How small movements can produce larger change

June 7, 2018

News Release

How small movements can produce larger change

HARRISONBURG, Va.— In Soul Force: Seven Pivots toward Courage, Community, and Change (Herald Press, June 2018) two nationally recognized nonprofit leaders, Reesheda Graham-Washington and Shawn Casselberry, offer seven “pivots”—shifts in thinking and practice—that bring transformation in individuals, communities, and systems.

Building on Mahatma Gandhi’s and Martin Luther King’s concept of a power mightier than ourselves, Soul Force helps readers understand and make shifts including progression from barriers to bridge-building, self-centeredness to solidarity, consuming to creating, and maintenance to movement. The authors include true stories from their community, professional, and church work. “Soul force is an awakening to the realization that we have a creative force within us, because we all bear the divine imprint of the Creator,” the authors write. “Soul force is a courageous, compassionate love that leads to personal and social transformation.”

Leroy Barber, executive director of The Voices Project, says of the book, “Reesheda Graham-Washington and Shawn Casselberry are grassroots leaders who were living out Soul Force long before they wrote about it. If you want to unleash the power of change in your life and community, this book is a roadmap.” The book is geared for church and wider audiences alike.

Michelle Warren, author of The Power of Proximity praises Soul Force as “a clear call to action for individuals and communities. The authors remind us that small, intentional pivots can make a significant impact for change.”

Reesheda Graham-Washington and Shawn Casselberry

Reesheda Graham-Washington is executive director of Communities First Association, a faith-based nonprofit committed to asset-based community development, and the founder CEO of L!VE Café, a boutique coffeehouse that focuses on transformation. She is licensed in the Evangelical Covenant Church and is a former teacher and administrator for Chicago Public Schools. She and her husband have three daughters and live in Chicago.

Shawn Casselberry is executive director of Mission Year, a yearlong urban ministry program focused on Christian service and discipleship. He is author of God is in the City: Encounters of Grace and Transformation. He has a master’s degree in world missions and evangelism from Asbury Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Jen, live on Chicago’s West Side.

Soul Force is available from Herald Press for $16.99 (paperback) and $13.99 (ebook) via 800‑245‑7894 and at the Herald Press webstore, www.HeraldPress.com, Amazon, and other online sources. Canadian customers can order from CommonWord (877‑846‑1593), Parasource (800‑263‑2664), and elsewhere.

To schedule an interview with either author, contact LeAnn Hamby at 540‑908‑3941 or LeAnnH@mennomedia.org.

Paperback of Reunion releases along with study guide and online videos

May 15, 2018

Paperback of Reunion releases along with study guide and online videos

HARRISONBURG, Va., and HAMILTON, Ont.— In Reunion: The Good News of Jesus for Seekers, Saints, and Sinners, author Bruxy Cavey urges Christian readers to reexamine the gospel they thought they knew, and non-Christian readers to consider the message of Jesus for the first time.

Now releasing in paperback, Reunion demonstrates “evident goodwill, passion, and intriguing arguments” and uses “accessible prose laced with catchy subtitles, humor, and a touch of irreverence,” according to Publishers Weekly. Written for longtime Christians and skeptics alike, Reunion gives readers glimpses of a God who looks like Jesus and who replaces religion with himself.

In addition to the paperback edition of Reunion, a study guide has been released simultaneously. The eight-session guide will help church groups, book clubs, and groups of friends learn the real message of Jesus and how to share it with others. With discussion questions, Scriptures, and links to video content by Cavey, the Reunion study guide helps readers engage more deeply with the content of the book. The study guide includes a “study buddy” option, in which participants can team up with someone outside the group to talk about the ideas in the book.

Hardback, paperback, and white study guide.

In Reunion, Cavey guides readers with humor and warmth into investigations of the big Christian words—sin, salvation, incarnation, religion—and upends traditional definitions with surprising insights. Articulating the gospel in one, three, and thirty words, Cavey offers a concise and winsome summary of what he calls the most “piety-smashing news” ever. “The message and mission of Jesus is a universal rebuke to all religion, of his day and every day, including and especially the Christian religion,” Cavey writes.

Reunion and the study guide are designed for readers who have had negative experiences with the church, as well as for those who want to dive more deeply into the fullness of God’s love.

Cavey is the senior pastor of The Meeting House, 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 also wrote the bestselling The End of Religion. He and his wife, Nina, reside in Hamilton, Ontario, and have three daughters. Find him at Bruxy.com or TheMeetingHouse.com.

The study guide and new paperback version of Reunion sell for $9.99 and $16.99, respectively. The Reunion hardback is still available for $21.99 and is also available as an ebook for $13.99.

Contact LeAnn Hamby to arrange an interview with the author at Herald Press (540-908‑3941) or LeAnnH@mennomedia.org.

What can saints and mystics teach us about faith, ourselves, and life in community?

April 17, 2018

What can saints and mystics teach us about faith, ourselves, and life in community?

HARRISONBURG, Va.— With untested ideals and a thirst for adventure, Christiana Peterson and her family moved to an intentional Christian farming community, Plow Creek, in the rural Midwest. It sounded like a simple and faithful way to follow Jesus, not to mention a great place to raise kids.

In Mystics and Misfits: Meeting God through St. Francis and Other Unlikely Saints, Peterson shares her discovery that community life is never really simple. She needs resources beyond her own to weather the anxiety and exhaustion of trying to save a dying farm and a floundering congregation.

Peterson turns to Christian mystics like Francis of Assisi, Simone Weil, and Dorothy Day to find sustenance for the everyday struggles and unique hardships of community life. With a contemplative’s spirit and poet’s eye, Peterson leads readers into an encounter with the God of the sometimes “wild” mystics and “weird misfits.” Along the way, she helps readers discover new perspectives on simplicity, hospitality, contemplation, church, and death.

Jon M. Sweeney, author of more than two dozen books and a scholar of Francis of Assisi, wrote the foreword, describing Mystics as “achingly beautiful … a long love letter to holiness. The mystics with whom Peterson engages are ones who wanted so much to be holy, as Jesus asked us all to be, and did it in ordinary and extraordinary ways.”

Endorsers include Richard Rohr, founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation, who writes, “I opened this fine book out of curiosity, and found it so well written and so filled with gems, that I knew I had to pass on the good news! Read [it] even if you think you don’t have time.” D. L. Mayfield, author of Assimilate or Go Home, calls it “the perfect blend of idealism tinged with mortality, of contemplation marred by depression.”

Christiana N. Peterson is a regular contributor to Good Letters, Image Journal blog, Christianity Today Women, Off the Page, and Art House America. Peterson now lives with her husband and their four children in Ohio. She has a masters in theology and a PhD in creative writing from St. Andrews University in Scotland. Find more of her writing and connect with her at Christiananpeterson.com.

Mystics and Misfits is available from Herald Press for $16.99 (paperback) and $13.99 (ebook). Canadian customers can order from CommonWord (877‑846‑1593), Parasource (800‑263‑2664), and elsewhere.

To schedule an interview with Christiana Peterson, contact LeAnn Hamby at 540‑908‑3941 or LeAnnH@mennomedia.org.