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Small enough to carry in your pocket or mail to every member of the congregation, this booklet of daily devotions will enrich your experience of Lent and help you and the members of your church grow closer to God. Every devotion includes a suggested scripture reading and a closing prayer. A reading is provided for every day and Sunday in Lent and for Easter Sunday.
Journey inside the pages of Scripture to meet a personal God who enters individual lives and begins a creative work from the inside out. Shaped with the individual in mind, Immersion encourages simultaneous engagement both with the Word of God and with the God of the Word to become a new creation in Christ. Immersion, inspired by a fresh translation--the Common English Bible--stands firmly on Scripture and helps readers explore the emotional, spiritual, and intellectual needs of their personal faith. More importantly, they'll be able to discover God's revelation through readings and reflections.
Worship A down-to-earth guide to planning and implementing meaningful worship experiences for pastors, written especially for those new to the job. This practical book is for new pastors as they move into the role of worship leader and planner. When faced with the weekly rhythm of planning and leading worship, new pastors sometimes find themselves overwhelmed with the tasks. The book centers on the pastor and his/her identity as worship leader, on guidelines for leadership, and on the 'why' and 'how' of worship services. Contents include: The Pastor as Leader; Leading on Your First Sunday; Rituals: "The way we do it here"; Leading in the Worship Service; Leading Prayer; Leading Communion; Leading Baptism; Leading through the Christian Year; Leading with Musicians; Leading the People into Leadership.To read chapter oneclick here "I heartily commend this book to new pastors. Get it and read it before you show up at your first appointment. Barbara Day Miller will save you from many a heartache and embarrassment. Though tagged as a new pastor's guide, most pastors I know will benefit by reading the New Pastor's Guide, especially the latter chapters about leading with musicians and guiding members of the congregation into worship leadership." Reverend Daniel T. Benedict, Jr., Director of Worship Resources, General Board of Discipleship, United Methodist Church "In the past couple of years, I have worshipped in about a hundred congregations. After that experience, I can tell you, HERE IS THE BOOK WE NEED! Barbara Day Miller packs this little book with a lifetime of the creative worship leadership and the inspired preparation of pastors to lead worship. Combining practical help with a deep theological understanding of, and heartfelt love of Christian worship, she gives pastors everything they need to lead God's people in prayer and praise." William H. Willimon, Bishop, the North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church. Barbara Day Miller is the Assistant Dean of Worship at Candler School of Theology in Atlanta, Georgia. Church & Ministry/Church Life//Worship/Liturgy
Offers pastors new inspiration and fresh worship encounters with God.Worship is the most important time in the life of the gathered faithful. Inspirational and accessible, this book is will help pastors and worship leaders fully ground worship in scripture and tradition while being responsive to current times.Included: practical worship helps for the Christian year, tips to involve the congregation in leadership and participation, ways to incorporate music and other arts in worship, and select ideas for congregations of up to one hundred.A sample basic worship library
The definitive guide to the meaning of today's most popular praise and worship songs.Few things influence Christians' understanding of the faith more than the songs they sing in worship. The explosion of praise and worship music in the last fifteen years has profoundly affected our experience of God. So what are those songs telling us about who God is? In what ways have they made us more faithful disciples of Jesus Christ? In what ways have they failed to embody the full message of the gospel?Working with the lists of the most frequently sung praise and worship songs from recent years, the authors of this book offer an objective but supportive assessment of the meaning and contribution of the Christian music that has been so important in the lives of contemporary believers.
By blending the traditional elements of the worship service with African American culture, Cheryl A. Kirk-Duggan once again provides a practical resource for planning more of the special Sundays that congregations celebrate throughout the year.More African American Special Days contains fifteen services for special occasions, including: Pastor's Day, Men's Day, Women's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Kwanzaa, M.L. King, Jr. Day, Watch Night, Usher's Day, Homecoming/Family Reunion, Deacon's/Steward's Day, Deaconess/Stewardess Day, Youth Rite of Passage, Board of Christian Education, and Women's Missionary Society Day.
This book is envisioned as a follow up to Stookey's successful Baptism: Christ's Act in the Church, published in 1982. It will provide historical--theological perspective in a style that is "popular," rather than academically heavy; and, it will be ecumenical in scope, but with a concentration on Protestantism. The shared Calvinian eucharistic tradition of Presbyterians, UCC, and Methodists will be particularly explored. It will also provide material pertinent to preaching, study of the eucharist by laity, and practical local reform that implements recent revisions of denominational rites.
Season of Ash and Fire will help pastors and worship planners prepare for Lent and Easter. The author provides corporate prayers for each Sunday and Holy Day in the Easter Cycle, including: Ash Wednesday, 1st through 5th Sundays in Lent, Passion/Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil, Easter Sunday Morning, Easter Evening, 2nd through 7th Sundays of Easter, Ascension Day, and Pentecost. Additional prayers and liturgies for use during the season by small groups and families help extend and unify the congregation's celebration. "Blair Meeks, gifted with an evangelical heart, an emancipated imagination, and a life settled in liturgy, offers a first rate resource as the church learns again to pray. Meeks not only guides the prayer of the church through the depth of Lent and the wonder of Easter, she also interprets and instructs along the way. Out of her long reflection on the mystery of worship, this book will serve pastors and all those in the church who live by faith that is funded through prayer." --Walter Brueggemann, Professor Emeritus, Columbia Theological Seminary
The sacraments were a major factor in the Reformation of the sixteenth century. Ever since, they have been an important part of Protestant church life. Major changes have occurred in our time as most traditions have revised their sacramental rites and experienced many changes in sacramental practices. This book traces the most significant practices in the past five centuries, explains how they often led to controversies, and examines the faith that was expressed and experienced in the sacraments. James F. White attempts to depict the whole sweep of Protestant sacramental life, so that an overall picture is possible. And he outlines the possibilities for future developments.
By looking at the wide variety of Hispanic Christian worship that exists within the Hispanic community, Alabadle! highlights the cultural, generational, and denominational elements that comprise the spectrum of Hispanic worship. Justo L. Gonzalez and seven other contributors provide an insightful look into the variety of worship styles that exist among numerous church traditions including Assemblies of God, United Methodist, Catholic, American Baptist, Presbyterian, and Disciples of Christ. And yet, in the midst of this variety, is a common thread of excitement - about worship and about the gospel! Anyone interested in exploring worship, music, and liturgy styles from a particular Hispanic perspective will find Alabadle! a valuable learning tool.
A book for multigenerational use covering the lives of Jesus and 100 Bible people. The book contains over 50 portraits on perforated pages of the Bible people so that they may be made into a biblical art gallery. There are directions on how to make this art gallery with creative ways to make frames for the portraits. This informational resource book for teachers also includes activities that can be used to add to most any study of Bible people. These activities can be combined into a short-term intergenerational study for 3rd grade through adults. The activities also include directions for making a pictorial time-line and a genealogy from Adam to Jesus. An outline of each person and where to find the biblical references is included in the book, as well as a page on how to combine activities into a study.
Read the Introduction Does your congregation want to raise more mission-minded children? Here are practical plans with reproducible activities and outlines for classroom and service experiences for children ages 3 to 12. Carolyn Brown offers great "how to" plans that churches can build into their current programs. She includes : a hands-on enrichment curriculum for grades 1-5; over a year of monthly service projects for preschoolers; mini-workshops for teachers; and newsletters blurbs about the program. "Carolyn Brown has written a 'must read' book for all parents and teachers. I know of no other book that presents so clearly, helpfully, and persuasively Jesus' mandate to raise children to "love our neighbors as ourselves." More than a mandate, it offers dozens of doable, practical suggestions for each age group and grade level. I will recommend this book to every teacher and parent in my church." --Rev. Dr. Donald L. Griggs, author of Teaching Today's Teacher to Teach published by Abingdon Press (item #9780687049547) From the Circuit Rider review: "Teachers, parents, Sunday school teachers, and church preschool teachers are all very familiar with the importance of teaching children to share, to take turns, to say "please" and "thank you," and to not hurt others' feelings. Veteran Christian educator Carolyn Brown puts this important formation into the larger context of the mission of the church. How do our children grow in compassion? How can we lead them to leave the world better than they found it? How do we raise mission-minded children?" (Click here to read the entire review.)
Fun, Bible-based, get-to-know-you games and activities for children ages three to twelve. Teaching children how to make friends and creating a sense of community are two key factors in building a strong Christian education program. Many children resist coming to Sunday school and children's ministry events because they do not know the other children; they live in different communities and attend different schools. Here are 101 opportunities to help children make friends at church - and keep them coming!View a sample of this book.
How Is It With Your Soul? is a complete, stand-alone session guide for use by pastors and directors of Wesleyan Class Meeting groups to train Class Leaders. The ten training sessions are designed to create group support among the Class Leaders and also strengthen the relationship between the pastor or director and the Class Leaders they oversee. Dr. Denise Stringer, author of How Is It With Your Soul?, developed the Director's Guide for use in providing a training seminar for Class Leaders while in the process of training Class Leaders in her own congregation.
How Is It With Your Soul? is a manual that serves as the twenty-first-century Class Leader's bible. The manual contains all the information needed to be an effective Class Leader in the Wesleyan tradition. Sections in the manual are devoted to: establishing and maintaining the classical Wesleyan Class Meeting, practicing effective group dynamics, growing spiritually as a Class Leader, engaging in Christian Conferencing, understanding and cultivating the relationship shared between the Class Leader and the pastor, and appreciating the duties and appropriate boundaries to be maintained by the Class Leader. How Is It With Your Soul? is not a textbook for a course of study or instructions for teaching a time-limited program, rather it is an indispensable tool that provides practical guidance and direction for the person committed to learning and practicing ministry as a Class Leader.
Congregations celebrate various rites and rituals as a way of commemorating the significant life events and experiences of their members. By blessing something or someone, God's presence is invoked and the sacred is invited into the mundane, the holy into the ordinary. This book offers pastors and other church leaders a collection of ready-made, easily adaptable blessings and rituals for a variety of occasions. The book is divided into four major chapters: Children, Adults, Everyday Life, and Pastoral Care. It includes blessings and rituals for such occasions as: welcome into a home or neighborhood, receiving a first Bible, graduation from high school, receiving a driver's license, blessing the backpacks and lunch-boxes for a new school year, and pet funerals. Pastoral care rituals include such occasions as grief, lost love, anger, and declining health. Key Benefits: * Provides readers with a source of blessings and rituals for key moments in congregational members' lives and meaningful ways to celebrate and support their life experiences and transitions * Shows readers how the intentional use of blessings and rituals within the congregation helps reveal to the community God's presence in every phase of life
In 27 brief lessons on the Holy Spirit, James Howell introduces us to the third person of the Trinity, "this personal, elusive, invisible, powerful Spirit." Who is the Holy Spirit? What is the work of the Spirit? How can I connect with the Holy Spirit in my life? What would that look like? These are just a few of the questions believers may struggle with as they attempt to come to a fuller understanding of the Holy Spirit. Drawing on his own experience as well as the wisdom of other writers, Howell invites readers to know and experience God the Spirit. The title of the book comes from a quotation by Bernard of Clairvaux that it is appropriate to think of the Holy Spirit as a kiss. The author explains that Clairvaux "is imagining God the Father loving his son Jesus so tenderly that God would kiss the son, and the Spirit then would be that kiss." Some of the lessons are: The Spirit in the Trinity, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, The Spirit and Creation, The Spirit in Us, Culture and the Spirit, The Spirit in the Church, Sending the Comforter, The Spirit and Freedom, and The Spirit and the Future. Each lesson begins with a prayer written by the author. A study guide is included to assist small group leaders.
Permission to Believe is a powerful statement of belief and faith by Samuel Karff, a prominent rabbi, spiritual leader, and outstanding figure in Jewish-Christian relations. Rabbi Karff, describing conversations he has had his entire career with agnostics, atheists, and other doubters, has been struck by the fact that "on some level my challengers wanted me to win the argument....Granting ourselves permission to believe does not require that we turn away from the 'ordinary world' but that we heed these deep intuitions of our heart....Life is not only a puzzle to solve but a mystery to embrace." The book contains 10 chapters and explores themes of brokenness, stubbornness, doubt, and faith. Chapter titles: What Is Faith? What Kind of Life Is This Anyway? Confronting the Obstacles to Faith, Recovering Faith, Prayer--The Vital Connection, Overcoming A Crisis of Faith, When Prayer Is Not Enough, The Power of Love, Living in a Broken World, Sustaining Faith in Our Later Years, Dance, Laughter, and Hope.
The Abingdon-Church of the Resurrection Ministry Guides are the first choice for recruiting, motivating, and developing lay leadership for specialized ministries from A to Z--from adult ministries to ushering. Each inexpensive, 64-page Guide brings together Church of the Resurrection's can-do attitude with Abingdon Press's ministry of empowering church leaders. The result is a series that is user-friendly, encouraging, and most important, practical. The passion to help churches experience how many things they can do to encourage participation drives these Ministry Guides. Each Guide is concise, conversational, and current, full of ideas you'll be able to implement immediately, with little or no budget. Recognizing that volunteers are busy people who work hard, the Guides will be the first place to turn when you're new to a topic, to help you feel empowered, prepare quickly, and get up and running with confidence and creativity. You'll find eye-catching icons and features that help you move directly to practical, fun, and effective solutions. An excerpt from the Circuit Rider review: "This little guide, another in the series out of The Church of the Resurrection in Leawood Kansas, will be helpful to churches large, medium and small desiring to develop and expand lay participation in all aspects of congregational life and work. Dan Entwistle, managing executive director for programs and ministries at The Church of the Resurrection, writes out of years of experience in recruiting, training and deploying laypeople for ministry. His book will be no less valuable to UMM and UMW units, campus ministries, conference and district staff and church-related non-profits." (Click here to read the entire review.)
Offers the "village of hope" as a framework where pastors and leaders offer the church as a place of support, guidance, and accountability for youth, parents, and other adults who are raising today's black youth. The first edition of Working with Black Youth, edited by Charles R. Foster and Grant S. Shockley, was published in 1989. Since that time the challenges for black youth have only intensified and grown in complexity. A burning question of Black churches continues to be: How can we effectively ministry with our youth? Their world is fast-paced, media-centered, techno-savvy, hip-hop, violent, and plagued with HIV/AIDS. The Church wants to guide youth toward a Christian identity with values for wise decision-making. Youth want their questions heard. They want to see hope modeled. They need leadership opportunities. While there are no quick, easy, or singular approaches to working with black youth, there can be a framework to offer vital and relevant youth ministry. This book proposes a comprehensive framework that has evolved over ten years of annual youth and family convocations of the Interdenominational Theological Center as well as youth and family forums and activities related to the Youth Hope-Builders Academy of ITC. The framework builds on the image of the congregation as a "village of hope" where pastors and leaders get real to offer the church as a place of support, guidance, and accountability for youth, parents, and other adults who are raising today's black youth. Contributors: Daniel O. Black, Philip Dunston, Maisha I. Handy, Michael T. McQueen, Tapiwa Mucherera, Elizabeth J. Walker, Herbert R. Marbury, Annette R. Marbury, and Anne E. Streaty Wimberly
A comprehensive introduction to the particular challenges and opportunities of congregational ministry in urban settings.Urban ministry has long been a part of seminary curricula, but a basic and definitive understanding of what students should know as they prepare for congregational ministry in the city has remained elusive. Too often it is assumed that the theological resources developed for ministry in other settings are adequate for urban ministry, but these resources fail to account for the unique challenges and opportunities of the urban setting. Ronald Peters clarifies the nature of urban ministry as a theological discipline by showing how its core values of love, justice, community, and reconciliation (among others) engage the issues of economics, education, family life, public health, ethnic relations, and religious life in the urban environment. Arguing that the city has always served as an arena of God's activity, Peters articulates a theological rationale for urban ministry that is both hopeful and yet realistic, affirming that God loves the city and its people and encouraging practitioners to do the same.
What happens when the race to stop a lethal bacteria becomes a race to stop a killer? Dr. Sara Miles' teenage patient is on the brink of death from an overwhelming, highly resistant infection with Staph luciferus, known to doctors as "the killer." Only an experimental antibiotic, developed and administered by Sara's ex-husband can save the girl's life. But potentially lethal effects from the drug send Sara and her colleague, Dr. Rip Pearson, on a hunt for hidden critical data that will let them reverse the effects before it's too late. What is the missing puzzle piece? And who is hiding it? "Lethal Remedy boasts a gripping medical plot that only an insider could write so believably... Dr. Mabry takes his knowledge of the medical profession, combines it with a ticking clock, and gives the reader a problem we'd all be terrified to face. What more could the reader of a good medical suspense ask for?" --Susan Sleeman, author of Behind The Badge and The Justice Agency series "Lethal Remedy is the perfect cure for boredom: a first-rate medical thriller with humor, engaging characters, and realism that only a seasoned doctor could bring to the story." --Rick Acker, author of When the Devil Whistles and Blood Brothers
Green survived a tornado, but now the town faces a new storm--one that threatens the schools! As Green continues to recover from a horrendous tornado, newlyweds Lois and Chris just want to return to a normal life in their home on Route Two. But even more threats to Green loom on the horizon. The state of Louisiana announces plans to close Green's schools, which will put Chris out of work and end a long-standing tradition of community pride. Lois and Chris know the loss will crush the community and harm students forced to travel more than an hour to classes. Then there's that new highway that's creeping even closer . . . But Green has another tradition: Rallying around each other. Newspaper owner Lois, Mayor Eva, and college students unite to fight the bureaucrats, with some surprising--and unexpected results. "A tender tale filled with community, friendship, and love. Judy Christie creates characters you'll want to know and places you'll want to be. Don't miss your chance to rally round with the Gang from Green!" -- Lisa Wingate, National Bestselling Author of Larkspur Cove and Dandelion Summer "Have you gone to Green yet? If not, you're missing out on all the fun. Think small southern towns are boring? Then visit Green, Louisiana and get to know Lois and Chris and their friends, families and ... animals! First, it was Gone to Green, then Goodness Gracious Green, then the Glory of Green and now it's time to Rally Round Green. Politics, potluck, storms, secrets, meth labs and remodeling, dogs and more dogs, and oh yes, chickens. Can't forget the chickens. Rally Round Green is the best Green book yet! What are you waiting for? C'mon on down to Green and find out what all the fuss is about!" -- Lenora Worth, author of Hometown Sweetheart
A Sanctuary of Secrets . . .Gavin MacKenzie, a chieftain heir who is hired to restore the ancient Castle of Braigh, discovers a hidden village of outcasts who have created their own private sanctuary from the world. Among them is Serena Boyd, a mysterious and comely lass, who captures Gavin's heart in spite of harboring a deadly past that could destroy her future.The villagers happen to be keeping an intriguing secret as well, and when a fierce enemy launches an attack against them, greed leads to bitter betrayal. Then, as Gavin prepares a defense, the villagers unite in a bold act of faith, showing how God's love is more powerful than any human force on earth."Travel back to medieval Scotland with this great inspirational tale of faith and compassion." - FreshFiction.com"Highland Sanctuary is a wonderful medieval tale fraught with rich, compelling drama, excellent characterization, a plot with depth, beautifully described backdrops, and satisfying romance. In other words, a page turner. (Not recommended if you don't want to miss a night of sleep!)" - Sharlene MacLaren, Retailers' Choice nominee, IRCA finalist and bestselling author of Daughters of Jacob Kane series and River of Hope series"Jennifer Hudson Taylor has penned a heart-warming medieval romance full of mystery and intrigue with Highland Sanctuary. This book grabbed my attention from page one and kept it as I prayed for Serena to recover from her mystery illness and find true acceptance and freedom." - Laura V. Hilton, author of Patchwork Dreams"Highland Sanctuary offers just that--a reading sanctuary set in medieval Scotland, full of mystique and romance. To use the author's own words, it's a book that will remind readers that while there is no Heaven on earth, God can guide us through our challenges. Well done, Jennifer Hudson Taylor!" --Maureen Lang, author of Whisper on the Wind and Springtime of the Spirit"Jennifer Hudson Taylor has written a moving story of sacrificial love and heartrending choices amidst the haunting beauty of the Scottish highland coast." Ruth Axtell Morren, author of Wild Rose and Winter Is Past"Jennnifer Hudson Taylor has written another wonderful Scottish medieval novel. In Highland Sanctuary, she masterfully created a setting and authentically portrayed the culture of the time period. And the characters leapt from the pages." - Lena Nelson Dooley, award-winning author of the McKenna's Daughters series and Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico
In a matter of seconds her entire world shifted... <P> An early morning call shatters Caryn Becker's world. Unable to cope with her brother's news that he is gay, Caryn rejects him and disappears into her own turbulent life as a young widow and single mom. But when David is attacked and nearly killed, Caryn is forced to make hard choices about family, faith, and her own future; choices that take her to the very edge of grace.<P> "This sophomore effort deals sensitively and gracefully with a difficult subject for many Christians, exploring a woman's response to her brother's disclosure of his sexual orientation honestly while never shirking from the issue of justice and forgiveness." - Library Journal, starred review"Powerful and hauntingly beautiful right from the beginning, THE EDGE OF GRACE is another well crafted novel by an insightful, masterful author." - FreshFiction.com"A beautifully written book, The Edge of Grace is a powerful story of the true meaning of grace and love. A brilliant mix of dark and light, laughs and gravity, The Edge of Grace is a must read." --Jenny B. Jones, award-winning author of Save the Date and A Charmed Life series "Christa Allan's new book, The Edge of Grace, is an excellent book for folks who love and are loved by their chosen family. Christa's painful honesty is a crucial part of the story. In the end, the love of family wins out, just as we believe in PFLAG, and she expertly shows that sometimes family goes beyond those we were given to those we choose. And what a happy family we can be if we accept our family members for who God made them to be!" - Randy Trahan, Board of Directors, PFLAG New Orleans "Christa Allan takes her character on an emotional journey to a new understanding of acceptance and the joy that comes from forgiveness." --Sandra Robbins, author