I love it when I hear about the ways people in the Church take the resources we create and then adapt them in creative ways for use in their own contexts! Here are a few examples:
I have heard of several grandparents who want their grandchildren to grow up in their Christian faith, yet the parents of those grandchildren haven’t made attending church or Sunday School a priority in their busy lives. Grandma and Grandpa live hundreds of miles away, so what are they to do? One solution is to purchase two copies of one of our story Bibles, Spark Story Bible or Whirl Story Bible. Give one copy to the grandkids and keep one at Grandma & Grandpa’s house. Then, spend intentional “Skype” story reading time. The grandparents read, the kids can follow along in their own story bible!
interior of Spark Story Bible:
interior of Whirl Story Bible:
Another small but might resource is our annual Bread for the Day 2016. My husband and I spend a great deal of time traveling and are only together about half the time. But, for the past several years we have both used Bread for the Day for our daily devotionals. When we’re together, he’ll often read the daily passage and prayer to me. When we’re not together, I find it lovely to know that we’re reading the same text and prayer even though we are separated by distance and timezones. One of the other features that I appreciate is the monthly pages for recording prayer requests that I want to be sure to remember. You might be surprised how often I note something from a prayer request via Facebook and jot it down in my Bread for the Day so that I don’t forget my promise to lift my prayers with those of others in support of a particular person or situation.
Today, I heard this story via a Facebook post by Pastor Paul Bailie, who serves at Iglesia Luterana San Lucas in Eagle Pass, TX. I was so moved as I read it that I contacted him and asked his permission to share it with you, which he granted.
“I finally ordered a copy of the Prayer Book for the Armed Services, from our Lutheran publishing house. I’m not at all a military person, but I love this little book. It has rites and prayers specific to the military, like a blessing for returning veterans, but it also has the complete liturgies for baptisms and funerals, as well as the lyrics for 65 hymns. I love that it has the Lord’s Prayer and the Apostle’s Creed in both English and Spanish on the front page. Most of the pastoral care I do now is in Spanish, but it will be nice to have several English resources very accessible in this compact little volume. Well done, Augsburg Fortress.”
We published Prayer Book for the Armed Services to be used by military chaplains, people serving in the military, etc. I hadn’t really thought about how it is a compact and versatile resource for a pastor in a bilingual and bicultural setting, such as the one Pastor Bailie serves, but as soon as I read his post I thought “of course!” And, if you want to get a sense Pastor Bailie’s ministry and why this small book would be so helpful, I would encourage you to read his blog where he describes his ministry on the borderland of Texas and Mexico. It is very moving.
Then, later today, another Facebook post caught my attention. This one from Pastor Tim Jahn who serves at Salem Lutheran Church in Catonsville, MD. Again, he gave me permission to quote him here:
“Giving thanks for Augsburg Fortress today. With two minutes and four or five clicks of a mouse, I was able to get every liturgical date and lectionary text imported onto my Google calendar for free. A wonderful ministry to church leaders.”
The free resource he refers to here is our annual Little Red Book calendar, available by pre-order only in print or you may download your free digital version at AugsburgFortress.org/redbook
Thanks for sharing stories of creative ways you use the ministry resources we create at Augsburg Fortress and sparkhouse! I’d love to hear more of them!
Beth A. Lewis, President & CEO Augsburg Fortress