May 2020 selection

May 2020 Selection

Dear customers

We are now taking your orders for books and CDs, and can post  books, CDs and magazines to you again. So business is back to normal for us.

Delivery may take a little longer than usual due to delays in us receiving goods from suppliers in New Zealand and overseas.

Seasons of the Spirit customers, your print and CD ROM packs for the second half of Year A have been posted and will arrive soon

* * * * *

The print edition of my book of collected sermons Let Your Light Shine Through has just arrived from the printers, having been held up with the Lockdown.

This selection also includes books by Stephen Cottrell about ordained ministry, books about prophetic voices, Will Willimon about aging, Jo Saxton about building communities where diverse female leadership can flourish, and by Rowan Williams on the Way of St Benedict.

There are also books about mission in the local community, keeping churches moving forward through hard times, transformative preaching and the future of work.

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[Prices, stock levels and estimated delivery time for titles on this page were last updated on 30 April 2020]

Let Your Light Shine Through:
Collected Sermons – Creative Worship Volume 2.
Philip Garside.
304pp. ISBN 9781988572260
PGPL (2020).
[In stock]

New Zealand Customers
NZ$35.00 plus postage

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Click here to order.

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Are you looking for fresh insights into Bible readings that will stimulate your thinking, warm your heart and support your spiritual journey? These engaging sermons by New Zealand Methodist lay preacher, and progressive Christian, Philip Garside will get you going.

The 62 sermons in this book are arranged in the order they were preached over 12 years and follow the three-year cycle of readings in the Revised Common Lectionary. There are indexes of Scripture readings and of People / Themes, and a Bibliography of key books, recordings and other sources referred to in the sermons.

The book is supported by free online PowerPoints, images & photos, video clips, and audio recordings of many of the sermons. (A link to the resources page and the password for the page are provided at the end of the book.)

“Every Methodist preacher in Aotearoa-New Zealand should have this sermon collection by Philip Garside. And, if they are wise enough to purchase it, they can also put the link on their mobile or desktop device to access his online collection of additional resources… Philip joins a short list of the old-style Methodists who found within themselves, the flame, the fire, to preach and publish and be damned – and some of them were! …all power to PGPL and to Philip for this book which gets the evangel into the marketplace. I like it.”
Rev Dr David Bell, former principal of Trinity Theological College, Auckland

“I am impressed. I see this as an excellent collection of role-model sermons. Each is well researched, well-structured and thoughtfully spiritual. You display an innovative range of creative presentations. Every reflection delivers a meaningful and meaty message for our times. Thank you for sharing it with me.”
Rosalie Sugrue, Author and Lay Preacher

Earth, Our Original Monastery: Cultivating Wonder and Gratitude Through Intimacy with Nature.
Christine Valters Paintner.
Pbk 160pp. ISBN 9781932057201.
Sorin Books (2020).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

The purpose of contemplative living, Valters Paintner suggests, is to allow you to integrate the pieces of your life within yourself, in your community, and in the world around you. When you pay attention to each moment, you nurture your ability to see God’s actions in those moments.

She invites you to begin the journey of contemplative living by focusing on the image of the earth as your original monastery – the place where you learn your most fundamental prayers, participate in each day’s liturgy of praise, and experience the wisdom of the seasons.

Valters Paintner provides seven ways of seeing the earth in light of faith and pairs each one with a practical invitation to a practice. These include the earth as original:

  • Cathedral – where you first learn to worship and feel God’s presence around us, paired with the practice of stability
  • Saints – plants and animals live their calling without trying to be something they’re not and inspire you to do the same, paired with the practice of gratitude
  • Icon – nature can serve as a window to the holy in the same way that icons do, paired with the practice of lament.

The Adept Church:
Navigating Between a Rock and a Hard Place.
F. Douglas Powe, Jr.
Pbk 112pp. ISBN 9781501896521.
Abingdon Press (2020).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

This book will help congregations take an honest “look in the mirror” to understand their current situation and respond.

It is a theologically grounded, yet practical, user-friendly guide for church leaders seeking to save their churches. Powe offers a methodical, logical approach for strategic development and decision-making, and a clear process for showing congregations how to define their reality, and a map showing the way to move forward.

The Place of the Parish:
Imaging Mission in Our Neighbourhood.
Martin Robinson.
Pbk 256pp. ISBN 9780334058250.
SCM Press (2020).
[Allow 4 weeks].

“In this era of social fragmentation, how should the Church pursue mission? Martin Robinson cuts to the chase: God speaks to us in the context of the local.

Correctly identifying the influence of modernity’s disregard for place on the Church, Robinson signals a clear pathway forward – to enable the vocation of church communities to participate with God on the ground in the remaking of social life.

Drawing on his extensive experience and illustrating through vivid grassroots stories and sound theology, this is an inspirational book, yet short and practical. A gift to church leaders and laity of all traditions.” Jenny Sinclair, Founder and Director of Together for the Common Good.

A World Without Work:
Technology, Automation, and How We Should Respond.
Daniel Susskind.
Hbk 320pp. ISBN 9781250173515.
Metropolitan Books (2020).
[Allow 4 weeks].

From mechanical looms to the combustion engine to the first computers, new technologies have always provoked panic about workers being replaced by machines. For centuries, such fears have been misplaced, and many economists maintain that they remain so today. But as Daniel Susskind demonstrates, this time really is different. Breakthroughs in artificial intelligence mean that all kinds of jobs are increasingly at risk.

This is not necessarily a bad thing, Susskind emphasises. Technological progress could bring about unprecedented prosperity, solving one of humanity’s oldest problems: how to make sure that everyone has enough to live on.

The challenges will be to distribute this prosperity fairly, to constrain the burgeoning power of Big Tech, and to provide meaning in a world where work is no longer the centre of our lives. Perceptive, pragmatic, and ultimately hopeful, A World Without Work shows the way.

A Way with Words:
Preaching That Transforms Congregations
Adam Trambley.
Pbk 128pp. ISBN 9781640652545.

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

A vital resource for pastors who seek to transform the culture of their church

Trambly demonstrates the power of the weekly sermon to change the culture of a congregation. Using the analogy of language learning, he shows how a consistent ministry focus over an 18-month period can help a church address areas that inhibit growth, even as the pastor preaches on a diversity of subjects or uses a lectionary.

The author explores how important focused preaching can be to moving church development forward and offers a long-term strategy particularly helpful for pastors looking to take full advantage of the opportunities their weekly sermons provide. Each chapter includes discussion questions and practical exercises that can be used as part of a preaching group or seminary class, or to aid the solo pastor in preparing dynamic sermons.

This is a topic not generally taught in seminary, but vital for pastors who wear many hats as preachers, pastoral caregivers, and administrative leaders.

Prophetic Preaching:
The Hope or the Curse of the Church?
Ian S Markham; Crystal J Hardin eds.
Pbk 160pp. ISBN 9781640652200.

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

This collection of essays explores the question: Is there room for politics from the pulpit? In response to an increasingly polarised society, preachers grapple with the call to witness a unifying Truth in a world where truth appears subjective.

What is a preacher to do when the Church is no more immune to the temptation of polarisation than the secular world? Contributors to this volume serve in a variety of contexts and bring with them their own distinct styles and visions.

Anyone with an interest in the practical implications addressing the current political climate from the pulpit will find these essays provocative, inspiring, and thoughtful.

American Prophets:
The Religious Roots of Progressive Politics and the Ongoing Fight for the Soul of the Country.
Jack Jenkins.
Hbk 352pp.
ISBN 9780062935984.

HarperOne (2020).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

Drawing on his years of religious reporting, Jenkins examines the re-emergence of progressive faith-based activism, detailing its origins and contrasting its goals with those of the Religious Right.

Today’s rapidly expanding interfaith coalition – which includes Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, and other faiths  – has become a force within the larger “resistance” movement. Jenkins profiles Washington political insiders – including former White House staffers and faith outreach directors for the campaigns of Barack Obama, John Kerry, and Hillary Clinton – as well as a new generation of progressive faith leaders at the forefront today.

They include:

  • William Barber II, leader of North Carolina’s Moral Mondays and co-chair of the nationwide Poor People’s campaign
  • Linda Sarsour, co-chair of the Women’s March
  • Traci Blackmon, a pastor near Ferguson, Missouri who works to lift up black liberation efforts across the country
  • Sister Simone Campbell, head of the Catholic social justice lobby and the “Nuns on the Bus” tour organiser
  • Native American “water protectors” who demonstrated against the Dakota Access Pipeline in Standing Rock
  • Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Episcopal bishop

Twelve Great Spiritual Writers.
Liz Hoare.
Pbk 160pp. ISBN 9780281079360.

SPCK (2020).
[Allow 4 weeks].

Hoare’s list of 12 great spiritual writers includes famous and lesser known women whose writings have touched her heart, illuminated her mind, and sharpened her spiritual vision.

Liz believes they can do the same for you. Each of these great writers – novelists, poets, preachers, philosophers and theologians – contributes something special to our understanding of the spiritual life today.

With key extracts from each writer’s best-loved books, and with suggestions for personal reflection or group discussion, here is an exceptionally rich resource that you will want to return to time and time again, wherever you may be on your journey.


  1. Kathleen Norris: Everyday mysteries
  2. Alison Morgan: Following Jesus
  3. Ann Lewin: Watching for the kingfisher
  4. Sarah Clarkson: For the love of books
  5. Annie Dillard: The world is charged with the grandeur of God
  6. Margaret Guenther: Spiritual midwifery
  7. Margaret Magdalen: Avoiding mediocrity
  8. Benedicta Ward: With all the saints
  9. Marilynne Robinson: The givenness of things
  10. Barbara Brown Taylor: Struggling with church
  11. Ann Lamott: Life in forgiveness school
  12. Mary Oliver: Listening convivially to the world


Mythical Me:
Finding Freedom from Constant Comparison.
Richella Parham.
Pbk 152pp. ISBN 9780830843954.

IVP Books (2019).
[Allow 4 weeks].

Do you ever find yourself stuck in the comparison trap?

Parham identifies cultural and spiritual myths about others, God, and ourselves that keep us trapped. From there the journey is a spiritual one. We can pick up practices that help us walk in the freedom of Christ with confidence in ourselves. If you’ve ever suffered from tortured moments of comparison on Facebook, in the office, or in the hallway at church, you’ll benefit from this fresh perspective.

Speaker and author Richella Parham knows what this feels like. “I couldn’t break free from admiring one person’s achievements, someone else’s personality, another’s skills, yet another’s relationships. And don’t get me started on how I looked at other people’s appearances,” she writes. “I was haunted by the admirable attributes of other people, certain that I could never match their worthiness. No matter how well-intentioned the teaching or pithy the advice, I found that most of it didn’t help me change my thoughts, feelings, or actions.”

Growing Old in Church.
Will Willimon.
Pbk 208pp. ISBN 9781540960818.

Baker Academic (2020).
[Allow 4 weeks].

A seasoned pastor and church leader reflects on aging as a spiritual journey and offers practical advice on helping others with the challenges of retirement, aging, caring for the aging, and finding faith in the last quarter of life.

This eloquent, delightfully Christian perspective on aging will be of interest to all who care for aging souls – not only pastors but also chaplains and other ministers in hospitals, hospices, and extended care facilities.

“… I am glad, in my aging, that I have been instructed by this book. Many other readers, those aging and those who love an aging person, will welcome this book.” Walter Brueggemann

Do Re Mi:
If You Can Read Music, Thank Guido d’Arezzo.
Susan L Roth.
Hbk 40pp. ISBN 9780618465729.

Houghton Mifflin (2007).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

In the 1020s, Italian monk Guido d’Arezzo was the first person to invent a system for writing down Gregorian chant melodies so that others could learn to sing them, without the need to memorise the songs. Western musical notation developed from his pioneering work.

If you can read musical notes, you can sing any song or play any piece. But musical notes have not always been here. Long ago, songs were memorized. If songs were forgotten, they were lost forever. Thanks to one man, Guido d’Arezzo, music now can last forever.

“Roth winningly narrates the ups and downs of Guido’s efforts to work out his ideas and get them accepted. But it’s the illustrations that really make the book sing: torn-paper collages wittily celebrating musical marks everywhere, from the staff lines of ploughed furrows and stripy sunset clouds to the O-shaped mouths of chanting monks.” The Washington Post.

The Very Best Day:
The Way of Love for Children.
Roger Hutchison.
Pbk 40pp. ISBN 9781640652811.

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

“The Way of Love” has become a mantra of Michael B. Curry’s episcopate as presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church. From the royal wedding to the 79th General Convention of the Episcopal Church and continuing today, all ages have been inspired and eager to “grow more deeply with Jesus Christ at the centre of our lives, so we can bear witness to his way of love in and for the world.”

This book introduces practices for a Jesus-centered life for children aged 3-10 and their families. Through accessible language and age-appropriate themes, it specifically addresses children and the importance of rhythm and practice in their lives as Christians.

Through words and colourful images, children will see how to Turn, Learn, Pray, Worship, Bless, Go, and Rest, in daily life as a follower of Jesus. Acquiring such wisdom at an early age will benefit children (and the adults who love them) to learn these practices for a lifetime.

The Way of St Benedict.
Rowan Williams.
Pbk 224pp. ISBN 9781472973078.

Bloomsbury Continuum (2020).
[Allow 4 weeks].

Throughout his time as Archbishop, theology professor, pastor and spiritual director, Rowan Williams has referred to St Benedict and his celebrated Rule. Originally drawn up to regulate the life of his monks, who were all laymen, it has been since followed as a rule or set of precepts applicable to many forms of communal living. Even non-religious people have valued the Rule in the quest to lead a more human and humane form of life.

The hallmarks of the Rule are stability, obedience, a balance between work and contemplation and how to support the community. There is also useful advice on how to work with difficult tiresome people and the virtues of silence and humility. Benedict was an advocate of calmness and had a great gift for organisation, or what we would now call management. This is the background to Rowan Williams’ perceptive and beautifully written book.

Short Prayers to Change Your Life.
Pbk 176pp. ISBN 9780736979245.

Harvest House (2020).
[Allow 4 weeks].

“Everything starts with prayer. Without asking God for love, we cannot possess love, and still less are we able to give it to others.” Mother Teresa

Prayers have the power to transform our lives, uplift our spirits, and most important, glorify God. This inspiring collection will draw you closer to a loving Saviour who wants to hear from you.

Selected from Scripture and the writings of some of history’s most influential and eloquent believers, including Charles Spurgeon, Martin Luther, and Saint Augustine, these pint-sized petitions will prepare your heart for sweet fellowship with the Lord as you seek, praise, bless, and thank Him.

Perfect for devotional time or as a gift for someone special.

Ready to Rise:
Own Your Voice, Gather Your Community, Step Into Your Influence.
Jo Saxton.
Pbk 224pp. ISBN 9780735289840.

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

Ready to Rise tackles the real-life issues women face – workplace harassment, sexism, low self-esteem, financial woes, power battles, and old wounds – while providing meaningful wisdom from Saxton’s own journey to leadership.

Added to this personal reflection are stories of empowered women from the Bible. Jo then calls on readers to invest in the next generation of women and build new communities where diverse female leadership can flourish.

On Priesthood:

Servants, Shepherds, Messengers, Sentinels and Stewards.
Stephen Cottrell.
Hbk 160pp. ISBN 9781529360981.

Hodder Faith (2020).
[Allow 4 weeks].

Messenger, sentinel, steward … these three words have been used to describe the work of a priest in the Church of England since Cranmer wrote the original ordination rite in 1550. Two more, servant and shepherd, were added in 1980. Taken together, these five metaphors provide a rich and resonant set of ideas through which to explore the nature of Christian ministry.

In this short, lyrical book, Bishop Stephen Cottrell explores each one; based on actual addresses given to ordinands on the night before their ordination. It is refreshing, challenging and accessible.

Anyone considering ordination or already in ministry will want to read this book.

The New Science of Self-Actualization.
Scott Barry Kaufman.
Hbk 432pp. ISBN 9780143131205.

Tarcherperigee (2020).
[Allow 4 weeks].

This bold reimagining of Maslow’s famous hierarchy of needs offers new insights for realising your full potential and living your most creative, fulfilled, and connected life.

While self-actualization is often thought of as a purely individual pursuit, Maslow believed that the full realization of potential requires a merging between self and the world.

With never-before-published insights and new research findings, along with exercises and opportunities to gain insight into your own unique personality, this empowering book is a manual for self-analysis and nurturing a deeper connection not only with our highest potential but also with the rest of humanity.

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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