Sanctuary

Creating a Space for Grace in Your Life

Sanctuary

Have you ever come back from a vacation only to feel more wiped out than before? Does the phrase “a little R&R” sound like an unattainable dream, something you’ll “get around to” one of these days? What do you do when you need to “just be” for a while? The rigmarole of our daily lives takes a toll in energy, time, and effort. And the space and rest we need to recuperate—physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually—is usually pushed to the back burner. What we need is sanctuary, a place and space that allows us to reflect, rejuvenate, and restore. Terry Hershey’s new book, Sanctuary: Creating a Space for Grace in Your Life, not only defines what sanctuary is but why we need it, where we can find it, and how we can create it as space and habit. For almost 30 years, Terry Hershey has been designing and creating personal sanctuaries, as well as helping others practice sanctuary within themselves. With practical ideas and his signature conversational tone, Hershey illustrates that sanctuary is not a new-age fad or lifestyle upheaval; rather it’s a way to approach and embrace your daily life through a lens of grace, freedom, and contentedness.

Sacred Space

The Prayer

Sacred Space

Prayer is the raising of our hearts and minds to God. It is a holy and sacred experience open to everyone. We do not need to be experts in prayer to enjoy the opportunity to grow in prayerful awareness of our friendship with God.Sacred Space: The Prayer Book can lead us into a life of prayer and, in doing so, inspire new expressions and depths of faith. The Scripture, prayers, and reflections in Sacred Space: The Prayer Book will inspire you to a richer daily spiritual experience throughout the liturgical year and invite you to develop a closer relationship with God. Each day of Sacred Space: The Prayer Book includes a Scripture reading and points of reflection, as well as a weekly topic enhanced by six steps of prayer and contemplation: The Presence of God, Freedom, Consciousness, The Word, Conversation, and Conclusion. Sacred Space: The Prayer Book is designed to help you stay faithful to your intention to deepen your spiritual journey. It is the perfect gift for your parish, campus ministry program, small group, friend, family member, or yourself.

Little Lessons from the Saints

52 Simple and Surprising Ways to See the Saint in You

Little Lessons from the Saints

Far too many Catholics think of the saints as old, cold, and irrelevant to everyday life. Catechist and spiritual director Bob Burnham, however, experiences the saints as something quite different: beautiful examples of people who, though flawed like us, opened themselves to God’s grace and can teach us to do the same. In Little Lessons from the Saints, Burnham skips the typical biographies of saints and offers instead brief but powerful spiritual lessons from 52 different saints, each followed by a short meditation. Chapters are grouped under five main themes: Surrender, Freedom, Pilgrimage, Hospitality, and Loving Knowledge. Burnham succeeds in offering simple ways to apply each saint’s particular charism to our own lives. Inspiring and practical, Little Lessons from the Saints helps us realize that we, too, are called to be saints.

It's All God, Anyway

Poetry for the Everyday

It's All God, Anyway

This book of reverent and irreverent poetry invites you to rethink what is sacred. Beginning with a thought provoking essay, It's All God, Anyway, is a map of a spiritual life, and offers guidance on how to awaken to, and listen for, the divine in our everyday lives. Rooted in ordinary life, the poems are readily accessible. They are simple stories about how the author listens for the hidden dimension of existence revealed through the commonplace; demanding neighbors, dinners with loved ones, blazing sunsets, impatient mothers; even the rabbit who has adopted the neighborhood. By immersing yourself in these reflections, you will discover you are thinking of the divine and your own life differently. You are being invited--by recognizing that It's all God, anyway--to live with a different intention, with meaning, purpose, and deliciousness, even if you may sometimes be rooting around in the muck. By joining the author on her journey, you will deepen your own spiritual practice, and connect with the unique language that the divine has for you. The Holy One has innumerable ways of singing us closer.

Expect a Miracle

7 Spiritual Steps to Finding the Right Relationship

Expect a Miracle

The miracle of a wonderful partnership awaits each of us. All we have to do is close our eyes and open our minds.... The search for the love of our lives is one we've all experienced. Those of us who feel we just can't find what we're looking for often get stuck in a rut of negative beliefs, unfulfilled needs, and blame. Instead of looking within ourselves to discover who we truly are and what we desire, we often look to someone else "out there" to make us happy and whole. We bury our true needs, play games, and try to be someone we're not. The result is that we keep playing out the same unhealthy pattern, attracting more of what we don't really want, bringing ourselves only more frustration, loneliness, and pain. Meditation counselor Kathy Freston has been through that vicious cycle herself--and finally broke free. In this honest, compassionate, and wise book, she illuminates the path to greater self-awareness--and the real love we all crave. Not a pat book of "dating advice" or a guide to manipulating others, Expect a Miracle is a wholly new kind of guide to the search for a great relationship, one that puts the focus back where it belongs: on our own personal transformation. Using principles from Eastern philosophy, meditation, A Course in Miracles, twelve-step recovery, and psychotherapy, the book helps us to become magnetic to the perfect relationship that awaits us. With exercises, meditations, inspiring real stories, and the warm candor of a wise friend, Expect a Miracle is a positive, practical, and powerful book for all of us who are still looking for that one great love--the one that starts with a spiritual journey within.

Explorations in Christian Theology and Ethics

Essays in Conversation with Paul L. Lehmann

Explorations in Christian Theology and Ethics

Engaging variously with the legacy of Paul L. Lehmann, these essays argue for a reorientation in Christian theology that better honours the formative power of the gospel to animate and shape doctrine and witness, as well as ethical and political life. The authors explore key themes in Christian theology and ethics - forgiveness, discernment, responsibility, spirituality, the present day tasks of theology and the role of faith in public life - making plain the unabated importance of Lehmann's work at this juncture in contemporary theology. The internationally recognized contributors draw crucial connections between the gospel of reconciliation, the form of Christian theology and witness, and the challenges of contemporary ethical and political reflection. This book demonstrates why this close friend of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and author of Ethics in a Christian Context and The Transfiguration of Politics continues to influence generations of theologians in both the English-speaking world and beyond.

In the Sanctuary of Women

A Companion for Reflection and Prayer

In the Sanctuary of Women

Come spend some time in the sanctuary of women, an often-ignored space in Jewish and Christian history. This devotional book for women highlights six women from around the world and across the centuries, inviting us to discover what their lives tell us about God. Jan Richardson, a gifted poet, artist, and author, believes it is essential for women to listen to one another's wisdom and bring the fullness of their lives, with all the wonders and messiness, into their prayer life. In the Sanctuary of Women gathers together these women from scripture and history: Eve Brigid of Kildare The desert mothers Hildegard of Bingen Harriet Powers The Woman of the Song of Songs Each chapter becomes its own sanctuary, with one of the women serving as a companion as you contemplate the theme that her life offers. Throughout the readings Richardson weaves her own stories, poetry, prayers, and blessings. Midway through each chapter, a section called "The Secret Room" gives you a chance to pause and reflect on unexpected insights. Reading the book daily will carry you through six months, or you can dip into the readings as you wish. An invitation into reflection and prayer alone or in the company of others, In the Sanctuary of Women is a book to treasure and to share with the women and the men in your life.

Vital

Churches Changing Communities and the World

Vital

What behaviors do highly vital congregations have in common? How can all congregations move toward greater vitality? In Vital: Churches Changing Communities and the World, Jorge Acevedo passionately and effectively reveals how Grace Church in Cape Coral, Florida, has developed behaviors that result in vital and fruitful ministry. Focusing on spiritual pastoral leadership, lay leadership development, worship, small groups, and service and mission, Acevedo both inspires and coaches. He helps leaders of congregations act in their own contexts to develop behaviors essential to vitality, as identified by the recent study of 32,000 United Methodist congregations. The book includes brief summaries of learnings from the research and stories from other congregations illustrating vital behaviors in different settings. Approximately 15% of the 32,228 churches (4,961 churches) scored high in vitality based on the vitality index. What this means is that 15% of our churches have figured out some way to remain highly vital in spite of the fact that 85% have not. What this means is that we cannot assign all the blame for our congregational demise at the feet of the “institution” of the church. 4961 congregations have figured out ways to prevail in spite of our denominational condition. To me this is hopeful and promising! This book is my best attempt for us to learn from the 15% of United Methodist Churches that are vital, growing and prevailing. Jorge Acevedo

Real Presence: a Method for Finding God in All Things

Real Presence: a Method for Finding God in All Things

This book is written with Christians principally in mind, folks whose spiritual life has been nurtured by the sacraments. The Christians I have in mind are also seeking a practical way to enter more deeply into the sacred mystery of the divine presence on a daily basis in their walk-about lives. The sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Penance and Eucharist are considered from the viewpoint of the method they reveal for developing an habitual state of mind and heart that gives entry into a deeper daily connection with the mysterious presence of the divine in all things.

The Heart-Home Builder: Cultivating an Inner Sanctuary With Christ Amid Life’s Difficulties

The Heart-Home Builder: Cultivating an Inner Sanctuary With Christ Amid Life’s Difficulties

We all have struggles in life that interrupt our feelings of peace. Burdens weigh heavy on us and we ache for a sense of refuge, hope, and belonging. In the midst of this exploration, a promise reaches out from the gospel: Jesus tells us that when we welcome him into our hearts, he will draw near and make his home with us (John 14:23). But what if this heart-space was something more of a heart-home? In The Heart-Home Builder, author Rachel Braunscheidel ponders what a heart-home is and how we can cultivate one even in the midst of life’s difficulties. Rachel shares her own experiences with chronic illness and invites you into the hope she’s found despite this pain. It is an invitation and an adventure to find deep hope, grace, and belonging right in the center of our souls.