2014 Fall list of Books & Resources

October 22, 2014 | Focus On | Number 21
Compiled by Barb Draper | Books & Resources editor

Theology, Spirituality

Good News: The Advent of Salvation in the Gospel of Luke. Darrin W. Snyder Belousek. Liturgical Press, 2014, 140 pages.

As the executive director of Bridgefolk, Snyder Belousek brings together the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition with the Benedictine prayer tradition in looking at what salvation means for life on earth. Snyder Belousek teaches religion at Bluffton (Ohio) University.

Living the Christian Life in Today’s World: A Conversation Between Mennonite World Conference and the Seventh-day Adventist Church, 2011-2012. Carol E. Rasmussen. Mennonite World Conference, 2014, 300 pages.

This collection of papers is from two years of inter-denominational conversations held in the U. S. and Switzerland. Canadian participants from Mennonite World Conference included Robert J. Suderman and Tom Yoder Neufeld. The book is available at kitchener@mwc-cmm.org; an electronic version is available at www.mwc-cmm.org/article/interchurch-dialogue.

Pilgrimage Through Loss: Pathways to Strength and Renewal after the Death of a Child. Linda Lawrence Hunt. Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville, Ky., 2014, 200 pages.

Linda Hunt writes about the loss of her daughter, Krista Hunt Ausland, who was killed in a bus accident while on assignment with Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) in Bolivia in 1998. The book is designed to provide understanding and a path to renewal for those who have experienced deep grief or those want to accompany someone else’s grief journey.

Real Christian Fellowship. John Howard Yoder. Herald Press, 2014, 210 pages.

This is the third and final volume in the Yoder for Everyone series. It is a collection of essays and speeches from the 1950s and ’60s that have never before been published, but have been edited for modern readers.

Reconcile: Conflict Transformation for Ordinary Christians. John Paul Lederach. Herald Press, 2014, 192 pages.

Using dramatic examples from his own life, Lederach reflects on how reconciliation is rooted in the teachings of Jesus and how it can happen in the midst of conflict. He explains how to work at reconciliation in military and church conflicts. The book also includes resources for working at reconciliation.

The Spacious Heart: Room for Spiritual Awakening. Donald Clymer and Sharon Clymer Landis. Herald Press, 2014, 240 pages.

Using lots of stories from their personal experiences, this brother-and-sister team explain their spiritual journeying. They invite the reader to also explore doubts and longings, to see the world with new eyes, and to strengthen spiritual life and practices.

Visions and Appearances of Jesus. Phillip H. Wiebe. Leafwood Publishers, 2014, 224 pages.

Phillip Wiebe, who teaches at Trinity Western University in B.C., has collected stories of people who have seen a vision or an appearance of Jesus. Wiebe also includes his comments about each of these sightings, including his view of the Shroud of Turin. In the first half of the book, he outlines appearances of Jesus from the early church to the 20th century.

History

Called to be a Soldier: Experiences of COs at Alternative Service Camps during WWII. Darrell Frey. Vineyard Publications, 2014, 519 pages.

The author uses creative storytelling to describe the experiences of Mennonite conscientious objectors, primarily at Montreal River near Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., in the early 1940s. The appendix includes copies of many documents, letters and lists of COs from Ontario. Available at Vineyard Publications, 7277 Third Line, RR 2, Wallenstein, ON N0B 2S0.

It Happened in Moscow: A Memoir of Discovery. Maureen S. Klassen. Kindred Productions, 2013, 210 pages.

Klassen describes how she and her husband Herb were able to discover more about the early history of the C.F. and Mary Klassen family while they lived in Moscow in the 1990s. They were surprised to learn about a whole new dimension to the Klassen family, a discovery that was possible because they lived in Moscow at just the right time.

Your Faith Will Sustain You and You Will Prevail: The Life Story of Jacob and Elisabeth Isaak. Helmut Isaak, translated by Jack Thiessen. Self-published, 2014, 200 pages.

Previously available in German, this book tells the story of the Isaaks who fled Russia in 1929, settling in the Paraguayan Chaco and serving as church leaders in the Fernheim Colony. Although it is a family story, it is also set within the context of the church and colony in 20th-century Paraguay. The book is available at Amazon.ca.

Together in the Work of the Lord: A History of the Conservative Mennonite Conference. Nathan E. Yoder. Herald Press, 2014, 551 pages.

The Conservative Mennonite Conference, with its headquarters at Rosedale, Ohio, can trace its roots to 1910, when a group of Amish Mennonite ministers met together. This volume is part of the Studies in Anabaptist and Mennonite History series. The author is an archivist at Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, Va., and teaches church history at Eastern Mennonite Seminary.

Other Books

Bonnet Strings: An Amish Woman’s Ties to Two Worlds. Saloma Miller Furlong. Herald Press, 2014, 337 pages.

In this memoir, Furlong describes her struggle in deciding to leave her Amish community. After several months in Vermont, she returned to her Amish home in Ohio, but then again decided to leave. She feels torn between two worlds, but finally chooses to leave permanently. Furlong has also written Why I Left the Amish published in 2011.

Chasing the Amish Dream: My Life as a Young Amish Bachelor. Loren Beachy. Herald Press, 2014, 195 pages.

Loren Beachy is an Old Order Amish schoolteacher and auctioneer. With wit, humour and warmth, he tells short stories, often arising from his own experiences in an Amish community in northern Indiana. This book is part of Herald Press’s Plainspoken series of “Real-life stories of Amish and Mennonites.”

Extending the Table, revised edition. Joetta Handrich Schlabach. Herald Press, 2014, 344 pages.

This revised edition looks very different from the original Extending the Table published in 1991. Most of the recipes are the same, but the layout is more pleasing to the eye, with lots of colourful photos. This collection of international recipes was commissioned by MCC; many of the contributors spent time overseas, where they picked up the recipes. Also available as an e-book.

A Pie Plate Pilgrimage. William Loewen. Privately published by Wordly Lion Press, 2014, 226 pages.

This novel tells the story of Lydia Phillips, a young adult who is given the task of choosing a writer for a Christian self-help book and finds it challenging. Loewen, the pastor at Trinity Mennonite Church near Calgary, also provides a group study guide, as the story raises many questions that young adults and others should find lead to stimulating discussion.

What Lies Behind. Luanna Hiebert. Turnstone Press, 2014, 93 pages.

This collection of poems is written by Luann Hiebert, who teaches at Providence University College in southern Manitoba.

Children’s Books

Ellie. Mary Christner Borntrager. Herald Press, First published 1988, reprinted 2014, 193 pages.

This is Book 1 in the 10-book series, Ellie’s People: An Amish Family Saga, being reprinted by Herald Press. This book, set in an Amish community in Ohio in the early 1900s, is designed for a juvenile audience.

 

Resources

Living Thoughtfully, Dying Well: A Doctor Explains How to Make Death a Natural Part of Life. Glen Miller. Herald Press, 2014, 180 pages.

Author Glen Miller is a retired physician who wrote this book to help people deal better with the dying process. He writes from his own experiences, including his own brush with death. The book includes exercises to encourage reflection and discussion about end-of-life issues.

Practicing Presence. Terri J. Plank Brenneman. MennoMedia, 2014, 77 pages.

This collection of worship resources in 13 sessions was commissioned by Mennonite Women Canada and Mennonite Women U.S.A. It can be used individually or in groups.

A Shared Understanding of Church Leadership: Polity Manual for Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church U.S.A. MC Canada and MC U.S.A., Herald Press, 2014, 79 pages.

This revised polity manual is a working document until it is formally accepted by the MC U.S.A. delegate body. It explains such things as the Mennonite understanding of ordination and who holds pastoral credentials, and outlines how pastors and congregations can have healthy relationships.

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