Written by Gregg Brekke
The UCC's publication ministry announces the release of two new titles by Pilgrim Press centered on congregational development and growth, as well as one revised title. The new titles are "All Whom God Has Joined: Resources for Clergy & Same-Gender Loving Couples" by Leanne McCall Tigert & Maren Tirabassi; and "52 Ways To Ignite Your Congregation . . . Generous Giving" by William C. Green. The revised and updated edition of "Worship in the Shape of Scripture" by F. Russell Mitman.
All Whom God Has Joined: Resources for Clergy & Same-Gender Loving Couples
Leanne McCall Tigert & Maren Tirabassi
"All Whom God Has Joined" provides one-of-a-kind-yet-practical liturgical and ceremonial resources for same-sex, covenanting ceremonies, as well as pastoral care tools and insights for clergy and couples addressing these issues.
Clergy and justices of the peace in states that recognize these rights will benefit from this extremely timely, useful book, as will the couples to whom they minister. The book comprises the work of 25 writers, including former Poet Laueate Marie Harris of New Hampshire, who have contributed full ceremonies, vows and poems.
The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, the book's foreword writer and Ninth Episcopal Bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire, says, "Anyone looking to construct a ceremony of union that will express her or his deep commitment to another will find this book comforting and supportive, as well as practical and helpful."
Leanne McCall Tigert is an ordained UCC minister, pastoral counselor and lecturer at Andover Newton Theological School. She has written or edited six books for The Pilgrim Press, including "Coming Out While Staying In: Struggles and Celebrations of Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals in the Church;" "Transgendering Faith: Identity, Sexuality and Spirituality;" and "Caring for Ourselves While Caring for Our Elders." Tirabassi, a UCC pastor, is bestselling author of The Pilgrim Press. She has written or edited 11 books, including: "Transgendering Faith and Caring for Ourselves While Caring for Our Elders" (with Tigert), as well as "Gifts of Many Cultures;" "Before the Amen: Creative Resources for Worship;" and "An Improbable Gift of Blessing."
52 Ways To Ignite Your Congregation . . . Generous Giving
William C. Green
Biblically centered, liberally evangelical and practically oriented, the second volume in the "52 Ways to Ignite Your Congregation . . ." provides 52 thoughtful, action-oriented ideas to encourage members to become disciples who give generously.
Each concept begins with a Bible passage and invites discussion, igniting greater responsiveness to God's generosity.
The Rev. Lillian Daniel, author and senior minister of First Congregational UCC in Glen Ellyn, Ill., praised the book. "Weaving together Bible stories, provocative questions and practical tips, Green challenges us to imagine the many reasons people give, and to give God thanks for all of them." Adds the Rev. Donna Schaper, senior minister of Judson Memorial UCC in New York City, "Green uses the words 'money' and 'God' out loud, shrewdly and spiritually and unapologetically. Let this book inspire and instruct you in the contagious arts of firing up generosity in your parish."
William C. Green, an ordained UCC minister, is the former team leader for the UCC's Church Finances and Ministry team in Local Church Ministries. A found member of the UCC's Writers Group, he is director of Longlooking LLC consultancy services, specializing in fundraising and education for congregations.
Worship in the Shape of Scripture
F. Russell Mitman
Foreword by Marva J. Dawn
First published in 2001, "Worship in the Shape of Scripture" is a practical resource for worship planners and leaders that provides guidelines for applying homiletic concepts to all areas of worship planning.
Its revised edition includes a two-part DVD showing author F. Russell Mitman summarizing the book with a live audience and teaching worship structure. The second part provides a practical, thorough process of preparing bulletins.
"Mitman demonstrates how the structure common to the worship of most denominations is rooted in the Scriptures themselves," says Marva J. Dawn, internationally renowned theologian, author, educator and the first edition's foreword writer. Gordon W. Lathrop, emeritus professor of Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, says the book is "fine help for a local Christian assembly and its leaders in shaping worship as a biblical event . . . drawing lectionary into communal language and action."
F. Russell Mitman is the author of three titles from The Pilgrim Press, including "Blessed by the Presence of God: Liturgies for Occasional Services" (2007); and "Immersed in the Splendor of God: Resources for Worship Renewal" (2005). He is conference minister of the UCC's Pennsylvania Southeast Conference.