Baptism

REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE: Baptism, A Model for Christian Life by William Willimon 

"Author William H. Willimon explores the significance of this sacrament in day-to-day living and provides a model for living a Christian life. ......Baptism is used as the foundation for a larger study of the Christian faith." The book includes an educational guide for small group study.

 

Discipleship

THE CALL TO DISCIPLESHIP by Karl Barth

In this small, accessible book, drawn from Barth's Church Dogmatics, the author articulates what it means to follow Jesus in faith. He draws heavily on Deitrich Bonhoeffer's Cost of Discipleship which he calls "easily the best that has been written on this subject".

 

Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World by Henri J.M. Nouwen

In this thoughtful text, written for a friend who was firmly entrenched in the secular world, Henri Nouwen explores what it means to be God's Beloved. Nouwen uses the eucharistic model of being taken, blessed, broken, and given, to describe how we can live into our nature as Beloved.

 

MAKING SENSE OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH by David J. Lose

Using the format of a conversation between himself and a person curious about the faith, David Lose explores seven major theological doctrines of Christianity "in the order of the biblical story". His intention is to provide the reader with a better grasp both of the Bible and the Christian faith.

 

HOW TO THINK THEOLOGICALLY by Howard. W. Stone and James O. Duke

"[This book] begins with the premise that all Christians are theologians, simply because they are Christians. The question is not whether or not you are a theologian - you are! - but how adequate the resulting theological reflection is in light of the Christian faith." preface, p. vi

Stone and Duke offer a framework and suggestions for theological thinking. Their goal is to strengthen the confidence of the average Christian in applying faith to daily life.

 

Liturgy

THE LITURGICAL YEAR: the spiraling adventure of the spiritual life  by Joan Chittister

There is hunger in every human heart for connection, primitive and raw, to God.' In this highly acclaimed book Joan Chittister:

  • Follows the liturgical year to help meld our lives with the life of Christ
  • Identifies the role that asceticism plays in liturgy
  • Identifies the various kinds of celebrations throughout the liturgical year
  • Identifies the importance of worship, even (perhaps especially) beyond such celebrations as Christmas and Easter

She makes the point that liturgical life is not a relic of the past. Rather, "It is the resounding reality of life in the present lived out of an ancient but living faith." St. Peter's Worship Planning Team studied this book so that much of our worship planning is motivated by its insights and wisdom.

 

Church Life

CHANGING THE CONVERSATION: a third way for congregations by Anthony B. Robinson

Robinson here invites church leaders and members into ten crucial conversations that will change their congregation's culture and help them respond with greater vitality, effectiveness, and faithfulness to our postmodern culture and its challenges. "Changing the Conversation provides stimulating perspectives for church leaders working to renew and revitalize their congregations in a rapidly changing world."

 

Bible Study

MAKING SENSE OF SCRIPTURE: Big Questions about the Book of Faith by David J. Lose

"Making Sense of Scripture, I should be clear, is not a book on the Bible, in the sense that it attempts to give you the major plot line of the Bible, or to cover all the individual books or parts within it....... Rather, it is a book about the Bible, explaining enough of the Bible's history and nature to make it more accessible to you. Even more, Making Sense of Scripture is a book on how to read the Bible in the first place, and I hope and intend that it will give you confidence to explore the actual content and claims of the Bible on your own or in study with others."  (Introduction)

  • MATTHEW FOR EVERYONE
  • MARK FOR EVERYONE
  • LUKE FOR EVERYONE
  • JOHN FOR EVERYONE
  • ACTS FOR EVERYONE

by N.T. Wright

N.T. Wright, Bishop of Durham in the Church of England, is a prolific author and noted New Testament scholar.  In this series he offers solid, reliable and accessible background information on each of the texts. If you wish to become more familiar with the New Testament, this series will help you tremendously. "...N.T. Wright cares deeply about how ordinary Christians understand what it means to follow Jesus."

 

HISTORY'S GOLDEN THREAD: The History of Salvation by Sofia Cavalletti

This book is an extremely helpful resource designed to assist in the reading of the Bible, as it follows the 'golden thread' of the history of salvation from the creation of the world to its final destiny in Christ, the Parousia. People studying the Bible, and anyone interested in understanding the biblical foundations of Christianity, will find this book immensely valuable.

 

Children's Religious Formation

THE RELIGIOUS POTENTIAL OF THE CHILD by Sofia Cavalletti

This classic book describes an experience of adults and children dwelling together in the mystery of God. Known as the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, this is profoundly biblical and sacramental, and it is, at the same time, deeply respectful of the nature of young children, who make their way to God in freedom and joy. This offers a glimpse into the religious life of the atrium, a specially prepared place for children to live out their silent request: 'Help me come closer to God by myself.' Here we can see the child's spiritual capabilities and perhaps even find in our own souls the child long burdened with religious information.

St. Peter's is pleased to share the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd with children ages 3 – 8 years old. This book will assist readers in understanding the beauty and profundity of this approach to children's religious formation.

 

LISTENTING TO GOD WITH CHILDREN: The Montessori Method Applied to the Catechesis of Children by Gianna Gobbi

In the words of the author, this book expects to 'set afire' the Montessori principles which have guided the founders of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd in their ongoing quest to "know, love, and serve the child," especially in regard to his or her relationship with God. "It is our hope that these pages might also serve as invitation and inspiration to all who seek to "enter the secret of childhood" and to journey with the child toward God.

For parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends of children, this book promises to offer tremendous insights as you 'journey with your child toward God.' It also helps in deepening your understanding of St. Peter's approach to children's religious formation.

 

Prayer

WHOLE PRAYER: Speaking and Listening to God by Walter Wangering, Jr.

In this relaxed and accessible book acclaimed story-teller Walter Wangerin teaches us "what it means to really pray, to talk with God rather than to him". An excellent introduction to prayer as conversation with God about the joys, sorrows, and challenges of everyday life.

 

THE PRACTICE OF PRAYER by Margaret Guenther

"In this down-to-earth book on the essentials of prayer, [Episcopal priest and spiritual director] Margaret Guenther answers many of the common questions of the spiritual life such as How do we learn to listen to God in our prayer? and, How do we develop a life of prayer in the midst of busy, active lives? She includes practical descriptions of a number of ways Christians have prayed through the centuries, from using the Jesus Prayer or rosery to praying with the stories of scripture and prayer book liturgies. Guenther also discusses basic matter of Christian practice, such as making a confession, intercession, going on retreat, simplifying our lives, using a journal to pray, finding a spiritual director, and praying through times of desolation when God does not seem to be listening." (back cover)

 

Creation Care

LAST CHILD IN THE WOODS: the Divide Between Children & the Outdoors by Richard Louv

THE NATURE PRINCIPLE: Human Restoration and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv

SERVE GOD, SAVE THE PLANET by Matthew Sleeth

LIVING THE SABBATH: Discovering the Rhythms of Rest & Delight by Norman Wirzba

SEEDS OF HOPE: Wisdom & Wonder from the World of Plants by Jane Goodall

SUPER, NATURAL CHRISTIANS: How We Should Love Nature by Sallie McFague 

MODELS OF GOD: Theology for an Ecological, Nuclear Age by Sallie McFague

LIFE ABUNDANT: Rethinking Theology & Ecology for a Planet in Peril by Sallie McFague

The following authors/books are of special interest to living on the Prairies

RIVER IN A DRY LAND: A Prairie Passage by Trevor Herriot 

JACOB'S WOUND: A Search for the Spirit of Wildness by Trevor Herriot 

GRASS, SKY AND SONG: Promise & Peril in the World of Grassland Birds by Trevor Herriot 

THE ROAD IS HOW: Three Days Afoot Through Nature, Eros & Soul by Trevor Herriot 

GEOGRAPHY OF BLOOD: Unearthing Memory from a Prairie Landscape by Candace Savage

THE PERFECTION OF THE MORNING: An Apprenticeship in Nature by Sharon Butala

 

Religion and Politics

God's Politics: Why the Right Gets it Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It by Jim Wallis

This highly acclaimed book challenges our religious communities and our government to be more accountable to key values of the prophetic religious tradition. It urges each of us to become "pro-justice, pro-peace, pro-environment, pro-equality, pro-consistent ethic of life (beyond single issue voting), and pro-family (without making scapegoats of single parents or gays and lesbians)." Jim Wallis emphasizes the intimate connection between religion and politics, and insists that as long as we identify ourselves as disciples of Jesus we cannot, must not, ignore the poor and marginalized, deny racial justice, tolerate the ravages of unnecessary war or disrespect the dignity of any human being. "These are the values of love and justice, reconciliation, and community that Jesus taught and that are at the core of what many of us believe, Christian or not."

If you are looking for guidance in connecting your faith with your political beliefs and decisions, this book most assuredly will offer significant insight, wisdom and guidance.