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Conversations in Ministry (Academy of Parish Clergy)
Energion Publications and the Academy of Parish Clergy have come together in partnership to produce a series of books, titled Conversations in Ministry, on some of the important issues facing clergy today. The series title emphasizes the hope that the books will encourage clergy to engage with each other in conversations about their ministries. The hope of the writers and editors is not to birth superficial or theoretical discussions on or about ministry, but conversations in – within the context of – ministry. Topics will be focused on the point to keep the books brief at under 100 pages. It is the expectation of the publisher that there will be about three volumes in the series per year.
The first book in this series, Clergy Table Talk: Eavesdropping on Ministry Issues in the 21st Century, appeared in the Spring of 2012. The author, Kent Ira Groff, takes 15 topics about ministry that are often considered distractions and provides ideas about how to transform them into a means of spiritual growth. He then provides spiritual practices to help readers put these transformations into practice.
Dr. David Moffett-Moore wrote the seond installment in the series in February 2013, Wind and Whirlwind: Being a Pastor in a Storm of Change. It comes as no surprise to pastors and their families that the vocation of a minister involves stress. Unfortunately, when many pastors encounter stress they tend to hunker down in the hopes of just surviving. Dr Moffett-Moore, in a series of 16 short lessons, helps the reader identify the sources of stress, discover ways to manage it spiritually and emotionally, and points to spiritual disciplines and practices that will help make you a better person and bring success to your ministry.
In 2014, The Academy of Parish Clergy and Energion Publications began a new series, Guides to Practical Ministry. This series is designed to provide clergy with resources written by practitioners – that is by people who have significant experience with ministry in local congregations. The books in this series are longer in length than those found in Conversations in Ministry and cover issues like writing sermons, interim ministry, self-care, clergy ethics, administrative tasks, the use of social media, and worship leadership. The first book in this series, Overcoming Sermon Block: A Pastor’s Workshop by Dr. William Powell Tuck, is not about the philosophy or theology of preaching but about preparing for, writing, and preaching a sermon. While the reader may quickly find a solution to this week’s sermon, Dr. Tuck also gives ideas and plans for long-term preparation to open a new pathway, moving sermons from a burden to a blessing for the writer as well as the intended listener.
The Academy of Parish Clergy is providing the editorial team led by Dr. Robert D. Cornwall which will include Lolly Dominski, William Tuck, Jerry Gladson, David Moffett Moore, and Kent Ira Groff. Energion Publications Editor, Henry Neufeld, will guide the series for the publishing partner.
The Academy of Parish Clergy is an organization which assists clergy in enhancing their professional skills after initial entry into the profession and to require its members to undertake, supervise, and reflect upon their work in a lifelong commitment to continuing competence and skill development.