This is the second in a special series on Sabbath by our friends at Blessed Earth. Today’s post was written by Rev. Mairi Renwick (see her bio and contact information below the article). Read the first installment here.
The most beautiful building on my seminary’s campus is the library. From the outside it looks almost like a castle with a tower. When you walk into the large foyer, you are greeted with high ceilings and a large circulation desk. Wooden tables with small reading lamps and comfortable reading chairs decorate the floors. Large portraits of former professors cover the walls. More than one person has stated it reminds them of Hogwarts.
After getting over the castle-like building, you realize that this is a library. A library with loads of books, commentaries, video recordings, DVDs, newspapers, and free access to online article databases.
After seminary, there is the harsh realization that commentaries are expensive. Online databases are expensive. Finding easily accessible materials from local libraries is difficult, and church libraries are rarely stocked with the newest books. While the internet provides useful resources, it is hard to know what is trustworthy.
This is a shame because clergy love books.
I recently talked with a group of colleagues who were also fellow PKs (pastors’ kids). We discussed what we wanted to inherit from our pastor parent. Was it money? A house? Of course not! We want their books, journals, and any other wonderful ministry items.
Aware of this love/obsession, Blessed Earth wants to help provide you with useful, reliable Sabbath resources. Here are a few to get you started:
1. Our new website called Sabbath Living! Check out these tools you’ll find there:
- Sabbath Plan worksheets that can be downloaded and printed
- A bibliography with over twenty Sabbath books
- Online articles
- Examples of sermon series
- Sabbath scriptures and quotes
2. 24/6: A Prescription to a Healthier, Happier Life If you don’t already have a copy of Matthew Sleeth’s book, contact me, and I’ll make sure you get one. 24/6 is a great tool for congregation reads and small group study.
3. 24/6 DVD Email me for your own copy; the DVD makes it easy to facilitate a retreat, workshop, or Sunday school series.
Our biggest resource, however, is YOU! If you or your church has a Sabbath experience that you are willing to share, we’d love to hear your story. How about a sermon series that you’ve outlined? Or simply a favorite Sabbath quote? We would to share tools that you’ve generated and additional helpful resources on the Sabbath Living website! Examples of content our UMC friends have already generously shared:
- Rev. Jonathan Brake of Centenary UMC in Winston-Salem developed a Lenten devotional
- Rev. Ryan Bennett of Bethlehem UMC in Franklin, TN, outlined a “Margins” sermon series
- Bishop Hope Morgan Ward passed along some great Sabbath quotes to add to our list
I have a theory that pastors are professional collectors of books and resources. I invite you to continue your collection—AND add to our collection—on www.sabbathliving.org.
Rev. Mairi Renwick, a graduate of Union Presbyterian Seminary, is Blessed Earth’s Sabbath Living Program Manager. Before coming to Blessed Earth, she was a hospital chaplain. While Mairi loves books and articles, she really admires her father’s card catalog of every sermon illustration, in alphabetical order according to topic, which he has used in 30+ years of ministry. Please feel free to contact Mairi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo credit: The William Smith Morton Library at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, VA, and is used with permission.