New Year = New Ideas: Recommended Books for Leaders of the Church
Whether you are a deacon, ruling elder, trustee, or sit on a committee as a layperson, these books by N. Graham Standish are highly recommended for all those in positions of leadership within the church.
On November 4, 2017, five Covenant elders including Marlene Spires, David Doupe, Pat Bieber, Linda Majewski, Sandra Herman and Youth & Family Ministries Director Britney Knight attended a conference sponsored by the Presbytery of Lake Erie. At this conference, N. Graham Standish discussed the many ways our churches make decisions based on functionality versus spirituality—business driven instead of God-driven. Our Session has been working hard at discernment for several years now, so this was an encouragement for them to hear!
If you are interested in learning more, four of N. Graham Standish’s books are available now in the Brittain Library.
“Ministry Proverbs,” “Humble Leadership,” “Becoming a Blessed Church,” and “Discovering the Narrow Path.”
This Christmastime, I have put together a list of books for families with children. These books reflect what your child in Pre-K through 5th Grade have been learning this quarter in Faith Formation. We began with Genesis and how God created EVERYTHING. Then, we looked at Adam and Eve and our role in taking care of the earth. Now, we are looking at the first sin and how we are separated from God. These books make wonderful gifts and bedtime stories for your little one. Plus, they are wonderful conversation starters and reminders of how we can talk about God and God’s love for us.
Here are some great books for kids:
“Love the World” by Todd Parr is a colorfully illustrated book that proclaims, “Everything and everyone deserves love!” Why? Because God made everything and everyone—even us. Love yourself, Love the World!
“What a Wonderful World” as sung by Louis Armstrong and illustrated by Tim Hopgood. It will be hard not to start singing as you read this book to your little one. “I see skies of blue and clouds of white. The bright blessed day and the sacred night. And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.” This is another book that reminds us of the creative work of God. Also, this book is great for children who are learning about different animals as they investigate each page and find the animals!
“God’s Dream” by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Douglas Carlton Abrams. How creative is God? How diverse is God’s creation? What does God want for us? This is a wonderful book about how we are all made in the image of God even though we may speak different languages, wear different styles of clothes, or have a different skin color. Beautifully articulated and illustrated, this book is a great conversation starter for children to learn about different cultures and religions.
“The Bad Seed” by Jory John. Do you know a bad seed? Well, you haven’t met one this bad yet! You and your child will be laughing out loud as you follow the story of how one ba-a-a-a-d sun-flower seed is not so bad after all. We can all change! That is the power of this story and the pow-er of God in our lives. Things do not have to stay the way they are forever.
“After the Fall” by Dan Santat. Do you remember the story of Humpty Dumpty? You may want to think again. This is a book that brings a different twist to the age-old story with a surprise ending. It might be this generation’s “The Little Engine That Could.” A helpful way to discuss how we are able to never give up because God doesn’t give up on us and transforms us.
These books will be available in the Children’s Library beginning in December for families to check out.
~ Britney Knight