February 2022 Selection

February 2022 Selection

In this selection we feature:

  • Everyday Connections which provides in-depth daily devotions for Year C
  • God’s People Made New about how reading the Bible can empower churches, and
  • Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet by Thich Nhat Hanh which highlights ways mindfulness and meditation can focus our efforts to save the world.

Topics of other books in this selection include:

  • How wealth disparities are unbalancing Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Eucharistic eating and the global food crisis.
  • Pivotal moments in the Book of Exodus Parts 1 & 2 
  • Discipleship and community without judgmentalism.
  • a liturgy for farewelling a home

Philip also features one of his favourite Classic books Christianity for the Rest of Us by Diana Butler Bass (2007), which is full of inspiring stories of how ministers and congregations have revived their local churches, and now includes study group questions.

We are also looking for customers who can help us by reading new books we publish and leaving reviews for them on Amazon. Details below.

Lent and Easter books

Lent starts on 2 March 2022 (Ash Wednesday), Good Friday is 15 April 2022, and Easter Sunday is 17 April 2022.

Click this link to View and Order
books for Lent & Easter 2022.

 


An additional fee applies for deliveries to Rural Delivery addresses
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Overseas customers, please email us at books@pgpl.co.nz for a total cost, which will include airmail postage. See https://pgpl.co.nz/shipping-orders 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 3 February 2022]


Everyday Connections:
Reflections and Practices for Year C.
Heidi Haverkamp.
Pbk 608pp. ISBN 9780664264529.
Westminster John Knox Press (2021).
$84.00.
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

52 weeks of devotional material based on the Revised Common Lectionary for Year C.

Drawing from the insightful Bible commentaries in the Connections series, each week also includes scriptural and literary readings, lectio divina, spiritual practices, questions for journaling, and prayers.

This resource has been crafted with mainline, lectionary preachers in mind. Individuals and small groups will find their faith deepened through regular contemplation and devotional insight.

“Given the richness of this devotional companion to the Connections Commentary, I can’t imagine it sitting on your shelf unused! Designed with simplicity yet filled with depth, it is a resource that will help you engage scripture and life both more fully and more joyfully. The flexibility built into its use – individually, in small groups, and in relation to worship – give this guide longevity well beyond a particular lectionary year.”

Marjorie Thompson, author of Soul Feast

 



God’s People Made New:
How Exploring the Bible Together Launched a Church’s Spirit-Filled Future.
Rachael J. Powell.
Pbk 132pp. ISBN 9781506467054.

Fortress Press (2022).
$43.50.
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

Powell demonstrates how through active engagement with God’s Word, we are shaped, equipped, and empowered to be forces for God’s good news. While uncertainty and fear abound in congregational life, this book will inspire congregations to enter into the power of Scripture through word and deed.

Readers will appreciate Powell’s wise pastoral companionship through the often exasperating yet life-giving process of helping a congregation discern who and what they are called to be.

Powell also suggests concrete tools for engaging the biblical text so congregations, in their own contexts, can listen for God’s voice to empower them in their God-given identity. Finally, she calls on preachers to claim their role in this powerful work.



Too Much Money:
How Wealth Disparities Are Unbalancing Aotearoa New Zealand.
Max Rashbrooke.
Pbk 260pp. ISBN 9781988587943.

Bridget Williams Books (2021). 
$39.99.
[Allow 10 days].

Today, someone in the wealthiest 1% of adults – a club of some 40,000 people – has a net worth 68 times that of the average New Zealander.

Here is the story of how wealth inequality is changing Aotearoa New Zealand. Possessing wealth opens up opportunities to live in certain areas, get certain kinds of education, make certain kinds of social connections, exert certain kinds of power. And when access to these opportunities becomes alarmingly uneven, the implications are profound.

This ground-breaking book provides a far-reaching and compelling account of the way that wealth – and its absence – is transforming our lives. Drawing on the latest research, personal interviews and previously unexplored data, Too Much Money reveals the way wealth is distributed across the peoples of Aotearoa. Max Rashbrooke’s analysis arrives at a time of heightened concern for the division of wealth and what this means for our country’s future.



Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet.
Thich Nhat Hanh.
Hbk 336pp. ISBN 9780062954794.
HarperOne (2021).
$58.50.
[Allow 3-4 weeks]

We face a potent intersection of crises: ecological destruction, rising inequality, racial injustice, and the lasting impacts of a devastating pandemic. The situation is beyond urgent. To face these challenges, we need to find ways to strengthen our clarity, compassion, and courage to act.

Beloved Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh (who died last month aged 95) is blazingly clear. There’s one thing we all have the power to change, which can make all the difference, and that is our mind.

Our way of looking, seeing, and thinking determines every choice we make, the everyday actions we take or avoid, how we relate to those we love or oppose, and how we react in a crisis.

Mindfulness and the radical insights of Zen meditation can give us the strength and clarity we need to help create a regenerative world in which all life is respected. Filled with Thich Nhat Hanh’s inspiring meditations, Zen stories and experiences from his own activism, as well as commentary from Sister True Dedication, one of his students, Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet shows us a new way of seeing and living that can bring healing and harmony to ourselves, our relationships, and the Earth.



Birthpangs and Blessings:
A Commentary on the Book of Genesis.
Clare Amos.
Pbk 370pp. ISBN 9781789591941.

Sacristy Press (2022).
$62.50.
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

Clare Amos invites us to listen in on and join in the voyage of mutual discovery between God and humanity which is the central thread of the book of Genesis.

Recent trends in Old Testament studies have radically changed the way we look at the first book of the Bible. This commentary takes account of these developments, acknowledging that traditional source-critical theories need to be re-evaluated, seeking to explore the book holistically, and taking account of its qualities as a ‘story.’

Clare Amos draws upon her extensive knowledge of the modern Middle East, its peoples, its religions and its problems, to provide new insights into some of the challenges which Genesis offers for faith and life today. She offers new insights into the spirituality of the Bible, the voyage of mutual discovery between God and humanity, a recurrent theme of this important biblical book.



The Meal That Reconnects:
Eucharistic Eating and the Global Food Crisis.
Mary E. McGann.
Pbk 256pp. ISBN 9780814660317.

Liturgical Press (2020).
$64.00.
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

“Corporate industrial agriculture has made food more widely available in the world, but the larger impact of the industrial food complex is over consumption, waste and the destruction of Earth’s basic life systems. Eucharist, in contrast, holds out another paradigm. It invites communities into an economy of gift and grace, of gratitude and reciprocity.

In Eucharist, communities are invited into something larger than themselves, to reposition themselves in relation to others: the Earth community, other persons and especially those who hunger and suffer deprivation. The same person who said “This is my body” also said “I was hungry and you gave me food.”

Anyone who hasn’t quite worked out yet (but has long suspected) how Eucharist, a sacrament centred on food (fruit of the earth and work of human hands) and food justice (seed, soil, hunger and farm workers) are interconnected, needs to read this book. It is well researched and carefully argued.

How can eucharistic practice strengthen relationships of justice, solidarity and reciprocity between human communities and the rest of the web of life?”

Reviewed by Neil Darragh in
Tui Motu Interislands



Delivered out of Empire
Pivotal Moments in the
Book of Exodus Part 1
Walter Brueggemann.
Pbk 120pp. ISBN 9780664265380.

Westminster John Knox Press (2021).
$40.50.
[ 1 in stock,
then
allow 3-4 weeks].

Brueggemann offers a guide to the first half of Exodus, drawing out pivotal moments in the text to help readers untangle it. He shows how Exodus consistently reveals a God in radical solidarity with the powerless.

Exodus brims with dramatic stories familiar to most of us: the burning bush, Moses’ ringing proclamation to Pharaoh to “Let my people go,” the parting of the Red Sea. These signs of God’s liberating agency have sustained oppressed people seeking deliverance over the ages.

But Exodus is also a complex book. How does a contemporary reader make sense of it all? And what does Exodus have to say about our own systems of domination and economic excess?



Delivered into Covenant
Pivotal Moments in the
Book of Exodus Part 2
Walter Brueggemann.
Pbk 130pp. ISBN 9780664267360.
Westminster John Knox Press (2021).
$40.50.
[1 in stock,
then allow 3-4 weeks].

Brueggemann offers a guide to the second half of Exodus – from Israel’s journey through the wilderness to Mount Sinai to the establishment of the tabernacle – drawing out “pivotal moments” in the text.

Throughout, he shows how Exodus consistently reveals a God who is in radical solidarity with the powerless and who is dedicated to cultivating a covenant people who act to repudiate the powers of empire. Questions for reflection and discussion are included at the end of each of the 14 chapters, making it ideal for individual or group study.



Religious Life for Our World:
Creating Communities of Hope.
Maria Cimperman.
Pbk 248pp. ISBN 9781626983809.

Orbis Books (2020).
$58.50.
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

“Cimperman writes that this is an amazing time in religious life and in our world. She challenges religious congregations to listen to God’s call in the ever-evolving world around us and, according to their charism, to respond through vowed living grounded in prayer, community and ministry.

Each chapter is organised into an analytical and reflective framework to encourage conversation on the consecrated life.

Content is grounded in contemporary research and comment, thought-provoking questions are raised throughout and numerous ways of responding to the cries around us are explored, many of which require collaboration with others to bring about the reign of God today.

I recommend this book to religious, to book clubs or groups for discussion and to anyone serious in responding to Pope Francis’s call to ‘wake up the world.'”

Reviewed by Carmel Jones
in Tui Motu InterIslands


​​
Centered-Set Church:
Discipleship and Community Without Judgmentalism.
Mark D. Baker.
Pbk 256pp. ISBN 9781514000946.

IVP Academic (2022).
$52.00.
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

Christians can be adept at drawing lines, determining what it means to be a good Christian and judging those who stray out of bounds. Other times they erase all the lines in favour of a vague and inoffensive faith. Both impulses can come from positive intentions, but either can lead to stunted spiritual life and harmful relationships. Is there another option?

Drawing on his extensive experience in church, mission, parachurch, and higher education settings, along with interviews and stories gleaned from scores of first-hand interviews, Baker delivers practical guidance for any group that seeks to be truly centred on Jesus.

Baker shows how Scripture presents an alternative to either obsessing over boundaries or simply erasing them. Centred churches are able to affirm their beliefs and live out their values without such bitter fruit as gracelessness, shame, and self-righteousness on the one hand, or aimless whateverism on the other. While addressing possible concerns and barriers to the centred approach, Baker invites leaders to imagine centred alternatives in such practical areas of ministry as discipleship, church membership, leadership requirements, and evangelism.



Christianity for the Rest of Us:
How the Neighborhood Church Is Transforming the Faith
.

[Philip’s Classics]
Diana Butler Bass.
Pbk 336pp. ISBN 9780060859497.

HarperOne (2007).
$47.00.
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

“I’m enjoying re-reading this classic book at the moment and want to bring it the attention of customers who have not read it. It is full of stories of how ministers and congregations have revived their local churches by re-engaging with their traditions and history, being intentional about ministry in their local communities, refocussing their worship and committing to meaningful study of the Bible and to exploring faith journeys together.” Philip.

As Butler Bass delved into the rich spiritual life of various Episcopal, United Methodist, Disciples of Christ, Presbyterian, United Church of Christ, and Lutheran churches, certain consistent practices – hospitality, contemplation, diversity, justice, discernment, and worship – emerged as core expressions of congregations seeking to rediscover authentic Christian faith and witness.

This hopeful book, which includes a study guide for groups and individuals, reveals the practical steps that leaders and laypeople alike are taking to proclaim an alternative message about an emerging Christianity that strives for greater spiritual depth and proactively engages the needs of the world.



The Farewelling of a Home:
a liturgy.
Jane Simpson.
Pbk 20pp. ISBN 9780473543891.

Poiema Liturgies (2021). 
$21.00 including postage.
[Allow 10-14 Days].

“Originally written “to farewell homes damaged or completely destroyed on 22 February 2011 in Christchurch” this liturgy is enlarged here to include the many other reasons for farewelling our loved dwellings.

“The liturgy follows a simple sequence of gathering, lamenting, recalling and giving thanks for the past, the taking leave and blessing and sending forth.

I recommend beginning this book towards the end. At the bottom of page 17 and on page 18 are suggestions for the symbols and actions that will help tailor your unique ritual farewell. It will help you imagine what will suit your needs. Then go back to the beginning and consider the suggested sequence and prayers.

This book assumes that the “minister/s” are the householders, and the inclusive language makes no assumption about gender. In other words, this is a lay-led liturgy – people making prayer from their own lives.

For Catholics we all need to be skilled in making prayer in words and symbols that speak of our lives as we rebuild our broken Church. Have a copy on your shelf.”

Reviewed by Jo Ayers
in Tui Motu Interislands


Would you like to help us by reviewing the books we publish?

Having reviews posted on Amazon helps more people to find out about the books we publish. We are looking for people who buy US$50 or more books on Amazon each year and would be willing to read an eBook copy of our new books and post a review there.

I’ll send you the eBooks for free in your preferred format: PDF, ePub or Kindle/mobi. Then if you choose you can post an honest review on Amazon. But there is no obligation on you to do so.

Please email Philip at books@pgpl.co.nz if you can help us this way.


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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