April Yamasaki of British Columbia new editor of Purpose Magazine

News release
March 12, 2019

April Yamasaki of British Columbia new editor of Purpose Magazine

HARRISONBURG, VA—April Yamasaki has been selected as the new editor for Purpose magazine, a monthly magazine published by MennoMedia that offers stories of inspiration and promise.

Yamasaki is an ordained minister with 25 years of experience in pastoral ministry. She currently serves as Resident Author with Valley CrossWay Church in Abbotsford, B.C., and speaks widely in other churches and ministry settings. She’s a member at Emmanuel Mennonite Church.

April has written and published widely on spiritual growth and Christian living—both online and in print publications, including Christian Century, Christianity Today, The Redbud Post, Godspace, Vision, Leader, and Rejoice! Her published books include Sacred Pauses, Ordinary Time with Jesus, and Four Gifts.

April has a master of arts in theological studies from Regent College, Vancouver, B.C., and a bachelor of arts from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C.

Staff Release
Mennonite Media
More information: Amy Gingerich at 540 908 3926 or AmyG@mennomedia.org.

Is self-care selfish? Yamasaki shares how to “take care of yourself” and follow Jesus

Is self-care selfish?
April Yamasaki shares how to “take care of yourself” and follow Jesus

HARRISONBURG, Va. — We often hear the phrase “take care of yourself,” but how to find time to do that in today’s world? For many Christians, the idea of self-care sounds contrary to the command of Jesus to deny yourself and follow him. How exactly do believers balance these two seemingly opposite pursuits?

Author April Yamasaki explores this contradiction in Four Gifts: Seeking Self-Care for Heart, Soul, Mind, and Strength (Herald Press, September 2018). Yamasaki is a Mennonite pastor in British Columbia.

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 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 without adding more items to their to-do lists.

“I know I need self-care, yet can’t always get there,” writes Yamasaki. “I need a bigger vision of caring for myself that also embraces caring for others and surrendering myself to God’s call and care.”

Yamasaki addresses specific challenges like setting priorities, living in a digital world, dealing with worry, and getting a good night’s sleep. “Our minds find renewal as we learn, serve, and rest,” Yamasaki says. “At its best, self-care is a way of life, a gift that sustains each of us as we serve God and serve other people.”

“In Four Gifts, April’s powerful insights are on brilliant display,” says Christena Cleveland, author of Disunity in Christ. “With an integrative mind-body-spirit approach, Yamasaki leads us on a journey that is worth following.”

Dorcas Cheng-Tozun, author of Start, Love, Repeat, writes that Four Gifts is “the most thorough and thoughtful exploration of self-care I have ever come across.”

Yamasaki focuses her writing on spiritual growth and Christian living. A member of Redbud Writers Guild, she is the author of, or contributor to, 15 books including Sacred Pauses, Upside-Down Living: Sharing Faith Stories, Spark: Igniting Your God-Given Creativity, and Ordinary Time with Jesus, among others. Her work has also appeared in the Christian Century and Canadian Mennonite. Yamasaki has more than 20 years of experience as a congregational pastor and leads workshops and Bible studies in denominational and other settings. She and her husband, Gary, live near Abbotsford, British Columbia.

Four Gifts is available from Herald Press for $16.99 (paperback) and $13.99 (ebook) at 800-245-7894 or at 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 April Yamasaki, contact LeAnn Hamby at 540-908-3941 or LeAnnH@mennomedia.org.






New Bible study released: Spark: Igniting Your God-Given Creativity

Spark_StudyGuide_RGBEditedWebNews release
July 16, 2015

Women’s Bible study to nurture the creative spirit

HARRISONBURG, Va., and KITCHENER, Ontario — A new women’s Bible study book, Spark: Igniting Your God-Given Creativity, has been published by MennoMedia, commissioned by Mennonite Women Canada (MW Canada) and Mennonite Women USA (MW USA).

The study is designed to help users rediscover the joys of being created in God’s image and nurture their own creativity. “We hope that women will take a look at stories of God as the original Artist, and be encouraged to develop their own creativity as a divine gift,” says Mary Ann Weber, managing editor for the Women’s Bible Study series.

Written by April Yamasaki in consultation with MW Canada and MW USA, the study is one in a series of Bible studies commissioned by the women’s groups, including studies on justice, self-care, family care, creation care, stewardship of money, stewardship of gifts, and biblical women.

Yamasaki is a pastor at Emmanuel Mennonite Church in Abbottsford, British Columbia,AprilYamasaki who enjoys expressing her love of Scripture and creativity in worship and preaching.

Twelve sessions and one worship session highlight biblical stories of God’s creative Spirit at work. Beginning with the creation story, the study delves into the creativity God demonstrated during the creation of the world and leads readers into how they can rekindle their own creativity in their daily lives.

Users will look at Scripture as a God-breathed work of creativity, to Jesus as a creative artist through interactions and storytelling, to discovering that the Holy Spirit inspires creativity for the common good. “Readers will grow in their understanding of how they can make creativity a way of living,” notes Amy Gingerich, editorial director for MennoMedia. “The study will help readers better connect with God—the source of creativity.”

Each session brings biblical texts to life, encouraging readers to uncover, develop, and embrace the gift of their own creativity. Sessions include Scripture, suggestions for a visual to aid reflection and stimulate the senses, a section to dig deeper into the text, a series of questions integrating the story with personal experience, and suggestions for session closings. The study concludes with a creative celebration of worship. All sessions are organized into one book for women’s groups, Sunday school, or individual study. A separate retreat kit is also available.

Author Yamasaki is a graduate of the University of British Columbia and Regent College. She writes a blog about faith and writes and leads retreats on spiritual practices, faith, work, rest, and Christian living. She is also the author of Sacred Pauses: Spiritual Practices for Personal Renewal, published by Herald Press in 2013, among other works.

MennoMedia Staff
High resolution photo available.

for more information

Melodie Davis
News manager