What's On Your Summer Reading List?
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world,
but let God transform you into a new person
by changing the way you think.
Then you will learn to know God’s will for you,
which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)
“Garbage in garbage out (GIGO)”
– George Fuechsel, IBM programmer, 1960s
During my seminary years, I read countless numbers of books. On my summer trips to see close friends who I grew up with, I often was asked what my reading lists had been for the year. I recommended my top picks – those books that were transformational in my walk with Christ, pushed me to think about different perspectives, helped me discern important decisions, as well as those reads that provided enjoyment ... I always love good historical fiction!
Above are the books I want to read over July and August. I may add a couple more books, but for now, these are my focus. My goal is to simultaneously read them and see what connections the Spirit will make. It is so easy for me to sit and unintentionally allow myself to put garbage in (social media, Netflix, etc.) and before I realize it, the result is garbage out! So, over the next few weeks this is my list. Why these? Glad you asked!
- Alpha – This week, I committed to a ten-week Alpha class. I’ve led Alpha at least 8 times over my ministry and now with the updated videos and materials, I am more convinced than ever that this is one of the most powerful and profound courses in Christianity. Whether you’ve been in the Church all your life, looking to go deeper or exploring faith in Jesus, Alpha is the way to go. The overflow of Alpha is that it creates healthy, vital churches – one of our priorities for our District and Annual Conference. And coming out of the pandemic, it is SO good to gather together. The Alpha course I’m attending had an online option with a group on Zoom.
- Be The Bridge: Pursuing God’s Heart for Racial Reconciliation – I am growing in my understanding of anti-racism and how God is stretching me into new places. This book was recommended by a trusted friend and deeply spiritual person. It begins in the posture of humility which is what Jesus did (Philippians 2:6-8). And I deeply resonate with the image of being a bridge ... creating understanding and transformation together through conversation. I am considering offering this as a study in the fall – stay tuned! Join me in the read.
- Emotionally Healthy Spirituality: It’s Impossible to be Spiritually Mature while Remaining Emotionally Immature – I heard author and Pastor Peter Scazzero speak at a Willow Creek conference back 2004 and gravitated to his work since then. He connects healthy spirituality and good emotional health. Understanding the impact of undealt conflict and suppressed emotions, among other things, and their effects on our walk with Christ and the local church is critically important. I look forward to reading how Scazzero unpacks core biblical principles that will help guide me into an experience of lasting, beneath-the-surface transformation in my relationship with Christ. And perhaps best of all, my 29-year-old daughter Caily is reading this in her small group up in Boston. I look forward to sharing with her about our mutual learning.
- Tempered Resilience: How Leaders Are Formed in the Crucible of Change – During COVID, one thing that has been consistent is that it is impossible to make everyone happy. Now it is time to reengage, gathering back for worship and local church ministry, and the challenges are real. It requires leaders to persevere toward the mission while expecting and understanding external challenges and internal resistance. It means developing a “tempered resilience.” When I picked up this book, I could not put it down, highlighting almost every paragraph. Our district pastors will be reading this book in their Peer Learning Groups this fall. I look forward to learning how to grow my resilience muscle!"
- Angels: Devotions and Art to Encourage, Refresh and Inspire – One of my girlfriends recently gave me this book and it is both beautiful in its artwork and devotional writing. The summer it is good time for me to change up my rhythm of spiritual practices, opening myself to something new. Themes like “still,” “assurance,” “storm,” and “scar” already have piqued my interest. How will God speak in and through the art and writing? I know I will grow.
So, what’s on your reading list? Do you have a reading list? Either way, I invite you to join me on my summer reads. The Apostle Paul promises us that if we choose to allow God to transform our thinking, we will learn God’s perfect will for us. That is enough to convince me to beef up what I allow into my mind and what I decide to block out. Have a beautiful July and August filled with joy and blessings!
Grace and peace ~
2021 Lay Servant Ministry Training Opportunities
Lay Servant Ministry Course are being offered this Fall. For more information about these courses, please visit our website at:
Kathy Megerle, AC District Lay Servant Ministry Director
Edgewater United Methodist Church
- September 17 and 18, 2021
- Basic Lay Servant Training Course
- Advanced Course: Biblical Interpretation: A Roadmap
First - Port St. Lucie
- September 24 and 25, 2021
- Basic Lay Servant Training Course
- Advanced Course: Lay Servants as Christian Transformation Leaders
United Methodist Church of the Palm Beaches
- November 5 and 6, 2021
- Basic Lay Servant Ministry Course
- Advanced Course: Leading Public Prayer
Online Courses are available by visiting BeAdisciple.com
Explore Your Call to Ministry and Licensing School
Has God called you into ministry? Explore your call by clicking here to begin the process.
The Office of Clergy Excellence will be offering a second session of Licensing School this fall. Click here for more information.
Atlantic Central District
Florida Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church
PO Box 1898 l Melbourne, FL 32902
Rev. Dionne C. Hammond - District Superintendent
Paula McDonald - Senior Administrative Assistant l email@example.com
Marilyn Waldis - Administrative Assistant l firstname.lastname@example.org
Bruce Kitson - Church Health Advocate l email@example.com