest
In which the reader accepts the quest to follow the Baptismal Covenant, guided by the wisdom of the Book

The Player's Handbook: A Rudimentary Guide to the Book of Common Prayer
In which we study the adventure path

Classes: The Orders of Ministry
In which laypeople, bishops, priests, and deacons play a role

Vestments: The Cosplay Section of Church
In which quite a number of pretty vestments are worn

Equipment: Fire and Big Sticks
In which the reader is equipped with the tools for ministry

The Adventure Path: Let's Go to Church
In which the reader attends Sunday worship

ComiCon Lite: The General Convention
Which takes place in the room where it happens

Magic: The God Part
In which we peer behind the veil to see what's really going on

Conclusion: Leveling Up
In which the end is discovered to be a beginning

Worlds Unknown: Addendum
In which n00bs can decipher the geek lingo

"I found myself giggling with recognition at the sometimes overt, sometimes sly references to so many cherished pop subcultures. From the first pages, I decided I needed to be friends with Jordan Haynie Ware. Her deep geekery is matched only by her deep faith and her excitement to share both."
––Adam Thomas, fellow geek and author of Digital Disciple

"Jordan Ware proclaims that "geeks and the Church go together," and in The Ultimate Quest: A Geek's Guide to [the Episcopal] Church, she does a remarkable job of helping adventure-lovers navigate their way through the often alien-like world that is the Church. For Ware, who on her Twitter account describes herself as 'the Episcopal Leslie Knope: young, scrappy, and hungry,' the Christian life is the greatest adventure of all, and the Episcopal path to that adventure is one well worth exploring. This book will make you smile, laugh, learn, read it again, and invite others to join you in the great adventure."
––C.K. Robertson, Ph.D., Canon to the Presiding Bishop for Ministry Beyond the Episcopal Church

"Jordan Haynie Ware wants to make church fun and challenging again, and she succeeds through a combination of reverence, knowledge, and popular culture references that dare readers to re-conceptualize what belief can mean for Episcopalians today. This is a thorough, thoughtful, and entertaining book."
––Kaya Oakes, editor and contributing writer for

"By drawing on the language of official millennial geekdom, Jordan brings the history of the Anglican and Episcopal Church forward, making it readily accessible and understandable to a whole new generation of seekers. Using the language of this new generation, RPG players, Sci-Fi aficionados, Trekkies, and Star Wars geeks are invited to connect to a universe of reconciliation, redemption, and sacred adventure. There is a longing for connection in each of us, and Jordan offers the geeks among us a clever, whimsical, and adventurous way forward!"
––Mary Foster Parmer, Director of Gathering of Leaders and creator of InviteWelcomeConnect

"Jordan Haynie Ware casts a wide and engaging net for the church in this engaging guide. Worship and theology are seen through the lens of gaming culture, enriching the worship experience of all readers."
––Sarah Condon, associate editor of The Mockingbird Blog, co-host of The Mockingcast, and Assistant for Pastoral Care at St. Martin's Church in Houston, Texas

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  • Episcopal Church
  • Vestments
  • Geek Theology
  • Geek Culture
  • Cosplay
  • General Convention
  • Eucharist
  • Youth
  • Young Adults
  • Emergent Church

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