Mid-May 2019 Selection

Mid-May 2019 Selection

We are delighted to feature our newly published book of prayers and liturgical poems – by Christchurch lay preacher, Joy Kingsbury-AitkenPrayers for Southern Seasons

This month’s selection also includes a provocative look at 3 matriarchs of the Bible, books exploring what Christian faith looks like and means today, rituals about eating and gathering, the need for young people to observe some form of sabbath rest, and an excellent new preaching resource in the Connections series.

As well as the usual print editions, we can also now supply subscriptions to the Canadian Gathering worship resource as  PDF files. This will enable you to copy and paste the contents into Orders of Service and slide shows. See the details at the bottom of this list.


See the Ordering section below for information about ordering these titles, (including alternatives to using our PayPal shopping cart buttons). our postage charges and orders for overseas customers.

[Prices, stock levels and estimated delivery time for titles on this page were last updated on 4 May 2019]

Prayers for Southern Seasons:
Poems and prayers for Christian worship and devotions.
Joy Kingsbury-Aitken.
Pbk 122pp. ISBN 9781988572086.
Philip Garside Publishing Ltd (2019).
Print $25.00, eBooks $12.50
[10+ in stock].

New Zealand Customers
NZ$25.00 plus postage

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Order your print copies here)

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Worship leaders, this engaging collection of prayers will support your work of creating meaningful services that reflect the church year in our part of the world.

Joy provides prayers for many different purposes: Gathering – Candle lighting – Thanksgiving – Intercession – Petition – Confession – Assurance – Illumination – Offering – Blessing – Commissioning.

In Aotearoa New Zealand the church year begins in early summer, harvest comes during the fast of Lent, and we celebrate Easter not when life is emerging anew in a burst of spring flowering but when leaves are turning red and gold and falling to the ground. The prayers and poems in this collection have been arranged to reflect the cycle of the seasons as we experience them, and the church’s feasts and fasts, and other commemorations, as they occur within those seasons.

To lead a congregation in worship is both a great privilege and a great responsibility. Prayer is a vital part of public worship. Many of the prayers are responsive, giving congregation members an opportunity for more active involvement in the service. The poems for personal reflection are ideal for printing on the front cover of an order of service or within a church bulletin.

Joy’s hope is that this book will be a useful resource for worship leaders, providing just the right words when they need them, and that they, and others who happen to open these pages, may find within sparks of inspiration to ignite their own devotional creativity.

Click here for a Table of Contents and sample Prayers

Consider the Women:
A Provocative Guide to Three Matriarchs of the Bible. Debbie Blue.
Pbk 224pp. ISBN 9780802874290.

Eerdmans (2019).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

Debbie Blue looks closely at Hagar (mother of Islam), Esther (Jewish heroine), and Mary (Christian matriarch) and finds in them unexpected and inviting new ways of navigating faith and life.

As she sets out to explore these biblical characters who live and move in places and ways outside of the strict boundaries of tradition, Blue encounters many real life characters who challenge her expectations and renew her hope: a Muslim tattoo artist, a Saudi Arabian sculptor, a rabbi in a Darth Vader costume, Aztec dancers at a feast of Guadalupe, an Islamic feminist scholar, and more.

Readers who embark with Blue on the sometimes unorthodox, subversive paths of these curious and lively figures will be led to envision more expansive and hopeful possibilities for faith, human connection, and love in our divided, violent world.

Human Rites:
The Power of Rituals, Habits, and Sacraments.
Dru Johnson.
Pbk 176pp. ISBN 9780802876003. Eerdmans (2019).

[Allow 2-3 weeks].

What are we doing when we gather around the sacraments – or when we make the same breakfast every morning? Embodying rituals, says Dru Johnson. And until we understand what we’re doing and why, we won’t know how these rituals work, what they mean, or how we might adapt them.

Johnson considers the concept of ritual as seen in Scripture and its role in shaping our thinking. He colourfully illustrates both the mundane and the sacred rituals that penetrate all of life, offering not only a helpful introduction to rituals but also a framework for understanding them. As he unpacks how rituals pervade every area of our lives, Johnson suggests biblical ways to focus our use of rituals, habits, and sacraments so that we can see the world more truly through them.

Knowing Our Faith:
A Guide for Believers, Seekers, and Christian Communities.
Justo L. González.
Pbk 176pp. ISBN 9780802877062.

Eerdmans (2019).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

González introduces the Christian faith in direct, contemporary language that does not assume prior knowledge. While recognising the existence of various denominations and theological positions, he focuses on the core faith of the Christian church through the centuries.

Covering all the key topics – revelation, God, Jesus Christ, the Spirit, the church, Christian hope, and others – this is an ideal resource for both individual reading and small group study, with questions for discussion included at the end of each short chapter.

This accessible resource will help readers understand the Christian faith better and, more importantly, live it better.

Wrestling with Rest:
Inviting Youth to Discover the Gift of Sabbath.
Nathan T. Stucky.
Pbk 224pp. ISBN 9780802876263.
Eerdmans (2019).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

Busyness is a sickness of the soul that affects many today, and it is especially detrimental to young people, who are finding their identity shaped by ongoing resume-building, constant digital communication, and unceasing activity. The last thing they have time for is rest. But rest – Sabbath – is necessary for youth, not just because of who they are socially, emotionally, and physiologically, but because of who God has made them to be and wants them to be.

Stucky shows that rest challenges youth whose identities are rooted in productivity, efficiency, achievement, and accomplishment. For them, the notion of Sabbath grace both appeals and disorients. Yet through the Sabbath, God invites young people into an identity rooted and grounded in the grace, life, and provision of God.

Wrestling with Rest offers biblical and practical advice for helping youth to discover their God-given identity, in which they can truly find rest.

 “Stucky’s wisdom is needed for just this time. If you draw from his wisdom it will change your ministry.” Andrew Root, Luther Seminary

We Will Feast:
Rethinking Dinner, Worship, and the Community of God.
Kendall Vanderslice.
Pbk 176pp. ISBN 9780802876300.

Eerdmans (2019).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

The gospel story is filled with meals. It opens in a garden and ends in a feast. Records of the early church suggest that believers met for worship primarily through eating meals. Over time, though, churches have lost focus on the centrality of food, and with it a powerful tool for unifying Christ’s diverse body.

Today a new movement is under way, bringing Christians of every denomination, age, race and sexual orientation together around dinner tables.

Men and women nervous about stepping through church doors are finding God in new ways as they eat together.

Vanderslice shares stories of churches worshiping around the table, introducing readers to the rising contemporary dinner-church movement. We Will Feast provides vision and inspiration to readers longing to experience community in a real, physical way.

The Landscape of Faith:
An Explorer’s Guide to the Christian Creeds.
Alister McGrath.
Pbk 288pp. ISBN 9780281076253.
SPCK (2018).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

McGrath tells of his discovery of Christianity while a student at Oxford University and takes readers on a panoramic tour of the landscape of the Christian faith. Using the great themes of the Creeds as a map, McGrath shares his delight in exploring their meaning, significance and continuing importance.

This engrossing book will prove invaluable to clergy, church leaders and theological students.

The Beauty and the Horror:
Searching for God in a Suffering World. Richard Harries.
Pbk 240pp. ISBN 9780281076956.

SPCK (2018).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

Although we can all give meaning to our lives by trying to live well, is there some given meaning to be discovered?

Richard Harries shares an in-depth discussion of the nature of evil and how this is to be reconciled with a loving God.

He argues that belief in the resurrection and hope in the face of death is fundamental to faith, and suggests that we must all –  believer and non-believer alike – protest against the world and seek to change it rather than accept it as it is.

A Lectionary Commentary for Preaching and Worship:
Year C, Volume 3, Season after Pentecost.
Thomas G. Long, Cynthia L. Rigby. Luke A. Powery, Joel B. Green.
Hbk 400pp. ISBN 9780664262457.

Westminster John Knox (2019).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

Designed to empower preachers as they lead their congregations to connect their lives to Scripture, Connections features a broad set of interpretive tools that provide commentary and worship aids on the Revised Common Lectionary.

For each worship day within the three-year lectionary cycle, the commentaries in Connections link the individual lection reading with Scripture as a whole as well as to the larger world.

In addition, Connections places each Psalm reading in conversation with the other lections for the day to highlight the themes of the liturgical season. Finally, sidebars offer additional connections to Scripture for each Sunday or worship day.

This 9-volume series is a practical, constructive, and valuable resource for preachers who seek to help congregations connect more closely with Scripture.

A Pastoral Rule for Today:
Reviving an Ancient Practice.
John P Burgess; Jerry Andrews; Joseph D Small.
Pbk 190pp. ISBN 9780830852345.

IVP Academic (2019).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

How can pastors thrive amid the demands of being preacher, therapist, administrator, and CEO?

We need a contemporary pastoral rule: a pattern for ministry that encourages and enables pastors to focus on what is most important in their pastoral task.

Written by three veteran pastors, this book gives examples of pastoral rules in communities throughout the church’s history, providing concrete advice on how pastors can develop and keep a pastoral rule today.

s Kingfishers Catch Fire:
A Conversation on the Ways of God Formed by the Words of God.
Eugene H Peterson.
Pbk 400pp. ISBN 9781601429698.

Waterbook Press (2019).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

“Sixty years ago I found myself distracted,” Eugene Peterson wrote. “A chasm had developed between the way I was preaching from the pulpit and my deepest convictions on what it meant to be a pastor.”

So began Peterson’s journey to live and teach a life of congruence between preaching and living, between what we do and the way we do it, between what is written in Scripture and how we live out that truth.

As Kingfishers Catch Fire offers a collection of Peterson’s teachings over his 29 years as a pastor, to anyone longing for a richer, truer spirituality.

Peterson’s strikingly beautiful prose and deeply grounded insights usher us into a new understanding of how to live out the good news of the Word made flesh.

Faith Lies:
Seven Incomplete Ideas That Hijack Faith and How to See Beyond Them.
Darrell Smith.
Pbk 276pp. ISBN 9781595557322.

ELM Hill (2019).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

Faith Lies is a street-level theology book for people who are noticing cracks in the foundation of their faith as well as those who feel they have been hurt or discarded by a God and a faith that just does not make sense.

Faith lies are those seemingly required religious ideas or spiritual beliefs that are often confusing and rarely helpful:

  • The Bible is the literal word of God
  • God is angry and doesn’t like me –especially when I sin
  • The devil is God’s counterpart
  • I am supposed to protect and defend God and my faith
  • There is one right way to believe and one right way to behave
  • Faith is a private matter
  • Real faith is blind belief

While the loud voices at the margins adamantly declare faith either completely irrelevant or capable of being contained in one narrow ideology, most people get lost in the mix, feeling no certainty or comfort in either direction.

Smith deconstructs the terrible notion that faithlessness and fundamentalism are our only options.

Awesome Glory:
Resurrection in Scripture, Liturgy, and Theology
Jeremy Driscoll.
Pbk 152pp. ISBN 9780814644034.

Liturgical Press (2019).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

Abbot Jeremy Driscoll offers readers a deep dive into the mystery of the resurrection of Jesus.

Starting from the conviction that the liturgy is meant to be for Christians an immediate and effective contact with the resurrection, this profound book draws out the riches of each celebration from the Paschal Triduum through Pentecost. Abbot Jeremy focuses on the Scripture texts of the Mass, and also on important rituals like the washing of feet and the baptism of catechumens.

Loaded with new insights and approaches, this book will be a welcome resource for homilists, pastors, liturgy directors, catechists, faith formation leaders, scholars, and any Christian adult who wants to better understand, teach, and live the startlingly good news of Christ’s Resurrection.

Re-Membering God:
Human Hope and Divine Desire.
Tobias Stanislas Haller.
Pbk 184pp. ISBN 9781640651524.

Church Publishing (2019).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

As both a critique of and encouragement for the church in the early part of the 21st century, Haller seeks to reclaim the foundational riches of the church’s liturgy and spirituality in the face of cultural change.

These resources, some lost or neglected and others under-utilised, can help rebuild the church, raising up what has been cast down and renewing what has grown old. This series of reflections explores with discernment what is “fashionable,” and acknowledges the deepest and most enduring human needs and hopes, which only God can answer.

Re-membering God puts liturgical and spiritual practice into terms easily understood by both newcomers and seasoned devotees, for the benefit of this and future generations. Understanding the value of the past and with an eye to the future, this book will inform our next conversations about evangelism and church growth.

A resource for church and worship leaders, musicians, liturgists, anyone interested in combining spirituality with church growth.

Christ Walk Crushed:
A 40-Day Journey Toward Reconciliation.
Anna Fitch Courie; David W Peters.
Pbk 224pp. ISBN 9781640651159.

Church Publishing (2019).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

“In an age when in our society and culture we are inclined to be separated from one another and from God, this spiritual journey into reconciliation and healing is a very timely offering. Peters and Courie have combined spiritual direction and physical health together.

Though we tend to draw lines of separation between the physical and the spiritual, we follow a Lord who never made such separations. The economy of Jesus’ approach to the people who needed him most always included an intertwining of the physical and the spiritual.

In a very earthy and welcoming manner, the authors have maintained the unity of physical and spiritual being that Jesus intended. The journey they have given us is God’s path to wholeness.”

Rt. Rev. James B. Magness, Bishop Diocesan Pro Tempore for the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia 

In Conversation
Rowan Williams; Greg Garrett.
Pbk 128pp. ISBN 9781640651296.

Church Publishing (2019).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

  • How is God speaking into our lives today?
  • How do Christians discern what they’re being called to do?
  • How do literature and culture intersect with the Scriptures and our tradition?
  • What might the work of artists teach us about both spiritual practice and the vocational tasks of preaching and teaching?

Be a fly on the wall and listen in as dear friends – one who happens to be the past Archbishop of Canterbury, the other, “one of the Episcopal Church’s most engaging evangelists” Barbara Brown Taylor – discuss their longtime passions and shared interests.

In this new volume of the “In Conversation series,” Williams and Garrett talk about friendship, the Church, the gift of great novels, the importance of Shakespeare, the art of writing poetry and fiction, the preaching event, engaging popular culture, the relationship between faith and politics, the practice of prayer, and the necessity of sacred community, modelling for us in the process both the vanishing art of conversation and an active engagement with faith, culture, and real life.

Annual Subscription – 4 issues per year
Published by the United Church of Canada.

Each Print issue comprises 92 pages of A4, black and white photocopied sheets.
Print edition

including postage, for 4 issues p.a.


We can now also supply Gathering as a PDF file, from which you can copy and paste content into Orders of Service, PowerPoint slide shows etc. 
We will email you a link to download each issue.
PDF edition
for 4 issues p.a.

Gathering is a worship planning resource for ministers, lay preachers, music directors and worship teams.

For each Sunday or feast day Gathering provides:

  • a one line summary of each lectionary reading
  • an overall theme spark
  • a children’s talk idea
  • a sermon starter, and
  • titles and sources of suggested hymns/songs.

There are also Calls to Worship, Prayers of Approach, Words of Assurance, Offering prayers and benedictions. And each issue has materials based on a central theme.

For customers wanting to start a subscription to the print version of Gathering, we have one copy left of Pentecost 1, 2019 issue.



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Other recent email newsletters

Click here for:
Year C – 2019 Devotional, Worship and Preaching resources

And click here for links to our other recent selections.

Stock list on our website

There are now over 900 titles listed on our website.
Click here for a summary of all the books, CDs and DVDs

Specials on Trade Me

We have over 150 titles loaded on Trade Me, many of which are now reduced to $5.00 or less (but only while stock lasts). These are all in stock now. 50 are listed as auctions at any one time. They are all Buy Now only, so order straight away to secure your books. The listings last 5 days, so come back every few days to see a fresh list.
Click here for our current listings on TradeMe.

Are you looking for a specific book?

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Want to get published in 2019?

Check out the Publish your book with us page on our website, which explains how we can work with you to publish your book in print and as an eBook.