Augsburg Fortress
One Mission Blog - reflections on the ministry of publishing

So many books…so little time!

April 16th, 2012 by Beth A. Lewis

Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking at three worship services on "Generational Differences in the Church" and leading a Sunday morning adult forum on "Gutenberg to Google:  Effective Use of Technology for Congregations" at Cross of Life Lutheran Church near Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I had a blast!  What a dynamic congregation! 

A few days after I was there, I received an email from one of their members who asked for advice on how to revitalize their congregational library and encourage people to use it.  We scheduled a conference call and brainstormed together on a number of ideas ranging from moving it, if possible, from the second floor to a more central and easily accessible location or, if that isn't feasible, to having rotating displays by theme in the narthex or lobby of the church encouraging people to check out books right there or stop by the library to see a much larger selection.  They are fortunate to have comfortable seating, a coffee pot and wireless access in their library, so I encouraged them to advertise that (especially to youth and young adults!) And, as will not surprise you, I encouraged them to make certain that they not only have "classic titles" but also some current resources for children, youth and adults. 

This made me realize that we needed to update our list of "essential titles for congregational libraries" published by Augsburg Fortress, Fortress Press and sparkhouse.  Of course, if you are looking for a specific title or topic for your church library, it may not be represented on this updated list!  And, I am certain I will hear from at least one or two authors about "why isn't my book on that list?"  But, we were trying to keep it to a reasonable number!  So, if you are looking for something specific, I would encourage you to check out our websites for our three imprints.  And, of course, if you still can't find it, you can always contact our wonderful Customer Care team at 800-428-3638. 

Here's the list!  Happy reading!



from Fortress Press


Augsburg Fortress





Lutheran Voices series

40 Day Journey series

Compass series

Living Well series

Exploring Christian Faith series

The Jonah Factor

Stretch and Pray

Psalms Through the Year

Dog Psalms

Cat Psalms



Good Grief 50th Anniversary edition

Seasons of Grief and Healing

Winter Grief, Summer Grace

When Your Child Loses a Loved One

When Your Parent Dies

When Your Spouse Dies

When Your Baby Dies



Spark Story Bible (Age 2-Grade 2)

Spark Bible NRSV (Grades 3-6)

Water Come Down

Jesus the Word

This Is the Earth that God Made

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

Family Time Story Devotions

Before and After Easter



Luther’s Small Catechism

Luther’s Small Catechism: Bilingual English/Spanish edition

Starting Small Groups and Keeping Them Going

Grounded in Prayer

One Anothering

The Lutheran Handbook: A Field Guide to Church Stuff, Everyday Stuff, and the Bible

Go Make Disciples: An Invitation to Baptismal Living

Bread for the Day




Studies in Lutheran History and Theology series

Lutheran Study Bible

Freedom of Christian

Treatise on Good Works

The Bible: An Introduction

Introducing the Old Testament

Introducing the New Testament

Introduction to World Religions

Inside World Religions

Islam: What Non-Muslims Should Know


The Jewish Experience:  An Introduction to Jewish History and Jewish Life

Christian Music

Christian Worship

Wrestling with the Questions

The Lutheran Confessions

The Book of Concord

Moral Issues and Christian Responses



Evangelical Lutheran Worship, pew edition

Sundays and Seasons

Washed and Welcome

Fed and Forgiven


Thanks to the good people at Cross of Life Lutheran Church for their gracious hospitality and for asking about congregational libraries! 



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Beth A. Lewis, President & CEO Augsburg Fortress

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