"Church would be a wonderful thing, if it weren't for all the people." This is a common quip among pastors and church members alike sometimes, when the quest for spiritual growth runs up against the bureaucracy of the church and the stubbornness of some church members. Sam Gardner, the Quaker pastor in Philip Gulley's charming and very funny Home to Harmony (the first of Gulley's "Harmony Novels"), would certainly agree. By an unlucky coincidence, Sam finds himself called to pastor the church in which he grew up, located in small town Harmony, Indiana. In his first year, he adjusts to life in his hometown, dealing with an assortment of odd, yet endearing, church folk. This book at once celebrates many components of American small town life: the local diner, the local newspaper, the church, the special annual events. It gently presents the challenge any newcomers face when they try to move into a small town. It shows the power of small town gossip and the pervasive watchfulness, and subsequent discussion, that follows almost every action in a small town. But Home to Harmony is squarely focused on the eccentricities of the local Quaker congregation. Go to any church long enough, and you will recognize the denizens of the Harmony Friends Meeting. The unspoken seating chart in the sanctuary. The ill-advised but earnest plans of a couple of the elders. The frustrations of church meetings. The underlying power of the women in determining what's really important on the church calendar. Gulley is a pastor (as am I) and he knows these people and these situations. It is clear that they have frustrated him over his career. But it is also clear that he loves them: he loves them for their earnest, if misdirected passion, loves them for their subconscious assumptions, loves them for their quiet moments of honor and love. The book is filled with gentle humor, and is a pleasure to read. In fact, it is such an easy and enjoyable read that Gulley's skill is not immediately apparent. In the midst of these almost self-contained chapters, each of which ends with a delicate moral (sometimes posed more as a question than as an assertion), Gulley gives life to the fictitious town of Harmony and many of its citizens.