New eBooks bring Pentecost into the home

New eBooks bring Pentecost into the home

On Pentecost Sunday (31 May 2020), the church traditionally reflects on the descent of the Holy Spirit on the apostles in Acts 2:1-31.

Pentecost Sunday will be a different experience this year.

Camden Theological Library traditionally prepares a list of books for churches to use for their Pentecost Sunday services, an annual tradition that encompasses material that can help with preparing liturgy, sermons, or personal devotions. Usually, this involves picking up resources from the library in North Paramatta, or having these physically mailed out.

In order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, Camden has been closed since March.

This, however, need not stop congregations from accessing what they need for their ongoing services, thanks to a new range of eBooks that the library’s team recently purchased.

The eBooks are available via the Camden Theological Library for any registered library member.

The complete list of new resources is listed below, as appears in the latest newsletter from Camden Theological Library.

Worship & Liturgy Resources
Ashes to fire : daily reflections from Ash Wednesday to Pentecost
by Merritt J. Neilson

This 14-week devotional book includes daily scripture readings from the Old Testament and New Testament, prayers, and each Sunday, a small sermon with journaling space. This book is specifically designed to be used, either individually or for small groups, from Ash Wednesday to Pentecost.

Feasting on the Word : Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary Year A Preaching the revised common lectionary
by David Lyon Bartlett

For each lectionary text, preachers will find brief essays: one each on the exegetical, theological, pastoral, and homiletical challenges of the text. Each volume will also contain an index of biblical passages so that nonlectionary preachers may make use of its contents.

Feasting on the Word : Liturgies for Year A Worship companion
by Kimberly Bracken Long

This resource offers a multitude of poetic prayers and responsive readings for all parts of worship and is meant to complement existing denominational resources. In addition, the weekly entries include questions for reflection and household prayers for morning and evening that are drawn from the lectionary, allowing churches to include them in their bulletin for parishioners to use throughout the week.
 
God’s radical grace : challenging sermons for ordinary time(s)
by J. Harold Ellens

As facets on a gem reveal its hidden beauty, so these sermons for Ordinary Time(s) disclose the depth and beauty of the scriptures relating to these months of the Christian year between Pentecost and Advent. With the approach of a scholar, the patience of a teacher, and the understanding of a pastor, he gives the reader new insights into these familiar scriptures. 

Will Willimon’s Lectionary Sermon Resource : Year A, Part One
by William H. Willimon

For each Sunday of the Christian year, Will provides just what you need to begin the journey toward a sermon. This guide will stoke, fund, and fuel your imagination while leaving plenty of room to insert your own illustrations, make connections within your congregational context, and speak the Word in your distinctive voice.

The Abingdon Worship Annual 2020 : Worship Planning Resources for Every Sunday of the Year
by Mary Scifres

The Abingdon Worship Annual is lectionary-based and follows the calendar year (January – December). It offers fresh worship planning resources for all who plan and implement weekly worship. Worship leaders “need to offer prayers, prepare an order of worship, select music, and even prepare a sermon. Into that weekly task, we offer this resource to strengthen your ability to lead creatively and prepare consistently.”

The Abingdon Preaching Annual 2020 : Planning Sermons and Services for Fifty-two Sundays
by Tanya Linn Bennett

The Abingdon Preaching Annual is lectionary-based and follows the calendar year (January – December). Each week’s entry includes Primary Theme, Secondary Themes and Worship Helps. The volume also includes essays on preaching topics, full sermons, and sermon series ideas. The Abingdon Preaching Annual is designed to stir the preacher’s imagination; offer fresh, intriguing ideas; and point the preacher in a good direction

Background Resources

Reading Acts : a literary and theological commentary on the Acts of the Apostles
by Charles H. Talbert

Answers to the usual introductory questions do not yield sufficient harvest to enable an intelligent reading of Acts. The approach of Reading Acts is to ask how ancient Mediterranean auditors would have heard Acts when it was read in their presence. To be successful Talbert divides this approach into two parts—how Acts would have been heard in its precanonical context and in its canonical context.  

New Testament Foundations : An Introduction for Students
by Ralph P. Martin

Drawing upon over fifty years of scholarly experience of one of the most industrious contemporary scholars, this work offers a fresh, in-depth introduction to the New Testament for today’s students. Students will be immersed into the world of the first century, learning about both Greco-Roman and Jewish backgrounds. While discussing the fundamental questions surrounding the content of each book including its authorship, audience, and message, this work also engages with the wider historical-critical discussion, helping students navigate the wider world of modern New Testament scholarship.

Trinity After Pentecost
by William P. Atkinson

This book views the triune God from a Pentecostal viewpoint. In so doing, it offers a fresh articulation of the theology of the Trinity that starts with Pentecost and with the Spirit. It concludes that the Trinity cannot be adequately appreciated using any single model, whether social, modal, or psychological. Instead, it presents three models: relational, instrumental, and substantial, that need to be held in paradoxical tension with one another.  

Reading Acts
by Joshua W. Jipp

The book of Acts tells the story of what happened after the death and resurrection of Jesus. The book is filled with adventure and entertainment as Acts narrates God’s activity among his people and the world. In this book I explore one way of reading Acts that attends closely to the plot line of the book and seek to invite readers into the story that Acts tells. Along the way, I examine some of the most important themes of Acts, including divine activity, the extension of the gospel to surprising people in surprising ways, conflict and congruence between the gospel and the broader world, and the ongoing importance of Israel as God’s people. While there are many excellent reasons to read Acts, I reflect too upon the theological and ethical vision of Acts for those who read this book as Christian Scripture.

Luke-Acts
by James P. Grimshaw

This volume on LukeActs highlights readings that make explicit the diverse contemporary contexts of biblical interpreters. The chapters are organised around four themes. The first examines interpretations of Jesus, looking at his childhood, contemporary context, and his teaching – including whether Jesus’ sympathetic response to disease and pain might be used to advocate euthanasia. The second examines social categories: gender, race, and class, including a political and racialised reading of the history of diasporic Black America as a model for reading Acts as a diasporic history. The third examines issues of empire and resistance. The final part looks at society and spirituality, with a focus on modern contemporary contexts.
 
Matthew
by Rodney Reeves

A new commentary for today’s world, The Story of God Bible Commentary explains and illuminates each passage of Scripture in light of the Bible’s grand story. It offers a clear and compelling exposition of biblical texts, guiding everyday readers in how to creatively and faithfully live out the Bible in their own contexts. Its story-centric approach is ideal for pastors, students, Sunday school teachers, and laypeople alike.

Spiritual Life
 
Pauses for Pentecost : 50 Words for Easter People
by Trevor Hudson

Pentecost is a holy day when Christians commemorate the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the early followers of Jesus Christ. Originating from a Greek word meaning “50th day,” Pentecost occurred 50 days after Christ’s resurrection. Before the events of Pentecost, Jesus had followers, but there was no movement that could really be called the church. Pentecost is considered the birthday of the church. In Pauses for Pentecost, Trevor Hudson leads readers to focus on one word and scripture verse each day. He invites us to pause for just a few minutes to read the brief daily reflection and do a simple practice. The beauty of this book is its simplicity, and the thoughtful meditations guide us to a deeper understanding of the meaning of Pentecost.

A quiet Pentecost : inviting the Spirit into congregational life
by Dwight H. Judy

A quiet revolution has taken place in Christianity over the past 30 years. Many “small Pentecosts” are happening in churches as people discover the power of spiritual formation practices, daily prayer, meditative reading of scripture, walking a labyrinth, and more. Dwight Judy recounts the stories of more than 40 congregations that are being revolutionsed by “quiet Pentecosts.” He links spiritual formation practices with evangelism and includes a guide for churches wanting to start a spiritual formation ministry.  

Five Events That Made Christianity : Christmas, Good Friday, Easter, Ascension and Pentecost
by John Pritchard

John Pritchard takes us on pilgrimage to the Holy Land, as he unpacks the five great events that made Christianity – Christmas, Good Friday, Easter, Ascension and Pentecost. We explore: What happened? What did it mean?What does it mean for us? Absorbing, immediate and full of stories, this volume offers deeply considered theology, brilliantly communicated to connect with life as we actually experience it.

Fresh Wind Blowing : Living in God’s New Pentecost
by Steve Harper

A fresh wind of God’s Spirit is blowing on the earth today, and as in times past, God is inviting us to raise our sails and move forward with the power and direction that reflects our commitment to God’s will. Some are calling it a new Pentecost, but whatever name is given, we are living in a time when we have an opportunity to connect with God’s renewing work. One specific manifestation of this movement is the new monasticism. This book is an invitation to explore it and embrace the dynamics it contains.

Any member of the Uniting Church and any United Theological College student can become a library member. To apply, visit the library website here.

Pentecost Sunday takes place on 31 May 2020.

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