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New titles just published

19 November 2021

This week’s selection: prayers that are ‘what I want to say to God’, coping with change, and reflections on the forty parables

Prayers for Living: 500 Prayers for public and private worship by Rosalind Brown (Sacristy Press, £19.99 (£17.99); 978-1-78959-188-0).

“Prayers for Living offers 500 new accessible, contemporary, and wide-ranging intercessory prayers suitable for public worship or private devotion. The wide thematic range includes subjects for which prayers are not always readily available. In addition to prayers for many world, national, local and people’s needs, there are prayers for our stewardship of God’s world and prayers inspired by ordinary but often overlooked events in daily life including subjects like pets, dementia, unintentional hurt, people with special needs, fostering, people we miss, exams, carers, road safety, undervalued workers, foodbanks, and families under stress. Many of the prayers were written during Rosalind Brown’s 13 years of ministry at Durham Cathedral, and, as one Evensong worshipper put it, they “say what I want to say to God”.

The White Stone: The art of letting go by Esther de Waal (Canterbury Press, £12.99 (Church Times SPECIAL OFFER PRICE £10.39); 978-1-78622-401-9).

“In The White Stone, Esther de Waal reflects on the changes and losses that come with growing older, in particular, solitude and, following a period of illness, saying goodbye to a family home and the Welsh border landscape she had known for decades which inspired some of her greatest writing, and adjusting to a new city environment. In her characteristic style, she sees everything as a portal into a deeper spiritual understanding. She draws on the wealth of the Christian tradition, especially scripture and the monastic and Celtic spiritualities she knows so well, to help her navigate her way through not only the inevitable sense of loss that accompanies such change, but also to embrace the new possibilities it brings. The white stone of the title refers to a small pebble from the river that ran through her garden that she keeps in her pocket, but also strikes a note of hope referring to the new identity promised by God (Revelation 2.17). This is a book of simple, profound wisdom that will speak to many coping with change in their own lives.”

The Forty Parables of Jesus by Gerhard Lohfink (Liturgical Press, £23.99 (£21.59); 978-0-8146-8510-5).

“In this book, which covers all of Jesus’s parables, award-winning author Gerhard Lohfink takes a closer look at the origins of each one — its shape, its realistic details, but most of all its original message and the situation into which it was once spoken. Jesus’s parables speak in bold images of the kingdom of God, making it present to us as they reveal something of the mystery of his own person. Lohfink also offers a review of some of the scholarship in this area — as this topic has sustained research on Jesus since the first telling of these stories — but not for the purposes of debate. His reflections interpret the forty parables and show how they speak of the coming of the reign of God, lead us to Jesus, and reveal the mystery of Jesus himself.”

Selected by Frank Nugent, of the Church House Bookshop, which operates the Church Times Bookshop.

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