Dear Reader,

We get some great mail here at Alban Weekly headquarters. Just this week, a reader wrote to thank us for Alban Weekly and to let us know how important it has been for him in interim ministry with a discouraged Presbyterian congregation:

I came to depend on your weekly articles for encouragement and inspiration. Then I started to share them with the session and later with the congregation through the newsletter. I often used your writing as a part of our devotional life for session meetings, and in conversations with leaders and church members.

As we were wrapping things up and they were preparing to call a new pastor, one of the elders said in the last meeting/reflection time, ‘we really need to know how we can continue to receive the Alban articles. They have been such a source of blessing and challenge for us and we don’t want to lose that resource!’

One can’t ask for more than to have one’s work considered a blessing AND a challenge. And the answer to the elder’s concern, of course, is that anyone can sign up for Alban Weekly, for free, at www.alban.org

During this week in which we celebrate Thanksgiving, we’d like to thank you for reading and for letting us know when we make a difference.

We’d also like to ask you to help support this ongoing effort. It takes quite a bit of time and expense to send out each Weekly article—and to create the books that stand behind them. Alban Weekly is an effort of Alban publishing, and it is dependent on the ongoing success of that program.

If you have found Alban Weekly helpful to you as a congregational leader, we’d like to ask you to consider buying—this week—a book from us. In return, we will promise to keep sending you Alban Weekly—we’ll do that anyway—AND you will receive an interesting and helpful book in return. In addition, you’ll help us finish our year strong and be in a great position to serve you even better next year.

Or choose from among our other 225 books in the Alban bookstore.

We are grateful for your readership and for the creative ways you have used Alban Weekly through the years. We wanted to take this opportunity to remind you that behind every good Weekly article is a great book, and to offer you some way other than a note of thanks (which we very much appreciate) to support this free offering of the Alban Institute.

Thank you for reading, and for your support. We wish you a blessed Thanksgiving.

Richard Bass
Director of Publishing
The Alban Institute

Comments welcome on the Alban Roundtable blog



AL405_SMIn God’s Presence:
Encountering, Embracing, and Experiencing
the Holy in Worship
by N. Graham Standish 

Too many worship services, suggests Graham Standish, are perfunctory, suggesting that most churches don’t think much about how to connect people with God. In God’s Presence makes the case that congregations must restore intentionality and authenticity to worship in a way that will open people to the Holy. Intentionality, he says, reflects a deep understanding of what tradition has attempted to do, what contemporary people are hungry for, what is going on in our culture, and how to connect the three.

AL404_SMThe Business of the Church:
The Uncomfortable Truth that Faithful Ministry
Requires Effective Management
by John. W. Wimberly, Jr. 

Pastors are called to be not only leaders with vision but also managers of congregational systems, says John Wimberly in The Business of the Church. Drawing on his thirty-six years in ordained ministry, Wimberly weaves the realities of congregational dynamics and faith-centered purpose together with practical, proven approaches to business management, helping readers avoid common pitfalls and put into practice effective techniques of congregational management. The author’s conversational writing style and many real-life examples make what is for some a seemingly complicated, mysterious topic an engaging and easily applicable read.

AL394_SMReframing Hope:
Vital Ministry in a New Generation
by Carol Howard Merritt 

Much has been written about the changing landscape the church finds itself in and even more about the church’s waning influence in our culture. From her vantage point as an under-40 pastor, Carol Howard Merritt, author of Tribal Church, moves away from the handwringing toward a discovery of what ministry in, with, and by a new generation might look like.

AL392_SMStrategic Leadership for a Change:
Facing our Losses, Finding Our Future
by Kenneth J. McFayden 

Strategic Leadership for a Change provides congregational leaders with new insights and tools for understanding the relationships among change, attachment, loss, and grief. It also helps leaders facilitate the process of grieving, comprehend the centrality of vision, and demonstrate theological reflection in the midst of change, loss, grief, and attaching anew. All this occurs as the congregation aligns its vision with God’s and understands processes of change as processes of fulfillment.



Peers,Larry 120xClergy Wellbeing: How to Balance Ministry and Life  
February 1-3, 2011, Santa Barbara, California
Facilitator: Larry Peers, Alban senior consultant 

Could you use just a little help in balancing your physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual health as a clergy person? Join Larry Peers for a workshop designed to guide you through a review of your ministry with the aid of self-assessment instruments, coaching tools and processes, and peer- and individual-coaching as needed.

Beaumont,Susan 120x Stepping Up to Staffing and Supervision
March 1-3, 2011, Jacksonville, Florida
Facilitator: Susan Beaumont, Alban senior consultant

Supervising the work of others requires learning new skill sets.  No one is born knowing them, and yet supervisory skills are seldom learned during professional formation. Join Susan Beaumont at this important seminar for the pastoral leader who is stepping up into a supervisory role for the first time, or for the long time supervisor who wants to revisit best practices.


Copyright © 2010, the Alban Institute. All rights reserved. We encourage you to share articles from the Alban Weekly with your congregation. We gladly allow permission to reprint articles from the Alban Weekly for one-time use by congregations and their leaders when the material is offered free of charge. All we ask is that you write to us at and let us know how the Alban Weekly is making an impact in your congregation. If you would like to use any other Alban material, or if your intended use of the Alban Weekly does not fall within this scope, please complete our reprint permission request form.

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