In Advent 2019, Presbyterians across the country are invited to join a denomination-wide book study on Walter Bruggemann’s Celebrating Abundance.
Using thoughtfully prepared small group and individual weekly study guides, Presbyterians will journey through Advent reflecting on themes of God’s abundance as revealed through the small details of faith stories—a cry in the wilderness, a teenage mother, a worn down stable and a promise of a new day.
We have chosen Celebrating Abundance as a denomination-wide book study for this season because each of Brueggemann’s daily reflections in this book are an invitation to see beyond the illusions of worldly extravagance and to embrace the true abundance readily available through Christ. In a world where fear and anxiety abound, Brueggemann calls us to believe in the in-breaking of the kingdom of God through Christ, who brings hope, joy, love and peace. He also calls us to action—to be bearers of these kingdom qualities and heralds of the newness that is both here and yet to come. At a time when it would be easy to slip into apathy, Brueggemann’s words, which are steeped in God’s love and care for us, inspire us to “do kingdom things we did not think we had in us” (5).
Celebrating Abundance is divided into daily devotions for the four weeks of Advent. The devotions are short (2 pages) and should only take a few minutes to read. If you are able, however, we encourage you take the time to reflect on what you are reading and go deeper by looking up the Scripture readings and adding your own words to the daily prayers provided.
Each week of Advent, you will be invited to explore a theme that will challenge you see the world through the eyes of faith, grow closer to Christ and embrace God’s gift of grace in the world. The themes can be summarized as follows:
- Preparing for the Newness to Come
- Paying Attention to God’s New Reality
- Embracing the Newness Jesus Offers
- Surrendering to God’s Purposes
In addition to reading Celebrating Abundance as a form of personal devotion during Advent 2019, we are encouraging congregations to form discussion groups to explore the themes of the book together. We have created a study guide to accompany the book that will be available online for free download in early September.
The study guide contains:
- a summary of the weekly themes;
- an Advent Scripture reading;
- discussion questions;
- structured reflection time;
- prayers and prayer prompts;
- suggested spiritual practices.
Ordering Celebrating Abundance
Discount pricing is available through Parasource for orders placed before November 9, 2019.
Orders of $50 or more receive free shipping.
1-19 copies: $14.87 each (15% discount)
20 or more copies: $13.11 each (25% discount)
Other Accompanying Material
We are currently exploring the possibility of hosting weekly online discussions about Celebrating Abundance during Advent for those who may not be able to join a small group. More information about this will be available when the study guide is released in early September.
We are also open to receiving other suggestions about what other accompanying material might be helpful to you or your congregation as we you engage in this book study.
If you have any great ideas or questions about Presbyterians Read, please email Emily Hill, Education Coordinator for Canadian Ministries, at call or 1-800-619-7301, ext. 271.
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