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November 12, 2017 is
Orphan Sunday


Community Clergy Training
from the VA -
Pastoral care for rural
veterans and families.
Various locations/dates.







Recommended Reading

Books (by topic)

 - Adoption and Foster Care

Handbook on Thriving as an Adoptive Family
by David and Renee Sanford

From the editors at Focus on the Family, a look at the unexpected challenges that often surface post-adoption, and encouragement for the high calling.


Adopted for Life
By Russell D. Moore


"A practical manifesto for Christians to adopt children and to help equip other Christian families to do the same."  Available through MyHealthyChurch.

Small Town Big Miracle
By Bishop W.C. Martin with John Fornof

The true and inspirational story of the tiny town of Possum Trot, Texas (yes, really, that’s the name!). The pastor of Bennett Chapel challenged his church with a simple word: adopt. Family by family the church congregation took on 72 of the toughest kids in the foster care system and showed them the power of redemptive love. This book will inspire and challenge you to consider the responsibility of Christ followers to care for the orphans of your the community, and show you how one community succeeded. Available through Christian Alliance for Orphans and various retailers.

- Addictions and Substance Abuse  

Present Day Miracles at Teen Challenge

 Stories of the miraculous transformation experienced by Teen Challenge graduates.  This and other books available at the Teen Challenge online store.


Pain-Free Living for Drug-Free People
by David P. Martin, M.D., Ph.D., and Marvin D. Seppala, M.D.

People living in recovery have special challenges when it comes to treating acute or chronic pain, since many medications come with risk of triggering a relapse. This resource for pain management is available through Hazelden Publishing.

 - Ministry to Blind, Ministry to Deaf

 - Ministry to Persons with Disabilities 

Compel Them To Come In
Developed by Charlie Chivers and compiled/edited by Tom Leach

This book is a manual designed to help the local church understand what effective ministry to persons impacted by physical and intellectual disability should look like. It helps overcome misconceptions that it takes some “special” to work with people with disabilities, and offers advice and tools to help churches develop effective ministries for their local communities’ needs.

Compel Them book cover 

Available at My Healthy Church

I Will Love You ANY Way
by Eva LaShelle Oursbourn

Written by a Missouri school art teacher, this book reaches out to a composite of children she has worked with over the years--those who are ignored or bulled because they look different, act or dress differently, or suffer from physical challenges, assuring them that they are loved, and urging those doing the unkind acts to "give grace." Available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

book cover


Autism and Your Church
by Barbara J. Newman

Practical strategies for including people with ASD in the life of your church.  Includes reproducible forms and other helpful materials.  Available at MyHealthyChurch.


 - Child Abuse and Domestic Violence

Forgiving Our Fathers and Mothers: Finding Freedom from Hurt and Pain
by Leslie Leyland Fields and Dr. Jill Hubbard

A Biblical discussion of how to honor and forgive those who were entrusted to care for us and may have wounded us deeply. Available at Amazon.


My Life of Grace 
by Theresa Allen -

A wife, mother, and pastor reflects on the hand of God that brought her through a past filled with dysfunction and abuse, into a life of redemption and restoration.  Available at Amazon/Create Space.


Church Safety and Security: A Practical Guide
by Robert M. Cirtin

Violence and unethical behavior are unfortunate realities in churches today. This guide helps inform churches of what can be done to reduce risks and be prepared. Available at various Christian retailers.

Healing Neen
by Tonier Cain

Based on the award-winning documentary of the same name, this heart-wrenching memoir chronicles one woman's journey from the depths of abuse and addiction to healing through faith in God, to eventually becoming a motivational speaker and a leading voice for trauma-informed care. Learn more at


Healing Neen book cover


- Critical Incident/Crisis

A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy
by Sue Klebold

Experiencing the unthinkable when her son and his friend killed 13 people at Columbine High School, this mother spent years searching for clues as to "why?" Her honest story is a must for every parent who has ever had to come to terms with their child's actions and anyone struggling to go on after a tragedy. Available at Amazon and major retailers.
(cover photo not available)


- Homeless, Poverty, Hunger

Your Next 24 Hours
by Hal Donaldson with Kirk Noonan
The founder of Convoy of Hope challenges readers that the decisions we make in the next 24 hours to intentionally show small, doable kindnesses to family, friends, and acquaintances can forever change our lives and theirs.Available through My Healthy Church and major retailers.



Helping without Hurting in Church Benevolence:
A Practical Guide to Walking with Low-Income People

Authors Dr. Brian Fikkert and Steve Corbett offer practical models for facilitating real hope and change in low-income families through the church benevolence ministry. Available on Amazon and through the Chalmers Center.


 - Human Trafficking

Safe Kids, Smart Parents
by Rebecca Bailey

The personal therapist to Jaycee Dugard brings her years of experience to coach parents in talking with their kids about tough topics and teaching them to keep themselves safe. Available at Amazon and from the JAYC Foundation.

 How does a privileged girl from a stable Christian family get caught up in the sex industry? This memoir from a former high-end stripper tells her story and what she is doing now to help others trapped in the destructive lifestyle:
Dancing for the Devil: One Woman's Dramatic and Divine Rescue from the Sex Industry
Anny Donewald with Carrie Gerlach Cecil - Available on Amazon


Refuse to Do Nothing: Finding Your Power to Abolish Modern-Day Slavery
by Kimberly McOwen Yim and Shayne Moore

The authors share how they became involved in the fight against human trafficking by "finding the power in [their] everyday lives" to do something about it.  Available from InterVarsity Press and others.


- Immigrants/Refugees

Serving God in a Migrant Crisis
by Patrick Johnstone and Dean Merrill

The hidden blessings in the major migrations and movements of history, and how the church can prepare and respond. Available at Amazon and Christian retailers.

Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compassion, & Truth in the Immigration Debate
by Matthew Soerens and Jenny Hwang Yang

Is there a proper Christian response to the immigration debate?  How are we to balance the scriptures commanding ministry to the vulnerable with the admonition to obey the law? 

Against the Wind
by J. Don George

An Assemblies of God pastor shares the story of God's working in his heart to change the direction of his church and their intentionality in loving and reaching out to ALL of God's children.  Available through My Healthy Church.


The Big Sort
by Bill Bishop with Robert G. Cushing (available on Amazon)

What has happened to American neighborhoods?  Why do we rarely see neighborhoods where people of mixed backgrounds live and work peacefully, and everyone is OK with everyone else? The authors explore reasons America is so divided, culturally and politically. 


- Prison and Jail

Ministry to the Incarcerated
by Dr. Henry G. Covert

Internationally endorsed and recommended by experienced prison ministers from a variety of denominational backgrounds. Available on Amazon and other online retailers.


- Single Parenting

Everyone Knows A Single Adult: FAQs of Single Adult Ministry
by Kris Swiatocho and Dennis Franck

The authors combine their years of ministry to single adults in a practical guide that is a must-read for a church looking to start a ministry in this vital area.

Reaching Single Adults: An Essential Guide for Ministry
by Dennis Franck


- Compassionate Ministry and Social Justice, General

 Generation iY: Secrets to Connecting with Today's Teens & Young Adults in the Digital Age
by Tim Elmore

From Growing Leaders, this book explores characteristics of the younger Millennial demographic, including their desires to make a difference.

Courageous Compassion:   Confronting Social Injustice God's Way  
  New! from Project Rescue's Dr. Beth Grant

"A prophetic call for the twenty-first century, Courageous Compassion challenges our pale definition of compassion with a storm-the-gates-of-hell activism.  We learn from people who enthusiastically feed the hungry, weep over alcoholics, start a hospital, care for hurting children, and powerfully share the word of God." Available through My Healthy Church.

Book cover: Courageous Compassion


The Externally Focused Church
by Rick Rusaw & Eric Swanson

Learn from churches that have made serving their communities a priority--with dramatic results. Recommended by Rural Compassion.

Book cover: Externally Focused Church


The New Breed: Understanding and Equipping the 21st Century Volunteer
by Jonathan McKee and Thomas McKee

Recruiting and empowering volunteers to channel their passion for ministry without burnout or frustration. Includes practical helps such as job descriptions and team-building activities. Available at retailers and through My Healthy Church.


When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor . . . and Yourself 
by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert

The title says it all--sometimes good intentions do not have the best results.  For information visit The Chalmers Center.






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