Summer Reads Pt. 4

Here are some remaining books.  In another document, you can follow what I’m reading this summer as I am reading it (they will be placed in chronological order with the latest book I have read at the top).  But first to finish off this segment of things:


1) What We Believe Together : Exploring the “Shared Convictions” of Anabaptist-Related Churches By: Alfred Neufeld (145 pages)

Review: This book was put out by the Mennonite World Conference and describes the similarities that the Brethren in Christ, Mennonite Brethren, General Conference Mennonites (of which I am a part), and other global Mennonite groups have in common taking into considering our common confessions (known as the Sheliteheim Confession). I found the book to be a very helpful way of describing the Mennonite faith and would recommend it to anyone who had questions on different topics. I agreed with most of what it said, except that I disagreed with the fact that they say that Spiritual Warfare is a false concept and that instead we are simply in a “battle of the pacifists” which does not really hold weight for me. Other than that, I think it’s a pretty cool book. Someday if I am a pastor, I may use it for my discipleship classes. Oh, they also don’t talk about the Evangelical Mennonites or the Evangelical Mennonite Mission Church although I believe that they are also a part of us.

2) 100 Ans: de Mission Mennonite en Republique Democratique du Congo (313 pages) Vincent Mulebo Ndandula, Jean-Felix Cimbalanga Wa Mpoyi, Beleji Mwatha Jackson

Review: A great book!  Even better if you know some French :).  It recounts the Mennonite mission in the DRC for the last 100 years.  If you don’t speak French, they also have an English version. Add to e-Shelf

The Jesus tribe : grace stories from Congo’s Mennonites 1912-2012 : a project of Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission

Rod Hollinger-Janzen; Nancy J Myers; Jim Bertsche 1921-; Vincent Mulebo Ndandula ; c2012


1) Banker to the Poor: Micro-lending and the Battle Against World Poverty By: Muhammad Yunus (277 pages)

Review: A very interesting read about micro-financing and business. I love how Yunus talks about empowering people who are in poverty and that even a little bit makes a difference. I also like how he talked about micro-financing in “rich” countries like Canada and the U.S. So often people only talk about it in the context of 3rd world countries, but it is also needed in North America and Europe. Also, it was really interesting to hear how women in Muslim countries can live. Yunus mentioned that they didn’t feel they were “competent” enough to handle finances. And he also mentioned that in Bangladesh (where his story takes place) that having a telephone is a sign of importance/wealth. Only about 1 person in every 300 has a phone and the more phones you have the more important you are. This really surprised me because in Canada I just take the phone for granted.


1) Mennonite Central Committee Canada, and Mental Health and Disabilities Program. 2001. Light for all: worship resources for including people with mental illness and disabilities. Winnipeg: Mennonite Central Committee Canada. – 90 Pages

More of an anthology of prayers, sermons, etc for inclusion into disability awareness within the church


1) Show Me The Way (Henri Nouwen)  – 140 pages

Review: Nouwen’s collection of readings for every day of Lent.

2) Befriending the Stranger By: Jean Vanier, 131 pages

A devotional read about how Jesus walks among us and retelling Gospel stories on hospitality. It was laid out very well and very well rooted in Scripture. Even though L’Arche is a part of all of Vanier’s writings, it was not at the heart of this book. This book was written primarily for personal quite times, with L’Arche only used as illustrations to make points.

3) An Ark for the Poor: The Story of L’Arche By: Jean Vanier 120 pages

A very interesting play by play as to how L’Arche was founded and Vanier’s learnings along the way. The book recounts how L’Arche was originally founded in France and then moved to many other countries, and it talks about how L’Arche went from being Catholic to being ecumenical and in one case even multifaith.

4) Brokenness and Blessing: Towards a Biblical Spirituality By: Frances M. Young – 122 pages

This was another assigned book for class, but it was interesting because the whole book is centered around L’Arche (even though I didn’t know that when I first started reading). It’s about how people with disabilities see God, and also about generally how we read the Bible.

5) From Brokenness to Community: By Jean Vanier – 52 pages

A short book about why Vanier created L’Arche and some of the lessons that he learned while he was there. It struck me how similar his writings are to Henri Nouwen. He talks a lot about his brokenness, his struggle to achieve power and to climb ladders, and how L’Arche is counter cultural because it is about being last rather than being first.

6) Krafft, Jane. 1988. The ministry to persons with disabilities. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press. – 54 pages

A very good overview as to how to engage people with various disabilities (both physical and intellectual) into the church setting. It was a bit old and out of date, including ideas and phrases such as “retardation” which are no longer used, but all in all, helpful in giving suggestions to churches including the physical layout of the building.

7)  Davie, Ann Rose, and Ginny Thornburgh. 1992. That all may worship: an interfaith welcome to persons with disabilities. Washington, D.C.: National Organization on Disability. – 50 pages

A book with helpful prayers, short sermons, children’s features, etc that can be used in Jewish and Christian settings.


1) Living Into Community: Cultivating Practices That Sustain Us By: Christine Pohl (176 pages)

A great overview of some important themes in community particularly truthfulness, promise keeping, and when it’s important to acknowledge someone or to give them credit. Pohl was very “real” in her writing, using real life examples and telling the truth about things that really take place in church life, Eat This Book By: Eugene Peterson – 180 pages

I was a little apprehensive to read this book because I haven’t heard too many good things said about Eugene Peterson, but it was assigned for a class. All in all, it was a good book. He explained why he wrote the Message and talked about he grew up not being a believer in paraphrases himself. He also talked about the role of joining into the Biblical story and about how to approach teaching and reading the Bible.


2)  Life Together By: Dietrich Bonhoeffer – 122 pages


A very good introduction to what it means to have life in community with others. Bonhoeffer stresses the importance of silence/waiting for God, fellowship with others, and Scripture reading, but he says that everything in the community must be rooted in prayer. He warns against power struggles that sometimes occur in community and talks about how community is not an idealized fantasy, but that it is indeed hardwork to live with others. Nevertheless, he maintains, that forgiveness, reconciliation, private confession to God and apologizing to others are the important ingredients in keeping a community healthy. He also warns against people just joining a church or other Christian community because they are lonely and want to be with others so they don’t have to be by themselves. He does say it is important to be with others, but he also believes that church and Christian community need to be so much more than this.

3) Ponder and Pray By: Victor Shepherd (158 pages)

Review: A great devotional book with good insights from one of my favourite Tyndale professors. It combined real life scenarios/stories with prayers and poetry. I enjoyed it.

4) He Chose the Nails By: Max Lucado (151 pages)

Review: Lucado is a good writer and I always enjoy his books. As the title suggests, this book looks at the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. I found it to be a good devotional book and a nice break from such academic readings. The one thing about his writing, though, is that he seems to use so many examples of married life that as a single person I found it a bit harder to relate to it.



One thought on “Summer Reads Pt. 4

  1. Pingback: Summer Reads Pt. 4 | MennoNerds

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