If you know of other resources written by North Alabama Conference United Methodists, click here and let us know.
By Bishop Will Willimon
Bishop Williimon pays tribute to his friend, Peter Gomesin this article in The Christian Century.
Click here to read the article.
The annual publication of the Upper Room Disciplines features extensive devotional writings on the lectionary for the edification of the church. North Alabama contributors include Rev. Susie Knedlik and Rev. Steve West.
Rev. Knedlik is a retired pastor currently serving as a part-time on-call chaplain for Children's Hospital in Birmingham.
Rev. West, pastor at Grace UMC in Huntsville, is a husband, father, minister, musician, and writer of music and devotional resources.
The Upper Room Disciplines is available at local Cokesbury stores or can be ordered form the Upper Room web site.
by Rev. Kay Mutert
In the jubilee time of her life, Rev. Kay Mutert left her Alabama home and family to become the minister of five small churches in the Midlands of England. This is the story of that unique and life-changing year. To visit the author's web site and find information on ordering her book, click here.
Celebrating Grace, Inc.
The Celebrating Grace Hymnal was published in 2010 by the music department of Mercer University, associated with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. It features "Lord, You Call Us to Your Service," a hymn text co-authored by Rev. Steve West and Bishop Willimon for ordination services at annual conference. Click here for ordering information.
By Dr. D. Jonathan Watts
The publisher, Wyndham Hall Press, states that the book "not only gives a concise Biblical history of worship but will also illustrate the controversial aspects of the current debate with many churches between traditional and contemporary style." The publisher continues that "this work will open minds and doors for those seeking the 'right' worship style."
Dr. Watts teaches religion and ethics courses for Snead State Community College. He is John Wesley Professor of Homiletics and Biblical Studies for the Graduate Theological Foundation. Dr. Watts is an elder in the United Methodist Church and is under Appointment to Extended Ministries to Snead State Community College.
The book is available for purchase at the Snead State Community College bookstore as well as the publisher and www.amazon.com. It can be purchased both as hard copy and as an e-book.
By Brian Erickson
This article appears in the Nov/Dec/Jan 2010-11 issue of Circuit Rider magazine published by the United Methodist Publishing House.
Rev. Brian Erickson is the senior pastor of Alabaser First UMC.
To read the articel go to http://www.umph.org/pdfs/circuitrider/U301AMCa.pdf
By Rev. R.G. Lyons
This article appears in the Duke University’s Divinity magazine Fall 2010 issue.
R.G. Lyons is the pastor of The Community Church without Walls in the West End neighborhood of Birmingham.
To read the article go to http://divinity.duke.edu/community-student-life/divinity-magazine/fall-2010/ministry-large
by Rev. Bill Phares
Retired North Alabama Conference minister, Rev. Bill Phares' book, For Those in Dry Places: Hope for Ministers in the Wilderness presents a personal and biblical understanding of how spiritual dry places occur in the lives of ministers and how to avoid them. For those already there, he shares the way to move back into God’s call and experience a second opportunity. Phares explores personal and biblical principles, offering ways to recognize the road signs warning of approaching wilderness.
by Dr. Stewart A. Jackson
Rev. Jackson is Pastoral Counselor at Birmingham First UMC. He served as Chaplain of Birmingham-Southern College for over 25 years.
This book contatins a collection of talks given in Yeilding Chapel at Birmingham-Southern College. These simple messages speak to God's presence in our lives and our calling to live beyond our self-interests. They follow lectionary readings during the academic year and will be a resource to college students, young adults, and those who work with them.
To order the book go to http://stewartallenjackson.com/content/quiet-thoughts or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Rev. George Creel
This is a limited-edition book containing a number of popular sermons preached by UMC pastor George Creel will be available June 1, 2010. Rev. Creel is "retiring" after 60 years of service in United Methodist pulpits. He is best known for prophecy preaching and teaching. The cost is $10. To order call (256) 442-7895; or mail check to Has-Been Publishing, 212 Adele St, Rainbow City, AL 35906.
by Rev. Woodfin Grove
Retired pastor Rev. Woodfin Grove's book, Logia, came from the press on his ninety-first birthday in late 2009.Entitled, Logia, which comes from the Greek word for "sayings" or "utterances", the book focuses on Jesus' Sermon on the Mount with the attempt to allow readers to study Jesus’ words then make their “faith and life into an harmonious one.”Recently Rev. Grove told a reporter from The Anniston Star, his approach in writing the book was "totally personal — I made no effort to be orthodox. I was writing primarily for people I know, who would know me."He added, "I was writing for friends."Rev. Grove served North Alabama churches for more than 40 years. He retired in 1981.Rev. Grove reflects on the book:
I offer Logia for the hearty souls who tire of the sweetness of “devotionals” and the mind numbing technicalities of “scholarly” works.I have found the words of Jesus to be adequate for faith and life. And I have found the two to be one.Logia is an effort to help the reader roll faith and life into an harmonious one. Life is an expression of faith and faith informs and directs life. Is there any area in life that I would change, then, if I am wise, I will look at changing my faith.I invite you join me in a journey. The journey will be a succession of daily walks. Each day we will hear the words of Jesus, and give them our intelligent attention.
Here’s the format:
A scripture, consisting of the words of Christ will be read;I will share with you my understanding of:
• circumstances behind the words;
• meaning to those who heard them;
• what they have meant to me;
• possible significance for us today.“In The Margins” will be experiences, episodes, memoirs, prompted by his words. I share them with the hope that they help connect his words with our daily lives.Here’s the style:
Relaxed. There is enough stress already.You may well ask why I would undertake such a task in my ninety-first year. The first reason is simple: When the wonderful people of the Church gave me the most fabulous birthday party of all time, we were not celebrating the end of my ninetieth year, but the beginning of my ninety first.The second reason is more important: that God, in his Grace, might bless both of us, me in the writing and you in the reading.
The book has received an enthusiastic response in the several autograph events held to date.Click here to read an article about the book from The Anniston Star.The book is available from DorAnnWood Enterprise, 515 Hillyer High Road, Anniston, Alabama 36207. Price is $15 , plus $3 S&H, per copy.
The January / Febraury 2009 edition of Good News Magazine contains reviews of Bishop Willimon's latest works.Looking for Salvation
Jason E. Vickers reviews Will Willimon’s provocative new volume.Click here to read this review Bishop Willimon's book Who Will Be Saved?
Why a Wesley Study Bible?
Joel Green presents a useful new resource for a unique tradition.Click here to read the review of the upcoming Wesley Study Bible. Bishop Willimon is one of the Editors of this project.
Now Online: Care for Clergy Living with "Un-Holy" Stress An Interview with Jim RobeyThe Congregational Resource Guide website has an interview with North Alabama Conference clergy Rev. Jim Roby. In the interview Robey, founder of Attentional Growth Inc., discusses ways that clergy can respond to stress—as well as ways that congregations can support clergy self-care. Dr. Robey explains the importance of open and trusting friendships, staff retreats, and support groups. His bottom line: "self-care allows us to use our humanity for the ministry of God." Jim recently became the first United Methodist clergy to be officially endorsed for the Ministry of Life Coaching. This comes from the United Methodist Endorsing Agency of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the UMC. (He also continues to be endorsed as a Pastoral Counselor by them.)Attentional Growth Inc is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, whose purpose is to promote health and provide educational enrichment programming for members of the helping professions and the general public. It was founded and incorporated on April 12, 2004 in Birmingham, Alabama. It is an Approved Mission Advanced Special of the North Alabama Conference UMC.The Congregational Resource Guide draws on the expertise of the Alban Institute, the Indianapolis Center for Congregations, and other specialists. Hosted by the Alban Institute; offered as a gift to congregations by Lilly Endowment Inc.Click here to read the interview.
People of Integrity: Authentic Christian Living
By William B. Morgan Jr Bill Morgan is Senior Pastor of Canterbury UMC in Birmingham.Dr. Morgan defines iintegrity as the "God-given strength to respond to life in relationship with God instead of reacting to things on our own." This means in the middle and muddle of things, we're to have a congruence of all our "parts" — spirit, body, possessions and actions — to reflect godly values. This Christian ideal refers not just to the Sunday mornings of our lives but to the weekdays of our lives; it's everyday spirituality.People of Integrity uses the membership vows of the church (commitment to prayer, presence, gifts and service) to explore authentic Christian living. The book may be used by individuals, small groups and whole congregations. Each chapter includes questions and exercises for reflection. A free leader's guide developed by other clergy staff members of Canterbury UMC, is available as a PDF download from the Upper Room bookstore. Click here to purchase this book .
The Upper Room Disciplines 2008
March writings feature Carol Padgett Carol Padgett, the spouse of Ben Padgett at New Oregon Church, is writing in The Upper Room Disciplines for March 2008. Bishop William H. Willimon says, “Carol Padgett has been given a great gift for communication of the Gospel. Patsy and I enjoy so much using The Upper Room Disciplines. It is wonderful to see Carol representing our Conference through the Ministry of writing.”Click here to purchase this book.
"Preaching on the Way of John 14:6"
by Bishop William H. Willimon Bishop Willimon wrote this article in the May/June 2007 issue of CircuitRider magainze.
Click here to download this article.
"Clergy Compassion Fatigue"
by Rev. Sheri S. Ferguson
This article was published in the March/April 2007 issue of Family Therapy Magazine. Rev. Ferguson is Executive Director of United Methodist Pastoral Care and Counseling. Click to download the article
Music & Mission: Toward a Theology and Practice of Global Song
edited by Rev. Dr. ST Kimbrough Jr.
Music & Mission: Toward a Theology and Practice of Global Song was edited by the Rev. Dr. ST Kimbrough, Jr., who recently retired as the executive in charge of the Global Praise program of the mission agency.The 14 essays put special emphasis on the strong role of music found in the Methodist heritage, but they also explores song in Scripture and in the broad Christian experience. The easy-to-read resource is designed in part to help congregations take advantage of the wealth of song available in a global church.Music and Mission sells for $14.95 and can be ordered through regular United Methodist distribution channels. Place mail orders with Cokesbury, P.O. Box 801, Nashville, TN 27202-0801; telephone, 800 672-1798, FAX, 800 445-8189. The website of Global Praise is www.globalpraise.org.PDF version of the Table of Contents and first chapter of the book, Music and Mission is available online: Music and Mission TOC and chapter 1 (94.2 KB)
"The joy of Wesleyan believing"
article in March/April 2007 issue
of Good News Magazine
Bishop William H. Willimon
Bishop Willimon shares his appreciation for Wesleyan theology in this article. He writes, "Sometimes I forget the joy of thinking like a Wesleyan. I get so mired in the responsibilities and the demands of discipleship that I forget how much fun it is to do theology..."Click here to read more about the March/April 2007 issue of Good News.
Forged From Chaos: Stories and Reflections from Liberia at War
Rev. Richard Lane Stryker, III
Forged from Chaos is the inspiring story of a young pastor and peace activist living in a tragic time in his country's history. It is a weaving of stories of real people and real events in a country torn by civil strife and civil war.
Despite the tragic nature of the war, Stryker invites us to lift up hope and pursue peace. His ethical and social reflections are profound. This is a must read for anyone needing strength to face daily challenge or seeking to understand contemporary Liberia.
About the Author
Reverend Richard Lane Stryker, III, is a native of Liberia, west Africa. He is an advocate for peace, justice and reconciliation. In 1990, as the civil war approached the capitol, he joined other Christian leaders in forming Christians United for Peace (CUP), a movement for non-violent social change in Liberia. As a peace activist, he publicly condemned the government and rebels for their mistreatment and killing of non-combatants of Liberia's civil war. Away from Liberia but not away from a commitment to reconciliation, in 1992, he served as one of two founding pastors of Good Samaritan United Methodist Church, a biracial congregation in Memphis, Tennessee. He is presently serving in the North Alabama Conference and is the pastor of Saint Thomas United Methodist Church in Sylacauga, Alabama.Click here to purchse the book.
Gospeltelling to a Digital Culture: The Forensic Reconstruction of a Good Story
By: D. Jonathan Watts The church has always faced the challenge of presenting the Word of God in a way which relates to its contemporary culture. The church of the twenty-first century, defined as a Digital Culture, is no exception. Gospeltelling to a Digital Culture: The Forensic Reconstruction of a Good Story offers a pattern and model for the exegetical investigation of a biblical text.The purpose of this book is to provide a method for preaching in a multisensory environment. The book first reviews the historical background of worship and preaching. Different methods of sermon creation are explored including an approach labeled Gospeltelling: a biblically based, exegetical, narrative style of preaching designed to relate to the Digital Culture. The book concludes with a presentation of the development and application of that method using the parable of The Prodigal Son found in Luke 15.The book is written for those who are seeking an understanding of church history and the development of worship. It also offers a different approach to sermon development for those who seek another path of sermon preparation or who wish to enhance their own personal method.
Dr. Watts teaches religion, philosophy and speech at Snead State Community College, Boaz, Alabama. He is an ordained Elder in the North Alabama Conference.
by Rev. David BarnhartRev. David Barnhart wrote the Sermon Starters resource found in the November/December 2006 issue of CircuitRider magainze. David is the Pastor of Outreach and Member Care at Trinity UMC in Homewood.
Click here to view an online version of this resource.
The Theological Implications of Climate Control
by Rev. Brian Erickson
Every life is marked by moments in which reality seems to fall short of our deepest hopes, and we are left with more questions than answers. In these reflections, Brian Erickson witnesses to the hope that such moments of uncertainty can give rise to a dynamic and life-giving faith. Seeking refreshing ways to bring God's story into the chaos and confusion of our everyday lives, Erickson finds that "the amazing and frightening thing about it all is that when we begin to let ourselves be formed simply by the hearing of those words, by the telling of those stories, God's story starts to be told through the events of our own lives. Our days become living scripture." The Theological Implications of Climate Control offers a new and imaginative voice for seekers and seasoned Christians alike.
If you know of other resources written by North Alabama Conference United Methodists, click here and let us know.