Flee, Be Silent, Pray:
Ancient Prayers for Anxious Christians
What if prayer could be simple rather than strenuous?
Anxious, results-driven Christians can never pray enough, serve enough, or study enough. But what if God is calling us not to frenzied activity but to a simple spiritual encounter? What if we must merely receive what God has already given us?
In Flee, Be Silent, Pray, writer and contemplative retreat leader Ed Cyzewski guides readers out of the anxiety factory of contemporary Christianity and toward a God whose love astounds those quiet long enough to receive it. With helpful guidance into solitude, contemplative prayer, and practices such as lectio divina and the Examen, Cyzewski guides readers toward the Christ whose yoke is easy and whose burden is light.
Ready to shed the fear of the false self and the exhaustion of a duty-driven faith? Flee. Be silent. Pray.
“This book will challenge and change you. It will require things of you that you may not think you are capable of, but in the end you will discover that, instead of having read a typical how-to book, you have encountered a written icon: a window into God, allowing for deeper intimacy and understanding.” —Tara Owens, author of Embracing the Body and At Play in God’s Creation
The Bible Unwrapped:
Making Sense of Scripture Today
Many people have questions about Scripture they are too afraid to ask. Are all the stories of the Bible true? What about all the books that got left out? What do we make of all that violence? What do we do when biblical authors seem to disagree? And what if we encounter situations the Bible doesn’t address?
Drawing from the best of contemporary biblical scholarship and the ancient well of Christian tradition, scholar and preacher Meghan Larissa Good helps readers consider why the Bible matters. Known for presenting complex theological ideas in accessible, engaging ways, Good delves into issues like biblical authority, literary genre, and Christ-centered hermeneutics, and calls readers beyond either knee-jerk biblicism, on the one hand, or sceptical disregard on the other.
Instead, The Bible Unwrapped invites readers to faithful reading, communal discernment, and deep and transformative wonder about Scripture. Join an honest conversation about the Bible that is spiritually alive and intellectually credible. Read the ancient story of God in the world. You may even learn to love it.
- 9-week study guide
- Meghan Good on why she wrote the book
- Book Review by Tany Warkentin (pastor, Alberta)
- Book Review by Darnell Barkman (pastor, BC)
- Other reflections on the book.
"The Bible Unwrapped bears untold gifts, as rich and valuable in their own way as those brought to a child by wise ones two thousand years ago. Reading Scripture is the key to reading life which stands at the heart of following Jesus. Do not let this unique gift pass by unopened and unenjoyed." --Leonard Sweet, author, scholar, speaker
"You need this book in your church, and in your work with people who are searching for answers. It is the missing piece for our discussions on current topics and the Bible." --Dottie Escobedo-Frank, author, pastor, speaker
"For all its popularity, the Bible is often misunderstood. Meghan Larissa Good skillfully reminds us that the messy and sacred world of the Bible is not a how-to book for life but a window through which we can view God's story and encounter the living Christ." --Derek Hogan, assistant professor of New Testament, Campbell Divinity School
Braving the Future:
Christian Faith in a World of Limitless Tech
Humanity is nearing a technological tipping point. The blistering pace of technological, scientific, and social change is ushering in an era in which human bodies merge with devices, corporations know everything about us, and artificial intelligence develops human and even godlike potential. In possession of the most powerful tools history has ever seen, we will be faced with questions about wisdom, authority, faith, desire, and what it means to be human.
In Braving the Future, Douglas Estes equips Christians to thoughtfully and prayerfully prepare for a future of technological reign that is rapidly expanding. Drawing on Scripture, Christian tradition, and scientific literature, Estes offers a theology of work, creation, and personhood that is both prophetic and sturdy enough to keep pace with the technology of a future as yet unknown. He helps readers choose trust in God over fearful retreat and following Jesus over uncritical engagement with technology. The future may not look exactly like a science fiction movie, but are we ready to brave a future of limitless tech and boundless change?
“Douglas Estes has distinguished himself as not only a top-rate exegete of Scripture but also a cutting-edge exegete of culture. That’s why I can’t wait to get my hands on Braving the Future. We can count on Estes to offer us penetrating insights into what Scripture has to say about work, creation, and personhood, as well as faithful analysis of our tech-saturated world. Better yet, we can rely on him to guide us toward Christian fidelity in the face of some unprecedented technological changes in the years ahead.” - Todd Wilson
Unsettling the Word:
Biblical Experiments in Decolonization
For generations, the Bible has been employed by settler colonial societies as a weapon to dispossess Indigenous and racialized peoples of their lands, cultures, and spiritualities. Given this devastating legacy, many want nothing to do with it. But is it possible for the exploited and their allies to reclaim the Bible from the dominant powers? Can we make it an instrument for justice in the cause of the oppressed? Even a nonviolent weapon toward decolonization?
In Unsettling the Word, over 60 Indigenous and Settler authors come together to wrestle with the Scriptures, re-reading and re-imagining the ancient text for the sake of reparative futures.
Created by Mennonite Church Canada’s Indigenous-Settler Relations program, Unsettling the Word is intended to nurture courageous conversations with the Bible, our current settler colonial contexts, and the Church’s call to costly peacemaking.
Study Guide by Peter Haresnape now available (download PDF).
Read an article about the book by John Longhurst.
Read an excerpt, Lament on Coast Salish Land, by Céline Chuang in Bearings Online.
Also see reviews by John Bird of the Anglican Journal, Jen Galicinski of Radical Discipleship, David Warkentin of the MB Herald.
Chosen for Sarah Bessey's April 2019 Field Notes Book Club.
Also see the book launch video.
Marcus Briggs-Cloud, Kathy Moorhead Thiessen, Kwok Pui-lan, Christina Conroy, Leah Gazan, Joerg Rieger, Norman Habel, Stan McKay, Rachel and Chris Brnjas, Jennifer Henry, Lori Ransom, Rebecca Voelkel, Peter Haresnape, Robert O. Smith, Susanne Guenther Loewen, Carmen Landsdowne, Cheryl Bear, Joshua Grace, Rarihokwats, Darrin W. Snyder Belousek, Joy De Vito, Tamara Shantz, Marc H. Ellis, Daniel L. Smith-Christopher, Sara Brubacher, Benjamin Hertwig, David Driedger, Pekka Pitkanen, Celine Chuang, Alain Epp Weaver, Musa W. Dube, Katerina Friesen, Anita L. Keith, Derrick Jensen, Roland Boer, Neil Elliott, Daniel Hawk, Randy Woodley, Lisa Martens, Tobin Miller Shearer, Walter Brueggemann, Miguel A. De La Torre, Vivian Ketchum, James W. Perkinson, Sara Anderson, Deanna Zantingh, Peter C. Phan, Sheila Klassen-Wiebe, Bob Haverluck, Mark Bigland-Pritchard, Chris Budden, Ellen F. Davis, Rose Marie Berger, Wes Howard-Brook, Gerald West, Julia M. O'Brien, Dan Epp-Tiessen, Ryan Dueck, Mitzi J. Smith, Sylvia McAdam, Robert Two Bulls, Ched Myers, Jonathan Dyck, Sarah Travis, Ralph Armbruster-Sandoval, Kyla Neufeld
Let the Children Come to Me:
Nurturing Anabaptist Faith Within Families
Let the Children Come to Me, a resource for families nurturing faith development of elementary-aged children, is structured around 12 Anabaptist faith practices: Scripture reading, prayer, community, bearing witness, service to one another, worship, nonviolence, steadfast faith, the centrality of Christ, communion, believers baptism, and stewardship.
Each faith practice is developed as a short unit (the equivalent of two page-spreads) and explored through stories from Anabaptist-Mennonite history--one from the sixteenth century and one contemporary, global story. These stories are accompanied by scripture passages, conversation-starters, prayers, and multiple options for family activities.
The book is supported by the Institute for the Study of Global Anabaptism (ISGA) of Goshen College, through the Bearing Witness Stories Project.
The Authors: Lisa Weaver has over twenty-ﬁve years teaching experience in public elementary schools, adult ESL classes, and various Christian Education settings. Elizabeth Miller is co-director of Mennonite Central Committee Colombia-Ecuador. Tapping into Lisa's expertise as a teacher and Elizabeth's experience with global Anabaptist history, they teamed up to create a family-based faith development resource.
The Designer: Judith Rempel Smucker brings each unit to life with engaging images and designs that invite participation.
Let the Children Come to Me fills an important gap in Anabaptist faith formation resources by holistically blending scripture, historical and current stories, spiritual practices, and hands-on activities in a visually appealing, child-friendly format. It could easily be used by grandparents with visiting grandchildren or by younger leaders club, camp, or Sunday school settings. I will certainly recommend it for use in my congregation." --Elsie Rempel, Faith Formation Consultant; Winnipeg, Canada; Author, Please Pass the Faith: the Art of Spiritual Grandparenting
Women in Ministry Leadership:
The Journey of the Mennonite Brethren, 1954-2010
This book explores the journey of the Mennonite Brethren—an Anabaptist-Evangelical church denomination in North America—highlighting their attempt to find consensus in their convictions and practice regarding the role of women in church ministry and leadership. Throughout this complex and vibrant conversation spanning over 50 years (1954–2010), Mennonite Brethren have sought to discern together as a community how to interpret the Scriptures in the midst of prevailing cultural changes. No other issue has received this level of attention by Mennonite Brethren during the second half of the 20th century. Author Doug Heidebrecht examines how both conference leaders, as well as local church members, have actively participated in this significant conversation.
Also see related book launch video.
“This fact-based book tells the story of the journey of the Mennonite Brethren Church grappling with women coming into ministry in the church. It details the times and places where conversations on the topic were held. The Mennonite Brethren Church worked hard at confronting the concern for finding the rightful place for women to serve. As the book shows, the Denomination was not always successful in expressing itself about the subject. But women are serving in the Mennonite Brethren Church in a variety of ways. As I read, I kept thinking—this is my story! This is where I come from and how I came to serve, even when I wasn’t sure I wanted to be a pastor. Thank you, Doug, for researching this story and showing how the Bride of Christ can fulfill its mandate to share the love of Jesus Christ.” —Lorraine Dick, pastor and former Board of Faith and Life chair
What the Opioid Crisis Reveals about Us
“Opioids claim the lives of 115 people per day. One of them could have been me.”
When a near-fatal illness led his doctors to prescribe narcotics, media consultant Timothy McMahan King ended up where millions of others have: addicted. Eventually, King learned to manage pain without opioids—but not before he began asking profound questions about the spiritual and moral nature of addiction, the companies complicit in creating the opioid epidemic, and the paths toward healing and recovery.
We have become a society not only damaged by addiction but fueled by it. In Addiction Nation, King investigates the ways that addiction robs us of freedom and holds us back from being fully human. Through stories, theology, philosophy, and cultural analysis, King examines today’s most common addictions and their destructive consequences. In stark yet intimate prose, he looks not only at the rise of opioid abuse but at policy, pain, virtue, and habit. He also unpacks research showing patterns of addiction to technology, stress, and even political partisanship.
Addiction Nation nudges us toward healing from the ravages of addiction and draws us toward a spirituality sturdy enough to sate our deepest longings.
“An important message at a critical time. . . . This book can help our nations, our families, and individuals recover and find healing!” — Richard Rohr, found of the Center for Action and Contemplation
“An eye-opener, a summons for those with quick judgments to think again.” — Scot McKnight, professor of New Testament, Northern Seminary
“Engaging. . . . Timothy McMahan King contends that our national opioid crisis is no accident.” — William R. Miller, distinguished emeritus professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of New Mexico
The God Who Sees:
Immigrants, the Bible, and the Journey to Belong
Meet people who have fled their homelands.
Hagar. Joseph. Ruth. Jesus.
Here is a riveting story of seeking safety in another land. Here is a gripping journey of loss, alienation, and belonging. In The God Who Sees, immigration advocate Karen González recounts her family’s migration from the instability of Guatemala to making a new life in Los Angeles and the suburbs of south Florida, in the midst of language barriers, cultural misunderstandings, and the tremendous pressure to assimilate.
Here, too, is the sweeping epic of immigrants and refugees in Scripture. Abraham, Hagar, Joseph, Ruth: these intrepid heroes of the faith cross borders and seek refuge. As witnesses to God’s liberating power, they name the God they see at work, and they become grafted onto God’s family tree.
Find resources for welcoming immigrants in your community and speaking out about an outdated immigration system. Find the power of Jesus, a refugee Saviour who calls us to become citizens in a country not of this world.
"With this stunning debut, Karen González makes her mark as one of the most talented storytellers of faith in a generation. The skill with which she weaves together personal narrative, biblical text, intimate detail, and sociopolitical analysis is as impressive as it is seamless. Every single page of this beautiful, timely book pulses with prophetic truth. It left me changed in all the best ways." - Rachel Held Evans, author of Inspired and Searching for Sunday.
Seeking Self-Care for Heart, Soul, Mind, and Strength
Is self-care different from being selfish or self-indulgent? Is it the same as caring for your soul? And what does self-care look like in light of following Jesus, who called his followers to deny themselves?
In Four Gifts, pastor and author April Yamasaki addresses these and other questions about self-care. Drawing on the ancient scriptural command to love God with our heart, soul, mind, and strength, Yamasaki helps readers think about the spiritual dimensions of attending to your own needs, setting priorities, and finding true rest in a fast-paced world. She weaves together personal stories, biblical and theological insights, questions for reflection, and practical ideas for self-care. Four Gifts helps readers sustain their spirits and balance competing demands.
Feeling overwhelmed by the pace and stress of daily life? Find respite from superficial definitions of self-care and move toward deeper engagement with God.
Includes practical ideas for habits and practices that centre the heart, soul, mind and strength on God.
(16 sessions)A chosen title for Sarah Bessey's one-book-per-month reading group on Facebook (Field Notes Book Club).
"In Four Gifts, April's powerful insights are on brilliant display. With an integrative mind-body-spirit approach and the rich wisdom of a woman of color's life well-spent, Yamasaki leads us on a journey that is worth following." - Christina Cleveland, author of Disunity in Christ
Join the CommonRead
We are partnering with MennoMedia to encourage a nation-wide reading of The Bible Unwrapped: Making Sense of Scripture Today, by Meghan Larissa Good.
Resources to accompany your reading:
- 9-week study guide
- Author Meghan Good on why she wrote the book
- Book Review by Tany Warkentin (pastor, Alberta)
- Book Review by Darnell Barkman (pastor, BC)
- Other reflections on the book
Register to indicate your interest. Feel free to contact us with any feedback.
How End Times Theology Gets It Wrong
Are you rapture ready?
As a teenager in the buckle of the Bible Belt, Zack Hunt was convinced the rapture would happen at any moment. Being ready meant never missing church, never sinning, and always listening to Christian radio.
But when the rapture didn’t happen, Hunt’s tightly wound faith began to fray. If he had been wrong about the rapture, what else about his faith might not hold water?
Part memoir, part tour of the apocalypse, and part call to action, Unraptured traces how the church’s focus on escaping to heaven has it mired in decay. Teetering on the brink of irrelevancy in a world rocked by refugee crises, climate change, war and rumors of war, the church cannot afford to focus on the end times instead of following Jesus in the here and now. Unraptured uses these signs of the times to help readers reorient their understanding of the gospel around loving and caring for the least of these.
Fire by Night:
Finding God in the Pages of the Old Testament
What do we do with the Old Testament? How do we read words written in a world so different from ours, stories so ruthless and so filled with grace?
In Fire by Night, pastor Melissa Florer-Bixler invites readers to marvel at the Old Testament. Page after page, in stories and poems and prophecies, the Hebrew Scripture introduces us to a God who is unwieldy and uncontrollable, common and extraordinary, and who brings both life and death. Using stories from Scripture and from her ministry, Florer-Bixler braids together the text with the sometimes ordinary, sometimes radical grace of God. The same passages that confuse and horrify and baffle us can, if we are paying attention, lure us closer toward God. This God has traveled with people through cloud and fire, by day and by night, since the beginning of time.
The Old Testament is a perplexing book of profound grace, hope, and beauty. It’s a book of fire. To read the Old Testament is to draw close to God’s love, which continues to burn away our expectations and set us ablaze. This God has traveled with people through pillars of cloud and fire, by day and by night, since the days of the exodus.
“Fire by Night encapsulates Melissa Florer-Bixler’s delight of Scripture, ancient literature, and God. By interweaving assiduous exegesis and personal storytelling, Florer-Bixler invites the reader into relationship with the text, with the voices and experiences of scholars and neighbors, with herself, and most importantly, with God. I found myself challenged as a theologian, inspired as a pastor, and in tears as a person of faith trying to make sense of it all. What makes Fire by Night such an important book is that it speaks to today’s issues without being prescriptive, but by beckoning each of us to take the risk of simply being God’s beloved.” —Theresa S. Thames, associate dean of religious life and the chapel, Princeton University
Jump into the Story:
The Art of Creative Preaching
Preaching is a challenging, privileged, and awesome responsibility. As important as mining the text for its meaning and message and making connections to our twenty-first-century world is the responsibility to engage the imaginations of the people in the pews (or chairs).
In this book, Ray Friesen—life-long preacher and retired pastor—has provided twenty examples of how to be creative and engage those imaginations. Most were written under the pressures of bi-vocational ministry (preaching forty times a year as half-time pastor and operating a mediation practice). They are offered to you, not as sermons for you to preach, but as examples of what is possible, even with all the other responsibilities you may have.
Each sermon and type of creativity will create an opportunity to set your imagination and creativity free to engage the imaginations, hearts, and dreams of your parishioners.
“I picked up this book in the middle of my work day and had read to the end of the second chapter before I could force myself to put it down. I literally ‘jumped in’ and was soon caught up in the images that Ray creates. I can’t wait to try out some of his story-telling techniques on Sunday morning.” — Annette Taylor, First United Church, Swift Current, Saskatchewan
"In this book, Ray calls all preachers to use their imaginations to reach God's people in relevant and interesting ways. Ray emphasizes the importance of the task of preaching and the contextualization of the ancient writings. This is not a ‘how-to’ textbook, but if you are looking for some renewal in your preaching, this is a great book to inspire one’s imagination for inspirational proclamation.” — Gregory Kiel, Senior Pastor Southwest Lutheran Parish, Swift Current, Saskatchewan
“Unlike other great preachers, Ray Friesen never preached to thousands on a Sunday morning, so I am glad that a collection of his sermons is available so that more can experience and appreciate his creative and engaging sermons.” — Gareth Brandt, Professor of Spiritual Formation, Columbia Bible College
The Power of Hospitality in an Age of Loneliness
Pre-order now. Copies will be available to pick up or ship mid-September.
Just come on over.
Many people today feel lonely, isolated, and disconnected from God and others. We crave authentic community, but we have no idea where to start. We’d be glad to cultivate friendships; but honestly, who’s got the time?
In Invited, writer Leslie Verner says real hospitality is not having a Pinterest-perfect table or well-appointed living room. True hospitality is not clean, comfortable, or controlled. It is an invitation to enter a sacred space together with friends and strangers. Through vivid accounts from her life and travels in Uganda, China, and Tajikistan, and stories of visiting congregations in the United States, Verner shares stories of life around the table and how hospitality is at the heart of Christian community. What if we in the West learned about hospitality from people around the globe? What if our homes became laboratories of belonging?
Invited will empower you to open your home, get to know your neighbours, and prioritize people over tasks. Holy hospitality requires more of Jesus and less of us. It leads not only to loving the stranger but to becoming the stranger. Welcome to a new kind of hospitality.
Every Time I Feel the Spirit
Contact Mennonite Women Canada for one complimentary copy per Mennonite Church Canada congregation.
Every Time I Feel the Spirit conveys the Holy Spirit’s legacy passed along to us through many bold women. This Bible study traces the creative power of the Spirit among women of Scripture, to women of history, to us. Learn from Vashti, Mary, Anna, Naamah, Ruth, Jochebed, the wife of Jairus, Sophia, a prodigal sister, and more. These valiant individuals of the Bible and contemporary women lead us into Spirit-breathed journeys of our own.
Excellent for personal study, women’s groups, retreat settings, and individual study and inspiration, Every Time I Feel the Spirit compels readers to explore what we personally inherit from our lineage in the Spirit.
(12 sessions, 1 service)
Commissioned by Mennonite Women Canada and Mennonite Women USA
By the Way:
Getting Serious about Following Jesus
What if asking Jesus into our hearts is not the heart of the gospel? What if salvation looks different than we thought?
In By the Way, pastor and author Derek Vreeland reframes everything we’ve been told about Christianity and what it means to follow Jesus. Discipleship isn’t an add-on. Jesus didn’t say, “Go into all the world and get people saved” or “Get people to ask me into their hearts.” Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples.”
Reclaiming discipleship as the heart of the Christian faith means seeing anew the gospel, the cross, the resurrection, transformation, and the community of faith. We learn the ways of Jesus by practicing them, Vreeland says, and in By the Way, he introduces us to the ways of Jesus.
Discipleship means joining God’s joyful mission of reconciliation on earth, not just saving souls for the afterlife. Following Jesus is more like taking a long walk in the woods than sitting in a classroom. Living by the Way takes practice—and that’s the point.
Includes questions for discussion, as well as a morning prayer liturgy.
A Collection of Amish Writings
Pre-order now. Copies will be available to pick up or ship in July.
Strong families. Caring communities. The nearly nine in ten youth who join the church. How do the Amish do it?
In Amish Voices, Amish writers share news and advice from their communities and reflect on their daily lives, work, and faith. Brad Igou, publisher of Amish Country News, gives readers a behind-the-scenes tour of Amish life by compiling writing from Family Life, a popular monthly magazine that thousands of Amish people read. Learn about how the Amish began and what they value. Hear what they think about technology, happiness, community, obedience, success, and change. Listen in as they discuss shunning and rumspringa and forgiveness. Find out what sustains them in difficult seasons, and how they try to trust God in all things.
Why learn about the Amish from outsiders when you can learn from the Amish themselves? And why just learn about them when you can learn from them?
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Also see our full curriculum collection
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