“Parish” Book Review

This is the parish I live in. (View Larger Map.)

In light of my Aug. 29 and 30 posts about faith communities, local needs and having a parish mindset, I thought it’d be useful to list a few of the books I’ve been reading on the subject (thanks to my local library’s great interlibrary loan program):

  • To Transform a City: Whole Church, Whole Gospel, Whole City by Eric Swanson and Sam Williams — Written from an evangelical perspective, this book offers some useful strategies for faith communities to engage with their communities. (See the Externally Focused Network’s resource page for more books on this topic.)
  • The Invisible: What the Church Can Do to Find and Serve the Least of These by Arloa Sutter — Another evangelical perspective from the founder of Breakthrough Urban Ministries.
  • The Total Parish Manual: Everything You Need to Empower Your Faith Community by William J. Bausch — A Catholic voice on the importance of collaboration inside and outside churches, and communicating welcome verbally and non-verbally through sermons, facilities, events and programs.
  • Parish! The Pulitzer-Prize Winning Story of a Vibrant Catholic Community by Robert F. Keller — A journalist follows the life of a New York parish for a year and shares what he learns.
  • Becoming a Community of Salt and Light: Formation for Parish Social Ministry by Peggy Prevoznik Heins — Heins describes the four “styles” of social ministry as advocacy, organizing, charity and solidarity, and explores Catholic social principles, such as human dignity, care for creation and the preferential option for the poor and vulnerable.
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