December 2021 Selection

In this selection we are delighted to offer two new titles by a NZ author and a NZ composer:

  • Faith Bright Shining: A personal memoir of faith and leadership: Stained Glass windows to kitchen tables by Timaru author and worship leader Rosie Staite, (You can now also order the PDF eBook edition of Rosie’s book from us –  see below.)
  • This is Why the Angels Sing, a collection of sheet music of Advent and Christmas songs by Wellington composer Jonathan Berkahn.

Topics of other books in this selection include:

  • Preaching dangerous sermons
  • Finding Healing, Wholeness, and Connection through Embodied Living
  • Humanity’s Place in a Wounded World
  • Why So Many of Us Feel Alone – And How Leaders Can Respond
  • The Absurdity, Necessity, and Neurology of Contemplative Prayer, and 
  • The Women Who Changed Science.

An additional fee applies for deliveries to Rural Delivery addresses
Please click the button below to add this cost to your shopping cart  

Overseas customers, please email us at for a total cost, which will include airmail postage. See for more information about ordering and payment options, and our current postage charges.

[Prices, stock levels and estimated delivery time for titles on this page were last updated on 30 November 2021]

Faith Bright Shining:
A personal memoir of faith and leadership: Stained Glass windows to kitchen tables. Rosie Staite.
Pbk 153pp. Colour throughout.

ISBN 9780473598082.
Rosie Staite (2021)
[2 in stock. Then allow 10 days]

Buy the PDF eBook ($30.00)
at our secure Payhip store

After paying for your eBook/s you will be provided with links on screen to download them immediately. You will also receive an email link to download them later.

Rosie Staite’s memoir of faith is a clear, insightful story of her work in the churches and out in the community. Her leadership was valued within Canterbury Anglican, Presbyterian and Methodist churches within a context of transition. So why didn’t she get ordained as a minister? Why did Rosie eventually leave church institutions behind?

Through all the surprising strands of her life, her faith in a loving God has been unwavering. Perhaps holiness is bigger than our boxes?

“Because it is so deeply personal and unique to each person, the notion of vocation is best articulated through story. That is precisely what Rosie Staite gives us in this beautifully written memoir, which describes not just her journey into ministry, but also the inclusive, pioneering and ever-evolving shape of that ministry.

Rosie’s narrative makes for captivating reading, but so too does her poetry … full of rich imagery and insight. My hunch is that readers of this memoir will not only be better informed for having read it; they will be encouraged and inspired. Thank you, Rosie.” Very Rev. Dr Graham Redding

“The story is warm, engaging and humble. Rosie is both able to reflect deeply on her wide and varied life experience, and to live fully with faith and gratitude.” Rev. Dr Jenny Dawson

This is Why the Angels Sing:
Vocal edition
(SATB / Melody line settings).

Jonathan Berkahn.
27 Songs. A4 PDF 52pp.

Little Fish Productions (2021).

Order online at Payhip and download the book immediately after making payment.

* * *

 This is Why the Angels Sing Accompaniment edition
(SATB / Melody line settings

Plus separate piano arrangements).

Jonathan Berkahn.
27 Songs. A4 PDF 64pp.

Little Fish Productions (2021).

Order online at Payhip and download the book immediately after making payment.

“It has been my delight to sing many of these songs with Festival Singers accompanied by Jonathan. He has a happy knack of writing melodies and arrangements that are shaped by the words and bring them to life. Heather and I have introduced our congregation to several of Jonathan’s songs and some have made it into our permanent repertoire. They work well accompanied simply by a guitar or by a piano. Now is the perfect time to introduce these wonderful songs to your congregation.” Philip Garside – publisher, singer & lay preacher

Jonathan comments:
Every Christmas Eve, for the last decade or so, we have enjoyed a traditional German Weihnachtsabend at Monika’s place. We have eaten, opened presents, lit the candles on the Christmas tree, and sung carols. And, like as not, at nine o’clock, I will still have been finishing a song to be rehearsed by a small singing group that night at ten…

These days – for the first time in my life – I now have an actual four-part church choir, who for some reason like to practise their music in advance, so things are not quite as bracingly seat-of-the-pants as they have been in the past. But I still try to have something fresh each year.

Most of these songs existed initially as single-line melodies with chord indications, but I have arranged them (except for the children’s’ songs) for SATB for greater usefulness.

This book exists in two forms, one with the vocal parts only (and chord indications if necessary), the other with simple keyboard arrangements. These should be taken only as suggestions, and freely embellished according to taste and inclination.

Here are links to short audio sample recordings from Festival Singers’ latest concert and the book launch :

And art thou come with us to dwell?

Love is born

Saviour, tear the heavens open

How sweet the angels’ song

And, check out Festival Singers’ digital albums which also include music by Jonathan:

The God of the Dangerous Sermon.
Frank A. Thomas.
Pbk 160pp. ISBN 9781791020224.

Abingdon Press (2021).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

Learn to engage with a dangerous God, to preach the sermons your community needs today.

Preaching is more effective, and has more integrity when preachers understand the god behind their theology. Specifically, whether the god is a universal God, like the one expressed by Christ and the Christian faith, or a tribal god, who is sometimes dressed up to resemble Christianity but is something else entirely.

Thomas leads readers through the process of identifying and understanding the gods behind theology, and their connection to preaching. Readers are equipped to discern the metaphors, symbols, and rhetorical indicators which point to the god a preacher is serving and calling others to serve.

The Wisdom of Your Body:
Finding Healing, Wholeness, and Connection through Embodied Living.
Hillary McBride.
Pbk 288pp. ISBN 9781587435522.

Brazos Press (2021).
[Allow 4 weeks].

Psychologist and award-winning researcher Hillary McBride explores the broken and unhealthy ideas many of us have inherited about our body. Embodiment is the way we are in the world, and our embodiment is heavily influenced by who we have been allowed to be.

McBride shows that many of us feel disembodied due to colonisation, racism, sexism, and patriarchy – destructive systems that rank certain bodies as less valuable, beautiful, or human than others. Embracing our embodiment can liberate us from these systems.

As we come to understand the world around us and the stories we’ve been told, we see that our perspective of reality often limits how we see and experience ourselves, each other, and what we believe is Sacred. Instead of the body being a problem to overcome, our bodies can be the very place where we feel most alive, the seat of our spirituality and our wisdom.

Redemptive Kingdom Diversity:
A Biblical Theology of the People of God.
Jarvis J. Williams.
Pbk 224pp. ISBN 9781540964625.

Baker Academic (2021).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

This book provides a comprehensive biblical and theological survey of the people of God in the Old and New Testaments, offering insights for today’s transformed and ethnically diverse church.

Jarvis Williams explains that God’s people have always been intended to be a diverse community. From Genesis to Revelation, God has intended to restore humanity’s vertical relationship with God, humanity’s horizontal relationship with one another, and the entire creation through Jesus. Through Jesus, both Jew and gentile are reconciled to God and together make up a transformed people.

Williams then applies his biblical and theological analysis to selected aspects of the current conversation about race, racism, and ethnicity, explaining what it means to be the church in today’s multi-ethnic context. He argues that the church should demonstrate redemptive kingdom diversity, for it has been transformed into a new community that is filled with many diverse ethnic communities.

This Sacred Life:
Humanity’s Place in a Wounded World.
Norman Wirzba.
Pbk 300pp. ISBN 9781009012584.

Cambridge University Press (2021).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

“Wirzba is not only extraordinarily perceptive about our ‘wounded world’ and the profound questions with which it faces us, he is also deeply convincing on how to live well with others in it. The secret is to receive life as utterly sacred, a gift of the divine love that is embodied in Jesus and that is to be shared in lives of love. The result is a wise, powerfully attractive book that deserves to be life-shaping for its readers.”
David F. Ford, Regius Professor of Divinity Emeritus, University of Cambridge

“Norman Wirzba has long been one of the most perceptive observers of our predicament, and this fine book encapsulates so much of his wisdom. You will come out of it feeling a greater sense of what the author calls creatureliness, and that will be both a comfort, and a goad to do the work that must be done to preserve the possibilities of this wonderful planet.” Bill McKibben, author The End of Nature

Rewilding Motherhood:
Your Path to an Empowered Feminine Spirituality.
Shannon K. Evans.
Pbk 192pp. ISBN 9781587435386.

Brazos Press (2021).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

Women are often told by their communities that being a mother will complete or define them. But many women find themselves depleted and spiritually stagnant amid the everyday demands of being a mom. They long to experience a rich inner life but feel there is rarely enough time, energy, or stillness to connect with God in a meaningful way.

This book takes the concept of rewilding and applies it to motherhood.

Just as an environmentalist seeks to rewild land by returning it to its natural state, Shannon Evans invites women to rewild motherhood by reclaiming its essence through an expansive feminine spirituality.

Drawn from the contemplative Catholic tradition and Evans’s own parenting experience, Rewilding Motherhood helps women deepen their connection to God through practices inherent to the life they’re living now. Topics include work-life balance, identity, solitude, patience, household work, and mission for the common good. Throughout, Evans encourages women to see motherhood as an opportunity to discover a vibrant feminine spirituality and a deeper knowledge of God and self.

The Loneliness Epidemic:
Why So Many of Us Feel Alone – And How Leaders Can Respond.
Susan Mettes.
Hbk 224pp. ISBN 9781587434778.

Brazos Press (2021).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

This book provides practical tips, and is an invaluable tool for anyone – ministry leaders, parents, friends – trying to help someone who feels alone. Readers will emerge better able to deal with their own loneliness and to help alleviate the loneliness of others

What makes people lonely? And how can Christian communities better minister to the lonely? Behavioural scientist and researcher Susan Mettes explores those questions and more.

Her research shows that it is not the oldest people but the youngest adults who are loneliest, and that social media can actually play a positive role in alleviating loneliness. She offers meaningful ways the church can minister to lonely people, going far beyond simplistic solutions – like helping them meet new people – to addressing their inner lives and the God who understands them.

Being with God:
The Absurdity, Necessity, and Neurology of Contemplative Prayer.
A J Sherril.
Pbk 172pp. ISBN 9781587434730.

Brazos Press (2021).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

Pastor and spiritual formation expert A J Sherrill exposes the effects of living in a world full of noise and anxiety. He shows how quiet and contemplation are crucial not only for spiritual growth but also for mental health, and helps us integrate practices of solitude into our daily lives.

“In a frantic, busy-obsessed world, too many Christians have settled for an anemic Christian life. Sherrill pastorally calls for Christians to disentangle themselves from the loud clamouring of the world by embracing the formational rhythms of Jesus and entering into the depths of a gracious, loving, and kind God.” Tara Beth Leach, author of Emboldened and Radiant Church

God Will Be All in All:
Theology through the Lens of Incarnation.
Anna Case-Winters.
Pbk 250pp. ISBN 9780664267025.

Westminster John Knox Press.
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

The early Christians saw in Jesus the focus and fulfilment of the conviction that God is with us. Over time, they learned to speak of that presence in terms of divine incarnation. That one theological affirmation raises questions for practically all other Christian beliefs.

  • If God is incarnate in Jesus of Nazareth, how does that change our understanding of God’s presence in all things?
  • What does it mean to be human if the life of God has been so intimately joined to human life?
  • How can we say “God is with us” when there is so much suffering and evil in the world?
  • What do we mean by “us”?
  • Just us Christians or all of us?
  • Just human beings or also the whole creation?
  • If we find life in the wider cosmos, is God with them too?
  • Looking through the lens of the incarnation, how wide is the divine embrace?

Case-Winters asserts that the doctrine of the incarnation of God in Christ is not simply one belief among others; it is the cornerstone on which all other Christian convictions are built.

Forces of Nature:
The Women Who Changed Science
Anna Reser; Leila McNeill.
Hbk 272pp. ISBN 9780711248977.

Frances Lincoln (2021).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

From the ancient world to the present women have been critical to the progress of science, yet their importance is overlooked, their stories lost, distorted, or actively suppressed. Forces of Nature sets the record straight and charts the fascinating history of women’s discoveries in science.

In the ancient and medieval world, women served as royal physicians and nurses, taught mathematics, studied the stars, and practiced midwifery. As natural philosophers, physicists, anatomists, and botanists, they were central to the great intellectual flourishing of the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment. More recently women have been crucially involved in the Manhattan Project, pioneering space missions and much more. Despite their record of illustrious achievements, even today very few women win Nobel Prizes in science.

In this thoroughly researched, authoritative work, you will discover how women have navigated a male-dominated scientific culture – showing themselves to be pioneers and trailblazers, often without any recognition at all. Included in the book are the stories of:

  • Hypatia of Alexandria, one of the earliest recorded female mathematicians
  • Maria Cunitz who corrected errors in Kepler’s work
  • Emmy Noether who discovered fundamental laws of physics
  • Vera Rubin one of the most influential astronomers of the twentieth century
  • Jocelyn Bell Burnell who helped discover pulsars.

A Human-Shaped God:
Theology of an Embodied God.
Charles Halton.
Pbk 300pp. ISBN 9780664265007.
Westminster John Knox Press (2021).
[Allow 3-4 weeks]

“Halton cuts incisively through the thickets surrounding our biblical understandings of God, frees them from our misconceptions, and puts them in service to serious, intelligible, and compelling theology. A Human-Shaped God is a gift to those who care about what kind of a God the Bible offers us.” Jacqueline E. Lapsley, Dean and Vice President of Academic Affairs and Professor of Old Testament, Princeton Theological Seminary

“Charles Halton has written a bold, wide-ranging exposition concerning the imaginative, constructive dynamics of doing theology. His more specific, granular analysis concerns the way of language in the rendering of God in the Old Testament. This exposition moves in two riffs concerning, in turn, the ‘body parts’ of Israel’s humanly rendered God and the emotive practices attributed to God. The sustained insistence of the biblical text, fully appreciated by Halton, is that God is rendered to be jarringly and winsomely ‘humanlike’!”
Walter Brueggemann, William Marcellus McPheeters Professor Emeritus of Old Testament, Columbia Theological Seminary

Each month we choose a selection of titles that we think you will find stimulating and satisfying to read. So come back to the Monthly Selections section of our website regularly.


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