In The Spirit That Moves, editor Barbara Child has collected a wealth of worship materials to help you and your congregation turn transition into transformation.

Product Code: 7526
ISBN: 9781558968301
Format: Paperback / softback
Publisher: Skinner House Books
Pages: 282
Size: 8.5 x 5.5
Published Date: 05/17/2019
Availability:In stock
Price: $16.00

Change is a fact of congregational life. Ministers and lay leaders are called not only to inspire congregants in times of change but also to be successful change agents themselves. Congregations need to be able to respond to and be intentional about times of momentous change in order to thrive. In The Spirit That Moves, editor Barbara Child has collected a wealth of worship materials, ranging from prayers, responsive readings, and chalice lightings to personal reflections, rituals, and more, to help you and your congregation turn transition into transformation. The collected resources—all from contributors with extensive experience navigating and leading significant change in their own congregations—address change in general, change as a result of circumstances out of a congregation's control, ministerial and other leadership transitions, intentional change such as congregational growth and moving to a new church building, and culture change.

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Treasure Collected from Experts on Transition and Change

Part One: Change—A Fact of Congregational Life

Part Two: Ministerial and Other Leadership Transitions

Part Three: Congregational Growth and the Transitions that Follow

Part Four: Changing the Congregation, Changing the World

Part Five: In Disaster’s Wake

About the Contributors

Nothing Is Static

by Manish K. Mishra-Marzetti

The ground shifts, sometimes slowly.
sometimes like an earthquake,
reminding us that the solidity
we often love and seek
is an illusion.

The crumbling dust of the desert plains,
the moist fertility of farmlands,
the eroding coastline of tidal shores,
all are changing.

Committees dissolve or are created,
Leaders retire or step away,
Ministers come and go,
by-laws are amended.

New experiences,
lead to new truths,
which foster
the natural course of life
always pushing us
toward greater understandings
of what it means
to be human.

Everything about our existence
points toward change,
flexibility, and
dynamic re-creation.

And it’s hard because change involves loss.

Can we hold the losses well,
while not holding ourselves back?

The ground shifts, sometimes slowly,
sometimes like an earthquake;
nothing is static.

“I love a book that’s useful and this book is wildly useful. Useful for congregations who face beginnings, endings, challenges, disasters, and celebrations. For congregations claiming or reclaiming a stronger identity of hospitality and justice-making. For meetings and worship and private reflection. This book is useful. I predict that my own copy will become as thumbed and well-worn as my favorite cookbooks and poetry books, and that it will become an oft-given gift to religious professionals and lay leaders.”
—Meg Riley, Senior Minister, Church of the Larger Fellowship and editor of Testimony: The Transformative Power of Unitarian Universalism

“I’m happy for those new ministers and lay leaders who are starting out in congregational service now that The Spirit That Moves is available. Unlike when I was beginning in ministry some decades ago, there is now a single publication that brings together such a wealth of inspiring readings, rituals, and reflections under one title. Need a litany to commission your Ministerial Search Committee? It’s here. A poem that reflects the loss that comes with a beloved pastor’s departure? Just turn a few pages. A prayer for New Member Sunday? Right at your fingertips. With this book, we have resources for even the most tragic and devastating events of our times—the mass shootings, the natural disasters, the lethal violence borne from supremacy culture. What once took phone calls, emails, text messages, and Facebook posts to find is now collected for our convenience, inspiration, and enjoyment. Thank you, Barbara Child and contributors—you have given us powerful tools to help us navigate the transitions and changes that give our lives meaning and depth.”
—Rev. Carlton Elliott Smith

“As a retired accredited interim minister, I read this collection with awe and longing—there is much wisdom here that could have helped me aid congregations navigating the dynamics of transition. This treasure-trove of resources is a gift for clergy and congregants, especially worship leaders, who are on the front lines of dealing with the disruption and discomfort that comes with change. For creatively and bravely embraced, transition can become transformation.”
—Rev. Gail Collins-Ranadive, author of Finding the Voice Inside: Writing as a Spiritual Quest for Women

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