March 2021 Selection

March 2021 Selection

This selection includes new books by: Ruth Duck, Bill Gates, Bart Ehrman, Anne Lamott, Robin Meyers and Walter Brueggemann.

Topics covered include:

  • worship and preaching effectively
  • responding to the climate crisis
  • courage and hope in difficult times
  • books for children about mindfulness and the eucharist, and
  • pilgrimage.

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[Prices, stock levels and estimated delivery time for titles on this page were last updated on 1 March 2021]

Worship for the Whole People of God.
2nd edition.
Ruth C. Duck.
Pbk 320pp. ISBN 9780664264765.

Westminster John Knox Press (2021).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

Duck provides theological foundations for worship and explores the ways Christians have adapted worship to various cultures to help them live faithfully and to communicate the gospel to others. She offers advice on how to read a congregation and define its culture in order to plan culturally appropriate worship. And she includes many practical suggestions for preparing and leading worship, including diverse ministries of music, movement, and visual arts that are becoming more popular today.

Highlights include stories of four churches that are developing creative ways to grow and meet the possibilities and challenges of these times, especially in seeking justice, serving people in their neighbourhood, and building bridges among cultures and religious groups.

An appendix by David Gambrell addresses the theological and practical questions surrounding online worship in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.

How to Avoid a Climate Disaster:
The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need
Bill Gates.
Hbk 272pp. ISBN 9780385546133.

Knopf Publishing (2021).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

Gates has spent a decade investigating the causes and effects of climate change. With the help of experts in the fields of physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, political science, and finance, he has focused on what must be done in order to stop the planet’s slide to certain environmental disaster. He not only explains why we need to work toward net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases, but also details what we need to do to achieve this profoundly important goal.

He lays out a concrete, practical plan for achieving the goal of zero emissions – suggesting not only policies that governments should adopt, but what we as individuals can do to keep our government, our employers, and ourselves accountable in this crucial enterprise.

As Bill Gates makes clear, achieving zero emissions will not be simple or easy to do, but if we follow the plan he sets out here, it is a goal firmly within our reach.

Can We Trust the Bible on the Historical Jesus?
Bart D. Ehrman; Craig A. Evans.
Pbk 128pp. ISBN 9780664265854.

Westminster John Knox Press (2020).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

Ehrman, an agnostic New Testament scholar, debates Evans, an evangelical New Testament scholar, about the historical Jesus and what constitutes “history.” Their interaction includes such compelling questions as:

  • What are sound methods of historical investigation?
  • What are reliable criteria for determining the authenticity of an ancient text?
  • What roles do reason and inference play?

Readers of this debate – regardless of their interpretive inclinations and biases – will find some confirmation of their existing beliefs, but also honest and well-informed challenges to the way they think about the historical Jesus.

Dusk, Night, Dawn:
On Revival and Courage.
Anne Lamott.
Hbk 224pp. ISBN 9780593189696.

Riverhead Books (2021).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

In this inspiring guide to restoring hope and joy in our lives, Lamott explores the tough questions that many of us grapple with.

Drawing from her own experiences, Lamott shows us the intimate and human ways we can adapt to move through life’s dark places and toward the light of hope that still burns ahead for all of us.

Full of the honesty, humour, and humanity that have made Lamott beloved by millions of readers.

How can we recapture the confidence we once had as we stumble through the dark times that seem increasingly bleak? As bad news piles up – from climate crises to daily assaults on civility – how can we cope? Where, she asks, “do we start to get our world and joy and hope and our faith in life itself back… with our sore feet, hearing loss, stiff fingers, poor digestion, stunned minds, broken hearts?”

We begin, Lamott says, by accepting our flaws and embracing our humanity.

A Lay Preacher’s Guide:
How to Craft a Faithful Sermon.
Karoline M Lewis.
Pbk 150pp. ISBN 9781506462738.

Fortress Press (2020).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

Lay people are increasingly called to serve congregations and are preaching regularly but are often left on their own to figure out how to preach.

Lewis provides lay preachers with an essential and accessible guide to the basics of Sunday morning preaching.  

She lays out in a concise and clear format the steps to preaching a faithful sermon, a process that can be immediately applied to weekly sermon preparation. This book is a go-to resource for lay preachers, providing a basic course for faithful preaching.

We Gather at This Table.
Anna V Ostenso Moore; Peter Krueger (Illustrator).
Hbk 48pp. ISBN 9781640652521.

Church Publishing (2020).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

Breaking bread with others is central to our faith. This book is an invitation to learn and wonder about why we worship and celebrate the Holy Eucharist. Although grounded in the Episcopal liturgical tradition, it is an accessible and inviting introduction to worship for children and families of many Christian traditions.

The beautiful full-colour illustrations reflect the diversity of God’s people, and a dedication page encourages personalisation. A family section offers questions and suggests ways for all ages to engage in worship and family rituals.

Reflecting some of the spirit, beauty, and vocabulary of the Episcopal liturgy, this will be a treasured volume for parents, godparents, grandparents, and other important adults in the life of a child who is wondering about worship.

Tried and True Resources
for All-Age Worship Vol. 2.
Rosie Staite.
Pbk 192pp. Colour photos throughout.

ISBN 9780473471255.
Rosie Staite – NZ (2019). 
[3 in stock, then allow 10 days].

Here are lots of ideas that work for Making the Point today, Gospel themes, The Seasons, values & social justice, Times of Celebration, Prayer Resources. Great for all who work in ministry – churches, schools, at home with children & young people.

This second volume includes a comprehensive section on Coping with the Sadness which covers: Community Funerals, Remembrance Services and a Liturgy for closing a Church building when relocating a congregation.

“Rosie is offering us a comprehensive work from her own very wide experience in diverse communities, from a range of traditions. I look forward to using Tried and True Volume 2 for services, retreats, spiritual direction – it has practical ideas to explore a living and grounded faith with both young and old.

…this material has all been used, in congregations like the ones to which many of us belong: smaller, with a range of people, whose faith needs both encouragement and fresh language for what they often instinctively know but cannot easily express.” Rev Dr Jenny Dawson

Journey to the Common Good.
Updated Edition.
Walter Brueggemann.
Pbk 144pp. ISBN 9780664267315.

Westminster John Knox Press (2021).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

Published originally in 2010, Journey to the Common Good spoke to an era defined in large part by America’s efforts to rebuild from an age of terror as it navigated its way through an economic collapse. Today, the dual crises of the coronavirus and the disease of racial injustice present daunting new challenges for the church as it seeks the good of its neighbours.

In a new introduction to this updated edition, Brueggemann links the wilderness tradition of Exodus to these current crises, as a framework to help the church navigate this time of risk and vulnerability and to pursue a genuine social alternative to the governance of Pharaoh.

The answer to the question of the church’s role in society is the same answer God gave to the Israelites thousands of years ago: love your neighbour and work for the common good.

Crafting Calm:
Art and Activities for Mindful Kids
Megan Borgert-Spaniol; Lauren Kukla; Aruna Rangarajan (Illustrator).
Pbk 80pp. ISBN 9781506465265.

Beaming Books (2020).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

Mindfulness is a powerful practice to help children find calm in the midst of everyday stress; but can we make it accessible and fun? This book shows children how to engage in and practice mindfulness through fun and easy exercises, quizzes, crafts, and activities, with the goal of learning a deeper sense of calm, peace, joy, and connection to the world around them, all while improving emotional intelligence, boosting self-esteem, and reducing anxiety.

Perfect for children to do alone or with the help of an adult, the activities will have them playing, tinkering, creating, and doodling their way to peaceful, balanced minds.

Podcasting for Dummies
4th edition.
Tee Morris; Chuck Tomasi.
Pbk 416pp. ISBN 9781119711810.

For Dummies (2020).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

Podcasting – making available online recordings of you talking or interviewing someone on a specific topic – could be an effective way to promote your church. Written by two podcasting veterans, this book gives you everything you need to launch a podcast. Get the insider info on how to produce quality audio, keep your content fresh, find your voice, and build an audience.


  • Building your podcasting studio
  • Developing your podcast theme
  • Conducting great interviews
  • Recording and editing episodes
  • Distributing your podcast
  • Adding sponsorships
  • Expanding your podcast’s audience.

Methodist Mission at 200:
Serving Faithfully Amid the Tensions.
David Scott.
Pbk 212pp. ISBN 9781791015985.

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

For more than 200 years, Methodists have shared God’s love with the world. Methodists aim to relieve human suffering by offering healing, hope, and holiness everywhere in the world. Methodist people on every continent serve faithfully amid the tensions and challenges that cry out for transformation.

This book tells the story of these global efforts, beginning with John Stewart’s ministry among the Wyandotte Nation in America, and what Methodists have learned about God’s mission along the way. Scott also describes how United Methodist Global Ministries is living out these lessons of cooperation, humility, relationship, and practicing holistic mission.

Together, Methodists pursue and promote personal, social, and cosmic transformation. Together, they work and live amid the tensions that enrich and expand awareness of Methodist identity in God’s diverse world.


The Underground Church:
Reclaiming the Subversive Way of Jesus.
Robin Meyers.
Pbk 266pp. ISBN 9781506463377.

Fortress Press (2020).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

Prominent progressive writer, speaker, and minister Meyers proposes that the best way to recapture the spirit of the early Christian church is to recognise that Jesus-following was and must be again subversive in the best sense of the word, because the gospel taken seriously turns the world upside down. No matter how the church may organise itself or worship, the defining characteristic of the church of the future will be its Jesus-inspired countercultural witness.

Meyers debunks commonly held beliefs about the early church and offers a vision for the future rooted in the past. He proposes that the church of the future must leave doctrinal tribalism behind and seek a unity of mission instead.

“Robin Meyers has spoken truth to power, and the church he loves will never be the same.” Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Pathways of Christian Life.
Stephen Platten.
Pbk 202pp. ISBN 9781789591323.

Sacristy Press (2020).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

Platten relates pilgrims and pilgrimages to a wide range of themes from Christian theology, spirituality and literature. The book can be used by individuals and groups, whether they are visiting some of the places referred to in the book or are seeking to enrich their spiritual lives as “armchair pilgrims.”

What is pilgrimage? Each chapter focuses on a particular place of pilgrimage within Britain and Ireland, such as Canterbury, Lindisfarne and Kildare, offering some historical background and exploring why this location has become such a powerful magnet for pilgrims over the ages.

Click here for our:
Lent and Easter 2021 Selection
and here for our
Year B – 2021 Worship, Preaching and Devotional Resources page
which lists other books covering Lent & Easter 2021 Year B.

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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