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Group Study Material

Many books have study material included for individual or group use. These courses are specifically for groups.
Courses for Advent and Lent can be found in those categories.

Postcards From The Edge

- Finding God In Hard Places

by Ian Coffey


'Postcards from the Edge' is a fantastic book that works as a personal read, a personal bible study or as a group bible study.
It blends good, easy to read, commentary style studies of 8 biblical characters blended with a strong subject they best reflect in their lives... so we have for example Ruth and Loss, Jeremiah and Inadequacy, Paul and Fear, PEter and Impisonment etc.
What is so good about these studies though is that they don't stay just with the bible character although that is the main focus, they also look at a modern equivalent to help highlight the subject values, so for instance you have Jeremiah with Frodo! Ruth is compared with an ordinary woman called Jill who founded 3 children's hospices, Paul is compared with Maurice Chevalier! These comparison stories at the end of the chapters just highlight the subject really well ... and can also be used as great story pieces on their own in a number of settings, maybe assemblies or such.
A very good book that works in a number of ways succesfully.

 



Review by Melanie Carroll  (01/08/15)
Jacket
Publisher: IVP(Inter Varsity Press)
Published: February 2015
ISBN: 978-1-783-59205-0
Paperback
Price: £7.99

Really?

- Searching For Reality In A Confusing World

by Elizabeth McQuiod


As the leader of a house group I looked at these studies and tried to imagine what my group would make of them. Seven topics are covered, each preceded by the word 'real'—truth, identity, wisdom, purpose, security, treasure and hope. Each study begins with an introduction, a Bible passage and a starter question related to the theme. Then we are encouraged to dig deep into the passage before answering questions on other related Scriptures. 

There is a leader's guide at the back and a link for each chapter on the IVP website which once more sets out the main Bible reading and gives a couple of ideas for reflection.

I feel sure my group would find this a helpful and accessible resource. In the introduction Elizabeth writes 'our relationship with Christ is transformational, shaping our thinking and how we live, giving us a brand new identity and purpose.' Yes, these studies work at both the 'thinking' and 'living' level, and I can recommend them. 



The book has its own website:www.ivpbooks.com/extras/really

Review by Jackie Rowe  (07/11/14)
Jacket
Publisher: IVP(Inter Varsity Press)
Published: July 2014
ISBN: 978-1-783-59158-9
Paperback
Price: £4.99

The Essential Question

- How can I make a difference for God?

by Whitney T Kuniholm


The Essential Question invites the reader to an in-depth study of the Book of Acts. It does this in a very approachable and engaging way and could be used by people at almost any stage on their Christian journey. It encourages prayerful Bible reading and reflection on what God might be saying to each reader and how that might be applied in daily life. Helpful habits such as journaling are also encouraged with space for this at the back of the book.

This is a very flexible resource that could be used in a variety of contexts, by individuals or a group. The fifty studies are divided into five sections over ten weeks, with each section offering thought provoking discussion questions relating to that week's readings. This makes it an ideal resource for a group to use together, particularly appropriate given the themes around the early church in Acts. A good way to get the most from this book would be for people to do the studies individually and then meet together to share their reflections using the discussion questions as a helpful framework.

It's a practical and challenging book for the individual with the focus on prayerfully wrestling with the big question "What does God want me to do?" (p. 82). As a group resource it will encourage open and truthful discussion about what God wants us to do together as church - as Kuniholm writes "there is no perfect church" (p. 31), but he encourages us to identify good foundations from the early church - "these Christians had the big things right... they were making a difference in their world... ‘God's grace was so powerfully at work in them all' (Acts 4:33)." (p.31)



Review by Margaret Brasier  (24/11/14)
Jacket
Publisher: Scripture Union (SU)
Published: November 2014
ISBN: 978-1-844-27902-9
Paperback
Price: £6.99

Where Two Or Three Are Gathered

- Themed Resources For Group Worship

by Lezley J Stewart


This is a really great and invaluable resource for anyone that has to do small group worship or sessions of any type—from your Mothers Union/WI or Business Breakfast type meetings where all you want is a thoughtful devotional or thinking piece, through to your housegroup or small group sessions—this book will be of help.

Divided into 14 themes with 4 'sessions' in each of those themes this book provides a host of usable material with associated scripture and then matching Time to Reflect questions that cover a wide range of subjects, including unity, providence, love, service, justice, light etc.

You can use them straight out of the book or adapt them as need be for your own purposes, and there is also an accompanying CD-ROM so it's easy to make sheets for participants too.

A handy resource with a lot of scope to it.



Review by Melanie Carroll  (01/11/14)
Jacket
Publisher: Saint Andrew Press
Published: September 2014
ISBN: 978-0-861-53842-3
Paperback
Price: £14.99

Out of the Shadows



by Graham Ingram


This is written by a celibate, gay, evangelical minister and needs to be read by as many people as possible. Cast aside your preconceived ideas and beliefs before you start to read this book and read with an open mind. This is what I have done, and although this was originally published in 2008, it is so very relevant today.
Coming from an Evangelical background and experience you might think this book is not for those of us from a different background. Not so! Much of what Graham Ingram writes is necessary reading for every one of us - sadly so.
I made a note of one particular passage - "Gay people differ from other cultural minorities in that they start their journey alone. It takes two straights to make a gay. In a society which has no positive or overt understanding of same sex attraction, the journey starts in unnamed darkness and involves considerable pain." Graham Ingram tells of his own darkness and pain, not to make us sorry for him, but to help us understand the position gay people of both sexes find themselves in.
The author has spent his life sharing the Good News of the Gospel with people of every description. Jesus brought the Good News to all, he did not discriminate and nor should we.
Read, learn and inwardly digest: I found it well worthwhile.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (14/11/12)
Jacket
Publisher: Church Home Group Resources Ltd
Published: 2008
ISBN: 978-0-953-23982-5
Paperback
Price: £7.99

A Risk Worth Taking - Exploring the Fundamentals of Faith

- A Course that is Challenging and Relevant to Contemporary Life and Experience

by John Cox


In this book John Cox explains the fundamentals of faith by means of a course that is both challenging and relevant to contemporary life and experience. He examines the perennial question posed by all who believe in a good God - how can we continue to have faith in a loving God in a world full of misery and pain? The ‘risk’ of the title is in exploring unexpected territories and asking searching questions, but it is A Risk Worth Taking. The course is divided into eight sections and is primarily for group work, each section examining a different aspect of human experience and how faith and experience interact. It is a book also for private study and is essential reading for all those who find their doubts are a stumbling block to complete faith in a loving and caring God.

Review by John Irvine  (26/06/12)
Jacket
Publisher: Kevin Mayhew Publishers
Published: 10 October 2007
ISBN: 978-1-844-17830-8
Paperback
Price: £9.99

Mark’s Gospel from Scratch

- The New Testament for Beginners

by Donald L. Griggs & Charles D. Myers Jr.


This book does what it says on the cover. It has participant and leaders sections so can be used as a personal devotion or in a group setting.
In six bite size chapters the authors take you through the gospel. First introducing to you Mark and his unique gospel style and then digging into it breaking the book down and discussing Jesus as the story progresses - his miracles, prophecies and public ministry.
The Leaders Guide section was really helpful giving general guidance about leading a bible study as well as breaking up each session and guiding the leader how to best lead the study. As such, it would make a great resource for a new bible study leader but in the same way can be adapted to suit whatever your leading style is.
I found this book to be an interesting read and informative and would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to get their head around the gospel of Mark.

Review by Charmaine Hill  (27/03/12)
Jacket
Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press from Hymns Ancient & Modern Ltd
Published: April 2010
ISBN: 978-0-664-23486-7
Paperback
Price: £8.99

Tales of the Unexpected

- Stories Told by Jesus from Luke's Gospel

by Presented by Pete Woodcock and Lizzie Smallwood


Booklet and DVD for four week course for all people including those who normally have difficulty accessing the Christian message. ISBN of DVD 978-1-906-33473-4, £11.00. Starter pack with DVD and four booklets £16.00 available Publisher

Story telling was the language of Jesus. A good story is hard to resist, especially when there’s a surprise in the end. Engaging with the wisdom, truth and challenge of Jesus words still is compelling for people of every tongue, tribe and nation. In Tales of the Unexpected we are offered four simple but startling stories that Jesus told. They ask much of our faith, our story and our choices.
As a DVD set and accompanying booklet resource, this is attractively packaged. Wisdom from Luke’s gospel and accessible for all.

Review by Johnny Douglas  (16/02/12)
Jacket
Publisher: Good Book Company
Published: 2011
ISBN: 978-1-906-33472-7
Booklet
Price: £3.00

Tell me the Stories of Jesus

- A Companion to the Remembered Gospel

by Janet Lees


This is an interesting book. I had not heard of the (15 year old) 'remembered Bible' approach and was intrigued by the application here. Noting that most Bible commentaries in common use were written by men - Janet Lees set herself the task to produce this contribution to the study of the Gospels. It is not a 'chapter and verse' commentary but an exploration of remembered narrative and story - high on illustration and practical implication. It is intended, I think, chiefly for discussion and group use. It includes poems and practical craft activities like 'scrapbooking the Gospel', together with pictures to discuss and pilgrim walk ideas to explore. Tell me the Stories of Jesus is a companion to Janet's Word of Mouth book. I think that it is well worth reading and using in a group exploring the Gospel, but also really helpful for personal reflection and study. Great - and complimentary to the usual commentaries.

Janet is a speech therapist and has developed this idea of a ‘remembered Bible’ to help people with learning and communication difficulties and with pre-readers and scant readers in particular but Tell me the Stories of Jesus is useful for us all. Editor

Review by Jim Currin  (30/09/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Wild Goose Publications
Published: June 2011
ISBN: 978-1-849-52187-1
Paperback
Price: £13.50

Life Attitudes

- A 5-Session Course on the Beatitudes

by Robert Warren and Sue Mayfield


This 5-session Bible study course gets to grips with the Beatitudes - the eight radical sayings from St Matthew's Gospel which are such a challenge to us all. This guide is different from the many others that I have used with small groups. It does not 'just' present a few questions on the passage for group discussion. Each study begins in the usual way with an introduction, some brainstorming, reading the passage and considering some questions, but the session ends with two sections which are 'different'
.'Get real' encourages group members to think about some practical action in their community (or globally) related to the beatitude under consideration.
'Go deep' which ends each study gives suggestions for reflection, using music, video clips, craft and prayers, in order to help move truths from head to heart. I like this approach, and although I have not test driven it, I think it would go down well in small groups I know.

Review by Jackie Rowe  (24/08/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Church House Publishing (CHP) part of Hymns Ancient & Modern
Published: December 2010
ISBN: 978-0-715-14233-2
Paperback
Price: £4.99

Men of the Word

- Insights for Life From Men Who Walked With God

by Nathan Busenitz


The author takes fifteen characters from both the Old Testament and the New and considers how each communicated, in his own way, with God. Whilst each character was very different each had a sincere commitment to know the Lord and to live their lives with passion for the Lord and to obey him. Amongst the figures covered are Abraham, David, Daniel, Peter and Paul. Each of the subjects is written by a different author and the book has a study guide, questions for group discussion and a Biblical Reference Guide. The book challenges the reader to find satisfaction in God and to seek out what God wants them to be.

Review by George Taylor  (22/07/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
Published: Spring 2011
ISBN: 978-0-736-92981-3
Paperback
Price: £8.99

A Bird’s-Eye View of the Bible



by Mary Williams


The late Mary Williams developed and piloted this course in Anglican Parishes in the Diocese of St Albans. While intended for groups (an Appendix contains very useful 'Leader's Notes'), it could be used by an individual. Also, it is suitable for people of varying faith knowledge and commitment and for all Churches - ecumenical groups could easily adapt the material for the traditional Lent, Advent or other seasonal meetings. Teachers - at all levels - will welcome it.
There are five parts: an 'Introduction to the Book', two on 'History Embedded in Literature' in the Old and New Testaments, and two on 'Literature Spun from History' in the Old and New Testaments. Each study section has 'Suggested readings and points to consider as you read', and 'Possible issues for discussion'. There are many excellent maps and time charts - some of the best this reviewer has seen.
Gems in this book include a BBC talk by the late Bishop Leonard Wilson reflecting on his experiences as a prisoner of the Japanese, 'Sustained by glory glimpsed' (pp. 75 - 76), 'A note on the gender of God' (p. 13) and 'Review. Attitudes to the Bible reconsidered' (p. 81).
As one would expect, one is not overwhelmed with detail; neither is this a superficial introduction. It would also become a very useful reference book once one has mastered the contents. Altogether, a jewel in the crown of reflection and study resources.

Review by J.Nicholas Latham  (07/07/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Redemptorist Publications
Published: January 2011
ISBN: 978-0-852-31383-1
A4 Paperback
Price: £17.95

The Faith of the English

- Integrating Christ and Culture

by Nigel Rooms


Nigel Rooms, now Director of Ministry and Mission in the Diocese of Southwell, previously spent 7 years as a CMS mission partner working in the Diocese of Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, where he developed a theological education programme. Putting together his experience of adult education and of working in another culture, Nigel has now come up with a fascinating way of helping people and churches become more aware of that most difficult of things – their own cultural assumptions. Drawing on recent writings on ‘Englishness’, Nigel has put together an imaginative six week course entitled ‘How can we be English and Christian?’, of which this book contains a summary. Starting with 6 core ‘sayings’ each of which sums up one characteristic of Englishness, Nigel offers a gentle and open-ended examination of what it is in our culture which both enables and inhibits our ability to live out our Christian faith in today’s world. How much of the way your church does things is Christian and how much is just English? Do the course and find out….

The book has its own website:www.spckpublishing.co.uk/shop/the-faith-of-the-english/

Review by Alison Morgan  (22/06/11)
Jacket
Publisher: SPCK (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge)
Published: May 2011
ISBN: 978-0-281-06111-2
Paperback
Price: £12.99

Jesus the Life Changer

- Exclusive: The People Jesus Met – In Their Own Words

by Simon J Robinson


This is a collection of accounts from the point of view of individuals in the Bible, their own stories as they encounter the Saviour. By its nature it is an interpretation of these well known events but could be useful for a new Christian or a small study group. Each story is accompanied by a small set of questions to help us take a broader look at what is happening between the individuals and Christ. They also make applications to life today and Jesus as a life changer.

Review by Hilary Morgan  (27/05/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Day One Publications
Published: 2009
ISBN: 978-1-846-25123-8
Paperback
Price: £7.00

Desert Wells



by Alice Bates


Here are ten original short stories which do not have an obvious “religious” content, but are loosely based on passages from the Old and New Testaments. There is, for instance, a story about the importance of listening, how to listen to others and to yourself and to God. There is another about the power of forgiveness, one about living in the present and another about the value of personal freedom. All the stories have a contemporary setting with familiar characters and situations and have something to say about life today. They can be read just as stories but for those who want to explore the human content further and its possible religious manifestations, there are notes at the end which expand and comment upon the essential aspects of each story. They also give advice on group study and discussion. Most readers should find something in these stories which resonate with themselves personally.

Review by John Irvine  (27/04/11)
Jacket
Publisher: DLT (Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd)
Published: February 2011
ISBN: 978-0-232-52790-2
Paperback
Price: £8.99

Isaiah: Feeling Secure in the Arms of God

- The Wiersbe Bible Study series

by Warren W. Wiersbe


Isaiah is a chunky, chewy and complete Old Testament segment. Warren Wiersbe offers a great little series of accompanying bible studies to his prolific Be-commentaries, with this being interpreted as dominantly about Being Comforted 'Feeling Secure in God.' This is a light, spacious, title that offers sizeable sections of the original commentary with accompanying questions in a roomy format that renders this more as a workbook. Isaiah may rightly be understood as the bible-in-miniature but this resource didn't fully honour the scale of scripture and it's implications. The eight 'lesson'-chapter format was light more than effective or comprehensive enough to serve its intended small group resource. More space for scribbling than substance so other readers might feel a little short-changed!

Review by Johnny Douglas  (19/04/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Xlibris distributed by Gardners
Published: November 2010
ISBN: 978-0-781-40423-5
Paperback
Price: £6.99

102 Fascinating Bible Studies

- For Personal or Small Group Studies

by Preston A Taylor


Originally published 2006
This is one of those books that is exactly what the title describes. Following a short introduction Preston A. Taylor provides 102 topical Bible studies. The studies are listed in alphabetical order and each takes the student systematically through the Old and New Testament passages relating to the topic being discussed. The subjects covered are wide ranging and include the usual discussions on Baptism, the Scriptures and Jesus’ death as well as the more obscure such as blood, memory and tears. I have to confess that I am not usually a fan of ‘off the shelf’ Bible study notes but this book has really captivated me. So much so that I have recommended it for use in our next series of home groups and am looking at using extracts from it as part of a course for new disciples.

Review by Steve Langford  (30/03/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Bethany House imprint of Baker Pub from Lion
Published: 01 September 2010
ISBN: 978-0-764-20837-9
Paperback
Price: £8.99

In the Beginning Was the Word

- Group Studies on the Gospel of John

by Gerald West and others


The back cover states that, ‘these studies on the Gospel of John have been designed to encourage members of Bible study groups to share their interpretations of the Gospel and relate its themes to their own experiences and situations.’ Although this is undoubtedly true, and this is something of a personal preference, I have found the individual studies to be a little wordy and I wonder if asking more questions would help to tease out personal thoughts and interpretations. Therefore, these studies, like all Bible study material, need some preparatory work by the one who is leading.
The material is well thought through and presented, albeit a bit wordy, but this should not put anyone off from using it, and this is acknowledged within the Introduction. In short, one could say that they are for an established group and not one starting off.
The study is split into two distinct sections; one looking at the ‘I am’ sayings and the other at the ‘signs’. Each section is sensitively covered and in a way that, once the leader has properly prepared, opens up the themes contained therein, drawing on the experiences of the members of the group. There is richness in the diversity of the questions posed; from asking when one first heard the opening verses of chapter one to how the Eucharist brings life, both in worship and in ordinary life.
All in all, one can instantly tell that this Bible study has been created with care and a sense of wanting the participant to engage with themes found within John’s Gospel. A very useful study, but one must be mindful, as always, of how one approaches its leading.

Review by David Howarth  (26/03/11)
Jacket
Publisher: SPCK (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge)
Published: 20 August 2009
ISBN: 978-0-281-06168-6
Paperback
Price: £9.99

What is Contextual Bible Study?

- A Practical Guide with Group Studies for Advent and Lent

by John Riches


John Riches outlines the use of Contextual Bible Study in different projects mainly in Scotland during the last few years. Two facilitators work with a group through a pre-determined passage of scripture with pre-determined questions. The participants are encouraged to apply the study to modern situations. However it does not appear that the historical context or the theological background are seriously outlined or discussed. Therefore creating a situation where a liberal theology emerges. In addition the studies have been used for political and social action. An example of this is the holding of a Bible study outside Faslane Trident submarine base.
The book does raise the issue of how we can make the Bible more relevant to people today, but there is the need to remember that the Bible is God’s word.

Review by Bob Stoneham  (05/02/11)
Jacket
Publisher: SPCK (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge)
Published: 23 September 2010
ISBN: 978-0-281-06198-3
Paperback
Price: £9.99

Growing Together With The People’s Preacher

- Four-Session Small-group Study

Featuring Peter Morden


This course requires a booklet for each participant, and one copy of the DVD which comes with it’s own booklet included. I wish the camera had been steadier at the very beginning of the DVD, but that dismay was soon forgotten in the excellence of the remaining presentation. The book and film, The People’s Preacher, that this study course has been taken from, are both excellent, and this course is a bonus.
The booklet has helpful advice for the leader, and then material for each week of the course containing a Bible Focus with it’s reference, discussion suggestions with a small space for personal notes, prayers, a ‘personal reflection’ with further suggestions for Bible reading and a page to record your personal journey.

£18.99 for the accompanying DVD with booklet.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (01/02/11)
Jacket
Publisher: CWR (Crusade for World Revival)
Published: 2010
ISBN: 978-1-853-45577-3
Booklet
Price: £2.50

Emmaus – The Way of Faith – Stage 2: Nurture

- A 15-session course for exploring the Christian Faith, 2nd edition, includes free CDRom

by Stephen Cottrell, Steven Croft, John Finney, Felicity Lawson and Robert Warren


1st edition published 1996
Nurture is the main stage of the Emmaus Course, designed to help people move on from knowing nothing about the Christian faith to becoming established as a new Christian in the life of the Church.
This second edition has been fully revised and now includes a welcome CD-ROM with a wealth of support material. This includes files for concise handouts, which can be downloaded for each member of a group. Previously these were lengthier and could only be photocopied from the book.
Nurture comprises fifteen sessions, each with enough material for one evening. A session contains leader’s notes and handouts referred to above. Leader’s notes have been extensively revised and updated and now include helpful background reading, together with a range of suggestions for other helpful materials. The addition of icons makes it much easier to locate particular passages quickly and improves the appearance of the text.
As a leader, I have found this book a considerable improvement on the first edition and I would recommend it to anyone thinking of running an Emmaus course.

Review by Dr Tony South, Emmaus Group leader, Leominster Priory.

The book has its own website:www.e-mmaus.org.uk

Review by Guest reviewer  (01/02/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Church House Publishing (CHP) part of Hymns Ancient & Modern
Published: Spring 2010
ISBN: 978-0-715-14228-8
A4 Paperback
Price: £25.00

Love is the Meaning

- Growing in Faith with Julian of Norwich

by Ann Lewin


First published under the title Growing in Love by Inspire an Imprint of the Methodist Publishing House, in 2006
Here are five sessions for a Julian group, or for reading through and meditating on your own. If you should read it on your own, you will benefit by discussing with someone else, what you have read and thought about.
Each person in a group needs their own copy, and it is useful to start by reading the Preface and the Introduction, even if you are familiar with Julian’s story and her writings.
The sessions are entitled Coping with troubled times; The Nature of God; Prayer; Sin; and the familiar phrase All Shall be well.
Each session is followed by suggested questions to ponder, sources of further information, and a suggested form of worship with which to end the session, which is repeated for all five.
I had not read through this book before, but was so glad that it had been reprinted enabling yet more people to benefit from Ann Lewin’s guidance.

Related website:www.julianmeetings.org

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (11/01/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Canterbury Press imprint of Hymns Ancient & Modern Ltd
Published: 27 October 2010
ISBN: 978-1-848-25050-5
Paperback
Price: £8.99

John For Everyone Bible Study Guides



by Tom Wright


One of a series of guides written for use by individuals or groups, developed from Tom Wright’s New Testament for Everyone series, where he has translated the New Testament afresh.
At the beginning of each of the books in this series, Tom Wright talks about the individual book and then gives suggestions and guidance for individual use, then group use. At the end of each book are Guidelines for Leaders enabling those with no experience of leading to feel confident and capable of doing a good job.
Because of the varying lengths of the books, there are different numbers of sessions outlined, so be prepared to accommodate this in your planning.
Tom Wright encourages individuals whether on their own or in groups to think seriously how the reading for the session speaks to them as individuals and as members of the church. He writes notes to aid the thoughts or discussions and of course more information is in the relevant book in his New Testament For Everyone series.

Others in the series so far (October 2010) are – Matthew, ISBN 978-0-281-06179-2
Mark ISBN 978-0-281-06178-5
Acts ISBN 978-0-281-06380-2
Romans ISBN 978-0-281-06180-8
1 Corinthians ISBN 978-0-281-06176-1
2 Corinthians ISBN 978-0-281-06356-7
Galations ISBN 978-0-281-06357-4
Ephesians ISBN 978-0-281-06177-8
Philippians ISBN 978-0-281-06226-372
Colossians and Philemon ISBN 978-0-281-06175-4
1&2 Thessalonians ISBN 978-0-281-06181-5
1-2 Timothy and Titus ISBN 978-0-281-06182-2
Hebrews ISBN 978-0-281-06379-6

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (05/10/10)
Jacket
Publisher: SPCK (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge)
Published: 2010
ISBN: 978-0-281-06225-6
Paperback
Price: £4.99

God’s Green Book

- Seven Bible Studies about the Environment

by Charlotte Sleigh & Bryony Webb


These really are Bible studies with a difference and that difference is not just the topic of the environment and 'green issues' but for me it's the fact that this is a set of studies with a lot of facts and figures and practical activities mixed in with the Bible studies themselves. Yes the studies all revolve around the environment and green issues but they also revolve around the issue of ethics, justice and responsibility and that makes these challenging and exciting studies to undertake. The ‘taking it further’ sections within each study offer a practical activity, a creative reflection, more facts and figures and lastly more Bible study to undertake.
It is challenging and yet easy to read and really would be an excellent study to do in small groups and by the whole church community.

Review by Melanie Carroll  (19/04/10)
Jacket
Publisher: SPCK (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge)
Published: 21 January 2010
ISBN: 978-0-281-06206-5
Paperback
Price: £8.99

Kaleidoscope



by Patsy Clairmont


This book takes as it’s starting point the book of proverbs and is aimed at women, however let me say this is a great small group resource for any group not just for women. So ok I admit the devotional chat styled main parts of each chapter/section are female centric stories, however with a little tweaking most of them can work for a mixed audience because the sentiments are almost universal, but what makes the book for me are not really the meat of the chapters, but rather the afters, that is to say the sections subtitled Bits & pieces, which are a series of questions that yes tie in with the chapters story but nonetheless are great questions for discussion starters or for more personal consideration. This with the themed scripture verses in the ‘hold onto the light’ section makes this an interesting and useful book to have around. I do have to admit though that I would have preferred the book had it not been aimed at the female market but rather just aimed at all – but then that’s because I don’t entirely agree with the men/woman divide becoming more prevalent. Wisdom is universal – that’s what this book is all about so we shouldn’t have to come at it from a make/female way, did we forget somewhere along the line that in Him is no male or female?
Still this aside it’s a good book and very easy to read, though worth taking a little time with.

Review by Melanie Carroll  (17/04/10)
Jacket
Publisher: Thomas Nelson From TMD or Joining the Dots
Published: 01 March 2010
ISBN: 978-1-400-20270-6
Hardback
Price: £10.99