Holy Week: Holy Bookshelves

2 Apr

As we move into this week or busyness and the challenges of being a pastor during Holy Week, the NCMA bloggers would like to encourage you to sit back, relax, and start thinking about the books you should be preparing to read.  As a campus minister, it is important for us to not only gain knowledge about our work but to continuing writing and articulating our work for others.  This week our bloggers have submitted a great number of books for your consideration.  Many include information and all are included on our NCMA bookshelf, which is a part of our membership resources located on our website.

I would like to encourage you throughout the week to be thinking about books and resources you use often for your work.  We would love to have you submit those to me at j.cody.nielsen@gmail.com.  Additionally, we are actively working to create more resources and would love to have you submit a paper or short piece for the website.  If you would be willing to do this, please contact Cody again and he will direct you to the right people.

Finally, as the editor of this blog and the president-elect of the National Campus Ministry Association, I wish to thank each of you for being a part of this blog and for the work you do in your ministry settings.  We are looking forward to this blog continuing to inspire and influence the field and we would love to have you join the NCMA so that we can continue to make this and other endeavors possible.  Our future looks hopeful as we will have several announcements soon about upcoming conferences and resources.  Hope to hear from you all this week.

Grace and Peace

J. Cody Nielsen


Bookshelf Day #1:

1.  Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit
For those of us who want democracy to survive and thrive, the heart is where the work begins—that grounded place in each of us where we can overcome fear, rediscover that we are members of one another, and embrace the conflicts that threaten our unity as openings to new life for us and for our nation.” —From the Prelude

“At this critical moment in American life, Parker J. Palmer looks with realism and hope at how to deal with our political tensions for the sake of the common good.  Palmer names the “habits of the heart” we need to revitalize our politics and shows how they can be formed in the everyday venues of our lives. He proposes practical, promising ways to hold the tensions of our differences for the sake of restoring a government “of the people, by the people, for the people.”

#2 The Kitchen Daughter  is the first published novel by Jael McHenry.  This is a novel about cooking, family, and Asperger’s Syndrome. But more than that, the book explores the differing ways in which individuals cope with grief and loss.   Over the years, I have experienced more students “on the spectrum.”   I appreciated the ways that this book spoke through the voice and experience of someone who is on the spectrum.  A lovely story and helpful in ministry!

#3 Campus Ministry: The Church Beyond itself (Don Shockley)

This was the first book I read when I began working in campus ministry fifteen years ago, and I would still recommend it to anyone just starting out because it places our work in historical context. In addition, Shockley’s reflections on the vocation and theology of campus ministry are helpful for the practitioner’s self-understanding, as well as aiding us in interpreting the work of campus ministry to our stakeholders throughout the church.

#4 Building the Interfaith Youth Movement:  Beyond Dialogue to Action. Eboo Patel & others

Patel has moved beyond dialogue as the primary mode of interfaith relation to involved young people/students in cooperative programs of compassionate action.  It offers of excellent model for interfaith relationships.

#5 I Sold My Soul on EBayby Hemant Mehta
For those of you who may have a Secular Student Alliance on Campus, this may be a good read. Basically, it focuses on the struggles of SSA founder Hemant Mehta’s struggle with faith. At an early age, Hemant  stopped believing in God.  However, Mehta is best known is being the “EBay Atheist” because he auctioned himself of to the highest bidder who would send him to church.  The book chronicles his visits to many churches.  While I struggled with many of Mr. Mehta’s thoughts and conclusions, I felt that this was a decent read.  It gave me some insight into my group on campus.  I feel as this book has helped us with to begin some great conversations.

#6 Making Sense of Sex by Michael Duffy

If you are looking for a resource to use in a conversation about sex with young adults, this is a good one.  The approach is nonjudgmental, presenting a wide range of options, and offering a practical guide to personal decision-making about sexual relationships and activity.

#7 The Freshman Survival Guide

A must read for the campus minister or chaplain working with first year students, the Freshman Survival guide is gaining strength across the country and is becoming a visible resource for colleges and universities.  I used it to do a book study and reflection with my freshman this past fall and it worked extremely well. Try it out.


One Response to “Holy Week: Holy Bookshelves”

  1. paul walley April 3, 2012 at 11:04 am #

    Keep the comments and suggestions going, Cody.
    You’re doing an amazing job!

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