We are excited to share the cover of Eileen Campbell-Reed’s next book: Pastoral Imagination: Bringing the Practice of Ministry to Life (Fortress, 2021). Additionally, we are delighted to say the book is introduced in a foreword by Christian Scharen. And we could not be happier with book’s cover art created by artist, Amber Simpson.
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Bringing the Practice of Ministry to Life
You can observe and imagine doing ministry. Yet until you enter it with your whole self, alongside people in everyday situations, you cannot know fully how a calling comes to life. This book informs and inspires that process of learning in practice. The book’s stories, questions and provocative ideas accompany you. And they will show you how learning happens across time, through your body and relationships, and by encounters with the holy.
Pastoral Imagination offers up moments of learning from real pastors and ministers. Each of the fifty brief chapters explores a single concept. The book addresses indispensable topics such as defining moments, navigating conflict, and future stories. Ministers, chaplains and activists show us how they learn through being there, cultivating questions, or failing creatively. And in their stories, you will see how each concept comes to life, as well as how they all interrelate.
One key learning from the Pastoral Imagination Project is that ministers learn in remarkably similar ways across a wide range of life experiences. For example, ministers in the book come from various denominational backgrounds, and they embody a significant array of ethnic, geographical and gender diversity. Yet they all need pastoral imagination to bring the practice of ministry to life.
Each chapter invites you to take the concepts of the book deeper. For instance, each chapter offers a set of provocative open-ended questions. And those questions can spark conversation between you and a mentor, or among your ministry peers, and in your journal reflections.
Above all, the love and sacred presence of God infuses this book just as it infuses the world. It is a love that bears witness honestly to suffering and brokenness. And it is the love that invites your flourishing, even as you envision possibilities for healing, compassion and delight.