Tomorrow I leave for a Franciscan Summer Confab’s Franciscan Youth & Young Adult Track
You may be asking yourself right now what that is? This is a gathering of passionate Third Order Secular Franciscans and Franciscan-hearted young adults who will come together to help give vision to rebuild the new Franciscan Youth (YouFra) Movement in the United States. This is a time to discuss the needs and challenges of Franciscan young adult ministry today, brainstorm strategies, and set goals for turning ideas into action. This is a National Conference and I ask for your prayers as we come together to collaborate on bringing new vision and hope to our youth/young adults in America. Thank you for your prayers.
Many of you have asked me for some ideas for summer reading. Here are a few Summer Tid Bits to consider, I hope that you enjoy your summer reading and growing in your faith and spirituality.
The data is clear: religious affiliation is plummeting across the breadth of Christian denominations. And yet interest in “spirituality” is on the rise. So what is behind the sea change in American religion? With the same comprehensive research and insider reporting that made Christianity for the Rest of Us an indispensable guide to cultivating thriving churches, Diana Butler Bass offers a fresh interpretation of the “spiritual but not religious” trend.
Bass—who has spent her career teaching the history, culture, and politics of religion, and engaging church communities across the nation—brings forth her deep knowledge of the latest national studies and polls, along with her own groundbreaking analysis, as she seeks to fully comprehend the decline in Christian attendance and affiliation that started decades ago—and has increased exponentially in recent years.
Some contend that we’re undergoing yet another evangelical revival; others suggest that Christian belief and practice is eroding entirely as traditional forms of faith are replaced by new ethical, and a religious, choices. But Bass argues compellingly that we are, instead, at a critical stage in a completely new spiritual awakening, a vast inter religious progression toward individual and cultural transformation, and a wholly new kind of post religious faith.
Offering direction and hope to individuals and churches, Christianity After Religion is Bass’s call to approach faith with a new found freedom that is both life-giving and service driven. And it is a hope-filled plea to see and participate in creating a fresh, vital, contemporary way of faith that stays true to the real message of Jesus.
If we are human, we wrestle with a wide variety of choices on a daily basis. But how do we know if we’re making the right choices? How do we know if we’ve chosen freely? Have we taken into account all the facts and subtleties inherent in each choice? If we are Christian, we must incorporate those values and beliefs that serve as our moral compass and apply them to the decisions we make. In Discernment: The Art of Choosing Well, Pierre Wolff presents the method of decision making we need. “If we want to increase our chances of making fruitful choices for others and for ourselves, to manage our decisions with greater freedom, and to be faithful to our God,” he notes, “we need to learn to discern.” Uniting the time-tested teachings of Ignatius spirituality with years of personal experience working with individuals and groups, Wolff’s book is a systematic, step-by-step guide to informed decision making that engages our God-given tools of intellect, heart, and will. It is a process that applies equally at both the individual, private level as well as within a group setting. Each chapter includes reflection questions to enable the reader to apply this method to the inevitable myriad decisions encountered every day. Updated and reintroduced, Discernment is a rich and rewarding Liguori classic, aiding our everyday pursuit of spiritual growth and inner freedom. Regardless of our religious affiliation, or lack thereof, Discernment serves as a practical guide for anyone seeking to make effective, productive decisions.
This book is about life. How painful and beautiful it can be. It is a lesson teacher as well as a comforter. It is an encourager as well as a chastiser. It is a journey through a storm with a triumphant ending. It is a book that can help change the world; a spellbinding memoir of childhood aching sadness and desperate humor. It is a testament which makes you believe, in spite of poverty and death, there is hope for the future.This chronicle of amazing triumph against all odds will help you understand life properly and live to be a blessing to the world
_______________One of the world’s foremost religion journalists offers an unexpected and provocative look at where the Catholic Church is headed—and what the changes will mean for all of us.
Dr. Bruce Wilkinson explores John 15 to show readers how to make maximum impact for God. Dr. Wilkinson demonstrates how Jesus is the Vine of life, discusses four levels of “fruit bearing” (doing the good work of God), and reveals three life-changing truths that will lead readers to new joy and effectiveness in His kingdom. Secrets of the Vine opens readers’ eyes to the Lord’s hand in their lives and uncovers surprising insights that will point them toward a new path of consequence for God’s glory.