Six New Things – Week of December 11, 2023

Stories are at the heart of these Seasons of Advent and Christmas. Discover new stories and old stories reimagined; discover new ways to share stories with folx who have heard them all before and new audiences. Blessed Advent!

ONE

A sci-fi novel that tackles, ‘family, the multiverse and the survival of love through immense change and crisis’, Him (Penguin Random House) is, ‘an extraordinary science-fiction novel about identity, divinity, and alternate reality – the story of the son of God’, in which ‘Avigayil is determined to find her way as Yeshu, a man’.

While we’re reimagining significant figures, The Modern Saints: Portraits and Reflections on the Saints (Penguins Random House), offers a 52-week collection of, ‘unique portraits and compelling narratives… [to] move, encourage, and strengthen each reader as they find solidarity and profound belonging within the host of saints’.

TWO

From reimagining a story’s characters to reimagining the story’s delivery: Undercover Prophets: Pursuing Stand-Up Comedy to Talk about What Matters Most (Cascade) acknowledges ‘that pastors and other Christian leaders need help in connecting with unchurched audiences’ and promises, ‘accessible, funny prose’ introducing ‘stand-up comedy [as] a great way to do just that’.

For another out-of-the-box take on connecting through story telling, see OutoftheBox, which, ‘uses story and play for personal and community wellbeing’, by creating, ‘brave relational space to breathe, trust, listen, feel, wonder, play and love’.

Find additional Truth-Telling and Story Telling resources in our lib guide.

THREE

Let stories unfold in more meaningful ways through a greater understanding of ritual and its importance in human lives. The Hidden Power of Ritual: The Journey of a Lifetime (Penguin Random House), ‘is a provocative contribution to ritual theory’ that will inspire those who are curious about ‘why unique repetitive acts matter’.

Find more on Rethinking Worship in our lib guide

FOUR

Discover a whole new set of stories to explore as you unwrap The Spirituality of Dreaming: Unlocking the Wisdom of Our Sleeping Selves (Broadleaf), which combines, ‘groundbreaking research and wisdom from vivid dreamers throughout history, sacred texts, and the present day’.

Find additional Sabbath & Rest resources in our lib guide.

FIVE

Strengthen your congregation’s ability to share their story – and create a new narrative in your community – with Reclaiming Power: Creating Shared Power for Effective Ministry (Wipf & Stock), a look at power dynamics within congregations and communities, how congregations can ‘adapt to a more democratic approach to ministry’ , and ‘work together to build healthier congregations and communities’.

Find additional resources on Adaptive Leadership in our lib guide.

SIX

We’re half-way to Christmas (or more, depending upon when you started Advent), and The Ministry Lab has you covered for that Sunday after Christmas when preachers want a day off: we’ve got a beautiful video reflection of Psalm 148, including photos from across Minnesota; Illustrate-Your-Own sermons that could be read by anyone; and more in our Recorded/Full Worship Services and Sermon Prep lib guides.

Access to these resources will be effected by our December 19, 2023 – January 2, 2024 closure. Be sure to request links (by emailing Emily; ministrylab@unitedseminary.edu) before December 19!!

Blessed Advent and Merry Christmas!!