Hopes and Fears: Everyday Theology for New Parents and Other Tired, Anxious People   Bromleigh McCleneghan and Lee Hull Moses
AL431 | $17.00   

McCleneghan and Moses have written a book about being not-perfect parents in a not-perfect world. The result is a joyous celebration of child-rearing in which any parent—no matter how perfect—can share. Hopes and Fears is neither a “how-to” book nor a mere meditation. Rather, the authors seek to find the beautiful and the spiritual in the sometimes mundane activities that parents have performed since the beginning of history, while at the same time allowing beautiful and spiritual insights of the past to inform and shape the activities of modern parenting. Thus, the words of a hymn can trigger an idea about how to deal with bedtime, and an exercise in baby-naming can lead to a better understanding of a passage in Isaiah. The intertwining of the spiritual and familial in this book constantly surprises and delights. The authors are also experienced and well-read congregational leaders, and they bring that perspective to their reflections.

Hopes and Fears: Everyday Theology for New Parents and Other Tired, Anxious People is highly suitable for group study as well as individual reflection.   

Preparing the Pastors We Need: Reclaiming the Congregation’s Role in Training Clergy  George Mason
AL427 | $17.00

Amid the widespread discussion about “the future of the church,” an important point is sometimes overlooked: tomorrow’s church will depend to a great extent on the new pastors of today who will serve and guide our churches in the years ahead. George Mason’s Preparing the Pastors We Need: Reclaiming the Congregation’s Role in Training Clergy makes a timely intervention, asking us to redefine pastoral leadership by analyzing how, in fact, pastors are made in the first place.  

The book highlights an exciting development in the training of pastors: pastoral residency programs and mentoring. Mason demonstrates that these programs work best when the congregations themselves—not just leadership or staff—are an active participant in the training. In this way, churches begin to reclaim their rightful role in the formation of the ministers that will serve them. And, at the same time, they become healthier and more effective churches.  

Imagining the Small Church: Celebrating a Simpler Path 
Steve Willis
AL433 | $17.00

Imagining the Small Church bears witness to what God is doing in small churches. Steve Willis tells stories from the small churches he has pastored in rural, town, and urban settings and dares to imagine that their way of being has something to teach all churches in this time of change in the American Christian Church.  

Willis tells us in the introduction, “This book boasts no ten or fifteen steps to a successful small church. Instead, I hope to encourage you to give up on steps altogether and even to give up on success, at least how success is usually measured. I also hope to help the reader imagine the small church differently; to see with new eyes the joys and pleasures of living small and sustainably.”  

The joys and sorrows Willis helps us see through the compelling stories of faith in the small church puts flesh and bones on the possibilities that lie ahead for congregations in the future as well as the here and now.   




Congregations Magazine, 2013-01-09
2012 Issue 4