Six-session handbook released to accompany Smart Compassion

News Release 
May 31, 2107

Six-session handbook released to accompany Smart Compassion
Tools for moving beyond random acts of kindness

HARRISONBURG, Va. — A new handbook to complement Wesley Furlong’s book Smart Compassion: How to Stop “Doing Outreach” and Start Making Change has been released this May. The six-session guide includes Scriptures, discussion questions, prayer prompts, diagrams, and practical action points for engaging in a community and helping families and neighborhoods to flourish. The study guide also features QR codes that lead readers to web-based resources such as tools for community mapping and strengths-based assessments.

The study guide will help churches, ministry teams, small groups, and individuals go from “doing outreach” to embodying healing presence, living out radical hospitality, and working toward collective empowerment. Designed to be used along with Furlong’s Smart Compassion (Herald Press, February 2017), the 80-page study guide includes these six sessions:

  1. What Should We Expect?
  2. The Posture of Compassion
  3. The Gift of Attention
  4. Boundary-Shifting Love
  5. Spend Yourself Well
  6. To What End?

Steve Corbett, coauthor of When Helping Hurts, says that Furlong’s work is “built on important and well-recognized principles” and “provides pathways and inspiration to move us to be with and walk with people.” Minister and civil rights activist John M. Perkins says of Smart Compassion: “Don’t read [it] if you want your church to remain safe and comfortable. Read it if you want to fully immerse yourself in God’s plan for mercy, justice, and healing in your neighborhood.”

Both books are available from Herald Press at 800-245-7894 or www.HeraldPress.com. Smart Compassion is available for $15.99 USD ($12.99 USD ebook; $28.99 USD hardcover), and the handbook is $9.99 USD. Discounted rates for bulk orders are available.

Wesley Furlong is the founder and director of City of Refuge, a network for community transformation, and the director of church development for EVANA, an evangelical Anabaptist network of churches across North America.

To schedule an interview with Wesley Furlong, contact LeAnn Hamby at (540) 908-3941 or LeAnnH@mennomedia.org.

Live Your Call latest in annual Mennonite Women’s Bible study series

May 16, 2017

Live Your Call latest in annual Mennonite Women’s Bible study series
Series empowers women to use their gifts to further God’s kingdom

HARRISONBURG, Va.—What part do we play in God’s plan for our lives? Getting caught up in day-to-day routines, many may miss out on opportunities to use gifts to further God’s kingdom.

MennoMedia’s new Bible study guide, Live Your Call, encourages women to look for these promptings in their lives. This Bible study guide is the latest in the Mennonite Women’s Bible study series produced annually in conjunction with Mennonite Women Canada (MW Canada) and Mennonite Women USA (MW USA).

Author Anna Liechty Sawatzky draws from the gospel stories to inspire women to share the gospel and follow God’s leading for their lives. Noting Jesus’ personal interactions, such as with the Samaritan woman at the well, and the large-scale miracles, such as the feeding of the five thousand, the sessions are designed to challenge and inspire. The study includes opportunities for reflection and response, and the sessions aim to give a balanced picture of the complexity and vitality of following God’s call.

Live Your Call can be used for individual study and for group settings such as Sunday school, Bible studies, and retreats. The 12-session study also includes a full worship service, in keeping with previous studies in this series.

This book and others in the Mennonite Women’s Bible study series are available from MennoMedia at 800-245-7894 or www.MennoMedia.org

MennoMedia Staff
High-resolution photos available

Pastor Bruxy Cavey unfolds the piety-smashing message of God in new book, Reunion

News Release
May 3, 2017

Has the church changed the message of Jesus?
Pastor Bruxy Cavey unfolds the piety-smashing message of God in Reunion

HARRISONBURG, Va. and HAMILTON, Ont.—Is it possible that over the centuries the church has altered the message of Christ? Has modern Christianity wrapped itself so tightly in a fragmented, inactive version of the gospel that the life-changing message of God has been smothered? Canadian pastor Bruxy Cavey thinks the answer is yes.

Cavey speaks to a new generation interested in Jesus but embarrassed by Christians in his latest book, Reunion: The Good News of Jesus for Seekers, Saints, and Sinners (Herald Press, May 2017).

“The message of Jesus changed the world . . . until the world changed the message,” says Cavey, bestselling author and teaching pastor at The Meeting House in Ontario, Canada. “But I’m happy to say that there is a growing movement of truth-seekers and Jesus-lovers who are calling for a return to the first and foundational good news message of Jesus. This book is inspired by them, and it is an invitation to join their ranks.”

In Reunion, Cavey explains why Christians shouldn’t follow the Bible—but why they will want to read it to learn how to follow Jesus. He encourages readers to discover their true citizenship in the Jesus Nation, where they might be ready to die for a cause but never willing to kill for one.

“One of the biggest obstacles to Christ has sometimes been Christians,” says activist and bestselling author Shane Claiborne in the foreword to Reunion. “We often look very unlike the Christ we worship. . . . Bruxy wants a Christianity that looks like Jesus again.”

The Meeting House is one of the largest churches in Canada, according to the Hartford Institute for Religion Research. More than 10,000 people per week listen to Cavey’s podcast teachings, and his talks and sermons on popular topics garner as many as 40,000 downloads per day. Cavey is also the author of the bestselling book The End of Religion.

Cavey describes The Meeting House as a church for people who aren’t into church. It is a multisite Anabaptist congregation in eastern Ontario where thousands of people connect with God and each other through Sunday services, online interaction, and a widespread house church network.

Cavey was a keynote speaker at Mennonite World Conference in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in 2015. Learn more about Bruxy at Bruxy.com and about The Meeting House at Themeetinghouse.com. Bruxy and his wife, Nina, have three daughters and live in Hamilton, Ontario.

The book releases May 9, 2017, in the United States as a hardcover with dust jacket at $21.99 USD. It is available in Canada and elsewhere as an international trade paperback at $18.99 CAN. Reunion is also available as an ebook.

Canadian media contact:
Tara Hoyte
Graf-Martin Communications
(519) 342-3703 ext. 105 or tara@grafmartin.com

U.S. media contact:
LeAnn Hamby
Herald Press
(540) 908‑3941 or LeAnnH@mennomedia.org.

MennoMedia Staff
High-resolution photos available