There are subscriptions for tea, gin and the like – why not one for Christian books?
‘I bought a sock subscription for my dad and loved knowing he was going to get a new delivery from the suppliers every month,’ said Joy McIlroy, creator of Faith in a Box. ‘Then I thought… wouldn’t it be great to create a subscription service for Christian books!’
With Faith in a Box you receive £100 of books and gifts for just £17.99. The books lead you through the season of Advent and Christmas.
‘Lockdown and furlough gave me opportunity to take stock, pray and dream,’ said Joy. ‘I sent a tentative email to the St Andrew’s Bookshop team who were busy getting creative about getting Christian books into people’s hands. The team had also been thinking of a book subscription service. So began Faith in a Box… with me on board!
‘We imagine friends encouraging one another with a subscription as a gift, church members blessing their leaders with the Think box, grandparents signing up for the Growing Family box for their children, and book lovers treating themselves to some great bargains.’
Joy, the St Andrew’s Bookshop team and publishers Hodder & Stoughton believe the project will help people discover new books. With shops closed and major events cancelled in 2020, getting the word out about new Christian titles has become increasingly difficult.
‘By signing up to Faith in a Box, subscribers can get better access to the best products being released and some great bargains,’ said Joy. ‘But, more than that, we hope to see lives changed in a way that only books can. We hope to inspire, captivate and encourage readers! It has been really exciting planning these boxes and we hope that they will be received with the same excitement.’
Click here for more information about Faith in a Box.
A three-day online ‘retreat in daily life’ for lovers of Jesus and justice is planned for the new year (6-8 Jan 2021), designed to fit alongside your day-to-day responsibilities.
That’s the promise of Resilient Discipleship: Embodying spiritual rest when the world wants us to zoom – from Red Letter Christians UK. Led by a variety of ‘ordinary radicals’, this mini-retreat will be a moment to breathe and develop healthy patterns of spiritual nourishment in the strange times we live in. Participants will receive a pack by post containing a few items to help with this quest and will be encouraged to explore local spaces (where restrictions permit) to discover the sometimes-hidden reflections of glory all around us.
‘We will also enjoy daily reflections from experienced Christian activists, bringing us some spiritual food to chew on as we take some time out to allow God’s Spirit to lead us in re-creation,’ said Naomi Bennett.
Red Letter Christians UK is a relational network for those who want to live for Jesus and justice. It aims to be an open-handed network for people already living out a Jesus-centred approach to poverty, injustice, exclusion and social need in our communities.
‘We’re not interested in calling people OUT of existing churches, organisations or networks – we want to play a part in helping forge new and deeper connections amongst like-minded Jesus followers,’ said Naomi. ‘Our great desire is to inspire those who might be new to this vision of Jesus and justice, whether young or old, churched, un-churched or ex-churched. We’d love to help you meet co-conspirators and embrace what we believe is an essential part of a compassionate life lived with Jesus.’
Click here for more information about Red Letter Christians.
A free Bible resource has been created for churches and individuals approaching Christmas during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Produced by Christian charity Lifewords, The True Light connects the Nativity with the realities of Christmas 2020.
‘As the global pandemic rages, the usual festive trappings will be overshadowed by sadness and uncertainty – even with the hope of vaccination,’ said Steve Bassett, creative director at Lifewords, a regular CRE exhibitor. ‘We’ve created a resource that responds to our shared struggle and pain and speaks of the true light meeting us in the hopes, dreams and disappointments of our daily lives.’
A print and digital resource, with a 20-page booklet and online conversation, The True Light asks the question: ‘How does the true light find you this Christmas?’ Hard-hitting contemporary collages frame scripture episodes of how the true light came – to shift workers, grieving mothers, lost young people and those fighting injustice and fleeing oppression.
‘Through this resource we invite people to consider how the true light finds them this Christmas,’ explained Lifewords’ Elizabeth King. ‘In the original nativity story, hope meets real lives. We are encouraged that, whatever the situation, the true light is coming – and we are not to be afraid.’
You can use the resources individually, or share the story with your church, friends and neighbours.
Click here to order your free The True Light booklets (in packs of five).
Image: Collage artwork by Jadan Reeves-Bassett
In this darkest of years, a new film can be used by churches and individuals to reflect the wonderful news that God sent light into the world (John 1.9).
Produced by Stew Smith, CPO’s new chief creative officer, Share The Light is a Christmas present to us all from the organisation.
‘When Stew joined us in August, he was asked to address the question “What will Christmas 2020 be like?”’ said Alan Hare, CPO’s chief executive officer. ‘Three months later we have his answer! We are delighted to invite you to join in our Share The Light campaign.’
The film shows Christians spreading light and bringing hope and love into our world. They do that in many ways – with friends and family, at work and in their communities.
‘The film has had an extremely positive reaction,’ said Alan. ‘The CEO of one well-respected Christian charity described it as “absolutely stunning. It grabs your heart and is a work of art… executed to perfection.”’
Churches and individuals can also personalise the campaign by using a QR activation code that links to the film and to up to two different weblinks or to a page with a specific message.
‘Some churches have already used this to link to their home page and/or their live stream page,’ said Alan. ‘Alternatively, it can link to a page with a Christmas message for everyone who has that QR code.’
A range of social media clips can also be used to share the campaign more broadly and swiftly.
To see the film click here.