Resources

Worshipful-Work offers many resources for churches and individuals interested in integrating spirituality and church business.  All the resources below can be purchased from the Water in the Desert Ministries bookstore:

Books:

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Transforming Church Boards into Communities of Spiritual Leadersby Charles M. Olsen (Alban, 1995)
This book is the foundational book for Worshipful-Work.  It was written by Chuck after he completed the "Set Apart Lay Leaders Study."    The book introduces the subject of integrating faith and church leadership.  It also reminds us that individuals who serve on church boards and committees are spiritual leaders.

 

 

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Listen for God's Leading: A Workbook for Corporate Spiritual Discernment by Valerie K. Isenhower & Judith A. Todd (Upper Room, 2009).  Written as a workbook it is intended for churches, judicatories and organizations who are seeking God's yearning for their future. The book provides the practical tools your group needs to put God in the center of your decision making processes. 

 

 

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The Wisdom of the Seasons: How the Church Year Helps Us Understand Our Congregational Storiesby Charles M. Olsen (Alban, 2009). Chuck's wisdom encourages churches to see a framework for putting their history and current situation into the context of the seasons of Christmas, Easter and Pentecost.  This book can be purchased from Alban Institute. 

 

 

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Discerning God's Will Together: A Spiritual Practice for the Church by Danny E. Morris & Charles M. Olsen (Upper Room and Alban, 1997). This is a practical approach  for communal decision making based on the ancient practice of spiritual discernment.  Chuck and Danny wrote it as a companion piece to Transforming Church Boards.  

 

 

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Ritual & the Arts in Spiritual Discernmentby Ellen Morseth, BVM (LaVergne Press, 1999). This book explores the ways to use art, music and ritual in the spiritual discernment process.  Ritual & the Arts is based on the movements of of discernment discussed in Discerning God's Will.  This book can be purchased only from our bookstore. 

 

 

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Selecting Church Leaders: A Practice in Spiritual Leadershipby Charles M. Olsen & Ellen Morseth (Upper Room & Alban, 2002). Using a spiritual discernment model, Chuck & Ellen present a spiritual basis for selecting church leaders, both lay and clergy.  The book uses the model for discernment found in Discerning God's Will.

 

 

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Ending With Hope: A Resource for Closing Congregations, edited by Beth Ann Gaede (Alban, 2002). Contributors from eight denominations give guidance on how to cluse a congregation with hope and grace.  Ellen Morseth is one of the contributors. She wrote a chapter entitled "Discerning God's Call."

 

 

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The Hidden Spirit: Discovering the Spirituality of Institutions, edited by James E. Coble & Charles M. Elliott (Christian Ministry Resources, 1999). Religious scholars, ministers and laity offer insights into the spirituality of institutions.  Contributors include: Charles M. Olsen ("Spirituality & Decision Making: A Structure for Congregational Stories"), Walter Wink Celia Allison Hahn and Elizabeth Liebert.

 

 

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Living into the Answers: A Workbook for Personal Spiritual Discernmentby Valerie K. Isenhower & Judith A. Todd (Upper Room, 2008).  Written as a workbook (and companion to Listen for God's Leading) this book is intended to help individuals discern God's leading in their own lives.Many churches & organizations find it helpful for individuals to understand and practice personal discernment as the group is exploring corporate discernment.

 

  

Visual Tools

Using visual tools in discernment and in developing sacred space is important for churches and individuals.  

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We have created a visual resource to aid churches and individuals in the discernment process.  Focus on Discernment Kits (pictured to the right) are designed to open a new avenue for listening to God by using meditative photographs.  Meditation on a piece of art is a tool to allow the Holy Spirit to speak and give direction for the journeys we travel.  When a person or oganization enters a discernment process, art can be an effective means to help them listen to the Holy Spirit.  One honest reponse to a piece of art can give direction to the ways individuals are feeling about an issue or their speak to their fears.  Water in the Desert Ministries and V. Isenhower Photography have collaborated to produce Focus on Discernment Kits.  Each kit includes seven 8.5x11 photographs mounted on foam board.  Each photograph has scripture verses and 3 questions for meditation associated with it.  Instructions include several suggested ways groups or an individual can use the photographs in their discernment processes.  The photographs can be used to help establish sacreds space in the church board room.  Some pastors and church staff placing the photographs on their desks, rotating them occasionally, as discussion starters.  The kits can also be used in small worship centers around the church.  Currently their are 5 different kits.  Each kit has a set of 7 different photographs, a small table top easel and a tea light candle holder.

If you are interested in any of the photographs and want them printed on archival paper, matted and/or framed and in different sizes please visit http://www.visenhowerphotography.com.

 

 

 
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