Monday, January 31, 2011

New book about leadership

A new release from Alban Institute is "Pursuing Pastoral Excellence: Pathways to Fruitful Leadership." From the Foreword: "How do clergy find ways to sustain the passion and effectiveness of their call, season upon season, crisis upon crisis, pastoral call upon pastoral call, sermon upon sermon? .... At the heart of this book is the gospel metaphor that weaves through the text: 'You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last' from John 15:16. The author, Paul Hopkins asks the question: How can a pastoral leader bear fruit that lasts? How can a ministry make a lasting difference?.... For opportunities to renew and strengthen our call to God's ministry, we are grateful for this book, its stories of witness, and the wise listener who heard and wrote about fruit that lasts." by Nancy Gieseler Devor, M.Div., Ph.D Vice President, The Samaritan Institute Director, Samaritan Institute Clergy and Congregation Care project.

This is a publication designed to give you and your ministry a "shot in the arm." Check it out soon!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Faith Formation 2020: Designing the Future of Faith Formation

Piggy-backing on the previous post shared by Rev. Greg Kaufmann, we have received a new book entitled, Faith Formation 2020: Designing the Future of Faith Formation written by John Roberto.

In the words of Sharon Ely Pearson, an ecumenical partner in Resource Center work: "...The goal of lifting up lifelong Christian formation in the church is not a new one, but this guidebook offers strategies, steps, and concrete tasks similar to how the Lifelong Faith Journal has given countless Christian educators tools for developing strong programs for supporting and strengthening the faith of their members. This is not a book for the faint hearted; it is for those who desire to step up to the plate and get serious about how collaborative leadership and long-range planning can make a difference in the life of the Church."

The book is ready to be checked out. Get it and start the ball rolling!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Faith Formation Learning Exchange

Vibrant Faith Ministries has created something that you need to know about. I've taken the liberty to reword some of the information you can find on their website. Enjoy it!

Are you searching for the most relevant and valuable resources for 21st century faith formation? If you are like most leaders today, you don’t have enough time to search for the latest research, practices, technologies, and approaches to respond to your congregation’s religious and spiritual needs.

Don’t worry...Vibrant Faith Ministries has done the work for you! They’ve created an online Learning Exchange where you can find the most current information, research, and resources in faith formation for all ages and generations. The Faith Formation Learning Exchange provides tools to assist congregations and their leaders to respond creatively and adaptively with relevant approaches to faith formation. The website will be updated monthly, so you’ll always have access to the most current information.

Congregational leaders, professors and ministry educators, ministry students, authors, publishers, and program developers will find the Learning Exchange valuable for both work and personal enrichment.

Vibrant Faith Ministry has designed the Learning Exchange to be easy to use. Just select one of the nine Faith Formation Centers and explore the resources in that Center or use their "Search the Exchange" feature to find a particular resource. You can navigate the Learning Exchange using the menu system on the left of each page or go to the home page for each Faith Formation Center and select the category of resources you want to review.

Where can you find it?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A new choir devotional

New to the Resource Center is: "Soli Deo Gloria: Choir Devotions for Year A." It is a spiral-bound edition that contains brief meditations based on the texts given in the Revised Common Lectionary for the church year. Each devotion ends with a verse from a hymn appropriate to the reading.

The book gives choirs and their directors the opportunity to "set the tone" for rehearsals just as much as the warm-up session gets voices in order.

Call, stop by, or browse the on-line catalog to view other resources housed at the Resource Center, 1005 Oxford Avenue in Eau Claire. We are on the second floor of First Lutheran Church. Telephone: 715-833-1153.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A great new resource!

We have just received a new publication from Augsburg Fortress entitled, "Washed and Welcome: A Baptism Sourcebook". "It offers resources that support your congregation's baptismal ministry and the participation of God's people in the lifelong gift of baptism. Here you will find:
+five approaches to baptismal preparation with parents, caregivers, and sponsors of infants and young children;
+a library of helpful topics that explore both pastoral and practical considerations accompanying baptismal preparation and formation;
+advice, suggestions, inspirations, and examples;
+reproducible pages for parents, sponsors, godparents, children, families, and the whole congregation;
+encouragement and resources for strengthening your congregation's total baptismal ministry."
All of the content is contained on an accompanying CD-ROM and is reproducible and customizable.

Also, with this sourcebook is, "Living the Promises of Baptism: 101 ideas for parents" which has some great ideas for living out your baptism of all ages; "Welcome, Child of God", a board book for infants and toddlers which will be published soon; and, a "Certificate for Sponsors" - a four-page certificate that will become a keepsake with space for family history to be recorded.

Check out these resources for faith preparation soon from the Synod Resource Center!

Missing link

I noticed that the link did not transfer over in the previous post about the "Opening a World of Possibilities" article. This is it below. Highlight and paste.

Sorry for any inconvenience!

Okay, this is what you need:

This will take you to the site with all kinds of information. Have fun reading!

Monday, January 10, 2011

ELC Jordan and Holy Land Libraries Project

I thought you might like to read about this new project and perhaps get involved with it.

JERUSALEM, January 5, 2011 - The ELCJHL is pleased to invite our friends around the world to partner with us in a new and exciting project! With your help, it is our goal to equip each of our four k-12 schools with new English-language resources. Visit our bookstore to donate a book to the ELCJHL Libraries Project: Opening a World of Possibilities!

About our project...
The schools of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land have been providing excellent education for students in Palestinian communities since 1851 - regardless of gender, race, religion, or ability to pay.
The schools teach English from Kindergarten through the 12th grade, equipping students for dialogue with international partners and expanding their opportunities for college and careers.
Through the ELCJHL Libraries Project: Opening a World of Possibilities, we invite you to accompany teachers in the Holy Land as they build libraries that foster a love of language and learning right from the start.
A great book has the power to open a world of possibilities!

Click here to visit our bookstore now! or follow the links below for more information about this project and how you can get involved.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Lutheran Dramas by a Lutheran Pastor

In the most recent Seeds for the Parish magazine (Dec. 2010), I noticed a short article titled: "Fun and Easy Christmas Pageants." I checked out the related website:, and was very pleased to find a large number of religious dramas that could be put on by almost any congregation. I encourage you to check out his website. The plays are very reasonably priced. Here is what John says about himself on his website:

John P. Trump is the senior pastor at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Columbia, S.C. After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in English from Muhlenburg College in Pennsylvania, Pastor Trump earned a Masters in Fine Arts in theater with an emphasis in playwriting from Columbia University’s School of the Arts in New York City and a Master of Divinity degree from Yale University. He served churches in New York City before heading south to join the Hurricane Hugo relief effort, and there he still resides as pastor, husband, father of twin sons, playwright and marathon runner.

Trump has been commissioned to write numerous plays for churches, colleges and theaters for a myriad of special projects and celebrations. "A Twisted Cord" is to be published by Erdman’s Publishing Co., and "Katie Luther: A Burr to a Topcoat" was winner of the Best Script Award in a national competition sponsored by the Episcopal Church in America.

Trump is a co-founder and project director for Dramarama, a summer drama camp for at-risk youth. He has also written and published a children’s book for twins.