Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Summer Update

Dear friends & readers,

It's hard to believe we're halfway through 2010. Time flies! But we've been having fun here at the Arthurs, with a bunch of updates to share:
  • Be sure to pick up a copy of the brand new book, Shaped by God, ed. by Robert Keeley. It's a compendium of essays about faith formation from twelve contributors, including my mentor from Duke, Fred Edie, and myself. My chapter is about the importance of stories in spiritual formation. I really enjoyed working on this project and I'm excited to see it in print!
  • I also was invited to be a consultant for the forthcoming C. S. Lewis Bible, published by HarperCollins. Mark it for your wish list this Christmas.
  • Speaking of Lewis, don't miss the annual C. S. Lewis Festival this October in Northern Michigan. After a long sojourn in the south, I'll be back for an evening lecture on the friendship of Lewis & Tolkien with my friend, Prof. Suzanne Shumway.
  • Check out the youth ministry blog "Slant 33," with contributions by a number of youth ministry experts (including yours truly--or perhaps we should put "expert" in scare quotes?). Topics I've written about so far include narrative theology, community, and evangelism, with more to come. Feel free to add your comments and keep the discussions rolling.
  • Look for my forthcoming article "Telling a Better Story: Why Worship and the Sacraments Matter for Youth Ministry" in the July/Aug issue of IMMERSE journal (formerly The Journal of Student Ministries). The folks at Barefoot Ministries are doing some great stuff.
  • I'm also a contributor for a forthcoming book by Gen-Xers (edited by Andrew Thompson) about the future of the United Methodist Church. My chapter will be about youth ministry, specifically the process of Confirmation. Stay tuned...
  • Meanwhile, two of my friends are publishing some wonderful books that you'll want to check out: Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove's The Wisdom of Stability and Enuma Okoro's Reluctant Pilgrim: A Moody, Somewhat Self-Indulgent Introvert's Search for Spiritual Community. I'm especially excited about Enuma's first book. You go, girl!
  • Thanks to modern technology, you can now download almost all of my books in Kindle editions, with the exception of Dating Mr. Darcy. Not sure why Lizzy Bennett gets the smack-down, since she's as "delightful a creature as ever appeared in print" (thank you, Jane Austen). But it's happy news for the rest!
  • Sad news, however, for Walking through the Wardrobe: it is now officially out of print. Yes, the first of my literary children to be benched--although I'm happy to see that Kindle has made it possible for even out-of-print books to live forever.
  • My current project, due in October (for release in 2011) is a book with Paraclete Press entitled At the Still Point: A Literary Guide to Prayer in Ordinary Time. Similar to the Guides to Prayer published by the Upper Room, the book will include suggested prayers, scriptures, and literary excerpts--organized by theme--for each of the weeks in the season of Pentecost (or Ordinary Time). Unlike other prayer guides, however, the excerpts will not be from devotional or spiritual writing, but from classic and contemporary fiction and poetry. Yes, I've been able to indulge all my literary geekiness and spend hours with my nose in books! Dante, Donne, Hopkins, Herbert, Hawthorne, Eliot, Dostoevsky, Dickinson, MacDonald, Rossetti, Chesterton, and more--and those are just the classic writers. Does that sound delicious, or what? More soon!
Wow, I think this is the longest update ever. But there's one more big project underway. The Arthurs are pregnant! Yes, we're due Dec. 15. I'm feeling great so far, but prayers are much appreciated.

Have a lovely summer, all.
Sarah Arthur