Tomorrow’s Synagogue Today
Hayim Herring | AL426 $17.00
In the past decade many intelligent people who care deeply about synagogues have written about them. So how is this book different from all other books? Many books take the overall mission of the synagogue as a given, and the recommendations around structure are really about incremental change. Tomorrow’s Synagogue Today stimulates the reader to unleash the power of synagogues to exponentially influence people’s Jewish lives. Herring offers creative scenarios to stretch the imagination about how more synagogues could become vibrant centers of Jewish life and how congregational leaders can begin to chart a new course toward achieving that goal. Key to his vision are the ways synagogues can collaborate with other synagogues and other Jewish institutions in the local Jewish community and around the globe, as well as with organizations outside of the Jewish community. He concludes with recommendations about the kinds of investments those who care about synagogues and the Jewish future need to make so that synagogues will remain a significant force in the Jewish community.
Scattering Seeds: Cultivating Church Vitality
Stephen Chapin Garner with Jerry Thornell | AL422 $17.00
In Scattering Seeds: Cultivating Church Vitality, Stephen Chapin Garner and Jerry Thornell share the story of their home congregation, the United Church of Christ in Norwell, MA. This average congregation has approached congregational life in a not-so-average way. Each congregant is seen as a minister, bringing the good news of Christ to the community; the church has moved away from boards and committees, instead utilizing the people to form ministry teams; and they have revitalized the way they approach and practice worship and education. Garner and Thornell don’t claim to have the secret to church growth and vitality, but in sharing the story of their simple church in New England, they give hope and innovative ideas to congregations in regions all over the country.
Shame-Less Lives, Grace-Full Congregations
Karen A. McClintock | AL424 $18.00
In Shame-Less Lives, Grace-Full Congregations, author Karen McClintock invites readers to become shame-less, so they can assist others in a congregational system to find a life of joy and grace. With skilled storytelling and gentle humor, McClintock takes readers on a journey in which we learn to recognize the many forms shame takes and explore and heal the shame of our own upbringing, particularly the shame-laden messages within our own religious teachings and practices. She illustrates the ways shame-laden leaders interact with congregations and ways congregational shame influences clergy and laity within the system. She shows us how to recognize shame in the behavior of other leaders and clergy around us, to reduce shame-reinforcing theology, and to provide alternative messages of hope and healing. She also guides us in liberating others from their shame, be they friends, colleagues, or people in a congregation where we worship and serve. McClintock advises readers that eradicating shame may take a few weeks, months, years, or a lifetime. This book is not written so that we can be free of all shame. It is written so we can become shame-less by acknowledging old patterns and consciously changing them, because shame-less leaders create shame-less congregations.
Amazing Gifts: Stories of Faith, Disability, and Inclusion
Mark I. Pinsky | AL421 $18.00
Amazing Gifts: Stories of Faith, Disability, and Inclusion is a new publication by noted religion writer Mark I. Pinsky. Pinsky has gathered stories from churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples across the country, “stories of people with disabilities and the congregations where they have found welcome.” He has taken special care to include the widest range of disabilities.The author emphasizes that his purpose is to not to write a resource manual on accessibility and inclusion. Rather, Pinsky seeks to share stories of how people with disabilities have experienced their faith in the context of their disability, and how congregations have gained when they value the gifts that people with disabilities bring along. “This book,” notes the author, “is for congregational leaders and others who may have no expertise or personal experience with disability, but who make the congregational decisions about accessibility and inclusion.”