One: Unity in a Divided World

She helps readers understand that they are secure in God's inexhaustible love, what they will endure, what they don't say, making them free to love others lavishly--not just in what they do but in what they say, and what they will forgive. Anyone who longs for unity in the church, in their family, and in their community will find in this book both inspiring examples of loving done well and encouragement to begin the often unnoticed hard work of building bridges with those around them.

He said the world would know us by our love for one another. Deidra riggs wants us to put our focus on self-preservation aside and, like Jesus, make the first move toward reconciliation. In one, riggs shows readers that when Jesus offered himself up in our place, he was not only purchasing our salvation but also setting an example for us to follow.

Yet it's so easy to put others at arm's length, to lash out, to put up walls. Jesus didn't say that the world would know we are his followers by our biting rhetoric, our charity work, our political leanings, or even by our knowledge of Scripture.

When Did Everybody Else Get So Old?: Indignities, Compromises, and the Unexpected Grace of Midlife

From writer and veteran columnist Jennifer Grant comes an unflinching and spirited look at the transitions of midlife. Magnetic, good-humored, and full of hope in the sustaining power of the Spirit, this is a must-read for anyone facing the flux and flow of middle age. Free downloadable study guide available here.

Grant acknowledges the complexities and loss inherent in midlife and tells stories of sustaining disappointment, undergoing a crisis of faith, taking hard blows to the ego, and grieving the deaths not only of illusions but of loved ones. Yet she illuminates the confidence and grace that this season of life can also bring.

When did everybody else get so old? plumbs the physical, spiritual, and emotional changes unique to the middle years: from the emptying nest to the sagging effects of aging.

The Soulmaking Room

In this personal story, dee dee Risher weaves experiences from her life with the biblical story of the prophet Elisha and the Shunammite woman. That is our own unique, authentic gift to the world. Her book encourages each of us to find a holy room in which we are in community with others and where we can shape our souls into their unique dimensions.

The woman from Shunem extends radical hospitality to the prophet, expecting no reward. But when disaster strikes, she does not hesitate to hold Elisha accountable or talk back. Risher is captivated by this spiritually attuned, hospitable, generous, honest, and bold woman. If we cannot deal with failure, we can never fully join the joy and power of God’s story, and if we do not know who our people are, if we do not know how to put our deepest losses in our holy room, ” Dee Dee Risher asserts.

Embark with her on the adventure of creating and discovering the joys of The Soulmaking Room. We each need a space for this work—a soulmaking room. Hidden in the story, risher believes, ” risher reflects, how do we grapple with failure?• do we have the kind of faith that can ask bold questions in the face of death?• What openings does radical hospitality create in our lives?“Every human being goes through so much, are the questions that lead to a more authentic life:• What does it mean to build a holy room in our lives?• How honestly do we confront our inevitable losses and griefs? As we work to transform our world, “and there is some heartbreakingly beautiful fruit we are to shape from that.


Eleanor: A Spiritual Biography: The Faith of the 20th Century's Most Influential Woman

More than fifty years after her death, Eleanor Roosevelt is remembered as a formidable first lady and tireless social activist. Her personal faith was shaped by reading the new testament in her youth, giving her a jesus-centered spirituality that fueled her commitment to civil rights, women's rights, and the rights of all “little people� marginalized in American society.

She took seriously jesus' words and despite her life of privilege, she made the needs of those on the margins her priority. Often overlooked, however, is her deep and inclusive spirituality. Eleanor: a spiritual biography provides insight into one of America's most famous women, particularly the spiritual influences that made her so active in social justice issues.


Spoken into Being: Divine Encounters through Story

Stories of fear stop us in our tracks and become roadblocks on the journey, while stories of fantasy, no matter how alluring, are dead-end streets. Spoken into being** points to a path beyond fear and fantasy, a way toward encounters with the Holy where all things are being made new. People of all ages are captivated by a good story.

Storytelling helps us makes sense of the events of our lives, the world around us, and God. Using poetry, and retellings of biblical stories, personal narrative, Williams leads us to a deeper knowledge of the power of narrative. The stories that capture our attention shape us into who we are now and the persons we will become.

Tell me a story. Countless parents and grandparents have heard that request from children. Not all stories serve us well, however. He reminds us that we have been spoken into being as part of a much larger story. When we tell stories, we speak a world into being—just as God did in the creation accounts in the book of Genesis.

In this book on storytelling as spiritual exploration, master storyteller Michael Williams shares stories from his life, guides us to reflect on our lives, and helps us tell our stories.

"We Are All Fast-Food Workers Now": The Global Uprising Against Poverty Wages

The story of low-wage workers rising up around the world to demand respect and a living wage. Tracing a new labor movement sparked and sustained by low-wage workers from across the globe, retail workers, hotel housekeepers, “We Are All Fast-Food Workers Now” is an urgent, airport workers, home-healthcare aides, fast-food servers, safety, and adjunct professors who are fighting for respect, illuminating look at globalization as seen through the eyes of workers-activists: small farmers, and a living wage.

With original photographs by liz cooke and drawing on interviews with activists in many US cities and countries around the world, South Africa, including Bangladesh, Mexico, Cambodia, it features stories of resistance and rebellion, and the Philippines, as well as reflections on hope and change as it rises from the bottom up.


Fresh Expressions: A New Kind of Methodist Church For People Not In Church

They are deeply ecumenical but do not lose their distinctiveness because they learn fresh ways to communicate their identity through discipleship. Fresh expressions began in the United Kingdom where it ignited over 3000 new faith communities. The new faith communities listen to people and go where they are on the journey toward Jesus.

Ken carter and audrey warren offer this book as a group study for church leaders and congregations who are in the grip of Holy Spirit motivation to renew their tradition by reaching people who are dechurched or not yet in a discipleship relationship with Jesus. These new forms of church gather and network with people who typically have never been to church.

Each chapter includes two Bible study experiences for group conversation. In the united states the movement is putting down roots in Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Florida. A wave of new christian churches are emerging to reach unchurched and dechurched people who live in a culture that is increasingly non-religious and multi-religious.


The Hidden Life: Awakened

When betty skinner was 42, her doctor told her, “You have a hole in your soul. In the 50 years that followed, betty, clinging only to her faith and a glimmer of hope, now in her 90s, journeyed from desperate clinical depression to wholeness and profound wisdom—well before anti-depressants and mindfulness were mainstream.

Emerging science now affirms that the organic path Betty traveled has the power to heal the broken body, mind, and spirit. By changing her thought patterns, she changed her life. With utter vulnerability and the beautiful view of hindsight, she reaches back with joy to offer her spiritual friendship and powerful encouragement to those of us still struggling on our own journey to the higher places.


What We Need is Here: Practicing the Heart of Christian Spirituality

His book is a thoughtful, engaging treatment of practices essential to growth as a disciple of Jesus Christ. For those searching for an authentic faith, Roger Owens shows that in Jesus, God has already given us all we need to live and flourish. Ideal for individual or small-group study. Key featuresauthor shares personal stories of struggle and growth in a sometimes humorous styleInsights from the history of Christian spiritualitySuggestions for reflection/discussion.

He calls readers to return to basic Christian practices that build and sustain their relationship with God. Owens explores 7 fundamentals of christian spirituality: reading the Gospels, befriending silence, praying the Psalms, embodying our spirituality, meeting Jesus through Holy Communion, finding Jesus in church, and being with the poor.


The Same Sky: A Novel

From the acclaimed author of how to be lost and close Your Eyes comes a beautiful and heartrending novel about motherhood, resilience, and faith—a ripped-from-the-headlines story of two families on both sides of the American border. Alice and her husband, own a barbecue restaurant in Austin, Jake, Texas.

Years ago, her mother left the family behind in Honduras to make the arduous, illegal journey to Texas. But when carla’s grandmother dies and violence in the city escalates, she joins the thousands of children making their way across Mexico to America, Carla takes fate into her own hands—and with Junior, facing great peril for the chance at a better life.

Poignant and arresting, hope amid heartache, The Same Sky is about finding courage through struggle, and summoning the strength—no matter what dangers await—to find the place where you belong. Praise for the same sky“the same sky is the timeliest book you will read this year—a wrenching, honest, painstakingly researched novel that puts a human face to the story of undocumented youth desperately seeking their dreams in America.

This one’s going to haunt me for a long time—and it’s going to define the brilliant Amanda Eyre Ward as a leading author of socially conscious fiction. Jodi picoult, and beautifully written, author of Leaving Time “Riveting, heartrending, The Same Sky pulled me in on the first page and held my attention all the way to its perfect conclusion.

I devoured this book. Christina baker kline, author of orphan Train “Ward is deeply sympathetic to her characters, and this affecting novel is sure to provoke conversations about immigration and adoption. The new york times book review“A deeply affecting look at the contrast between middle-class U.

Nobody Cries When We Die: God, Community, and Surviving to Adulthood

When the screams of innocents dying engulf you, how do you hear god’s voice? will god and god’s people call you to life when your breath is being strangled out of you? For people of color living each day surrounded by violence, for whom survival is not a given, vocational discernment is more than “finding your purpose” — it’s a matter of life and death.

Patrick reyes shares his story of how the community around him — his grandmother, abuse, and neighbors — saved him from gang life, educators, robed clergy, friends, and the economic and racial oppression that threatened to kill him before he ever reached adulthood. A story balancing the tension between pain and healing, nobody Cries When We Die takes you to the places that make American society flinch, redefines what you are called to do with your life, and gives you strength to save lives and lead in your own community.

Part of the fte Forum for Theological Exploration Series.