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Just released! A Birthday at the Zoo

A Birthday at the Zoo by Matthew Tran and Tamara Reed Tran

Authors Matthew Tran and Tamara Reed Tran are excited to announce the publication of their second children’s book, A Birthday at the Zoo! The couple wanted to pay homage to the rich diversity within their family. This book tells the story of a little boy who is celebrating his birthday at the zoo. He is on a mission to make sure all his guests are able to enjoy the fun. It is easy to see that his family is bonded together by their love for one another. Beautifully illustrated, the book is written for young readers, aged 4-6.

Author Tamara Reed Tran says, “now, more than ever, it is critical that we learn to respect our differences and embrace our similarities, for it means something and has an impact beyond what the eye can see. After all, at our core, we are ALL people!”

Available on Amazon.com in paperback and e-book format. Purchase our copy today!

 

 

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New Release — Cyber Outreach: How to Develop and Evaluate Your Digital Ministries

How to Develop and Evaluate Your Digital Ministries is a “how-to” text for anyone who is just starting to explore the use of technology for discipleship, worship, outreach, and other forms of service. All of the approaches we mention are simple and inexpensive to implement. The book is written at a basic level.

Throughout the text, we will help you find answers to several questions: •How do we redefine “church” in an era of physical isolation?

  • How do we build a sacred community when we are distanced from each other?
  • What is the purpose of Christian outreach?
  • •How do we care for each other spiritually while sheltering in place?
  • How do we know if we are doing a good job?

The overall purpose of this book is to provide guidance to small, cyber churches and other digital outreach initiatives that are trying to continue their ministries with limited financial resources. Our intended audience includes pastors, ministerial leaders, media coordinators, seminarians, and laypeople who are drawn to new ways of reaching out to audiences hungry for inspiration and hope by meeting the people where they are to be found. Those involved in digital outreach might use approaches described in this book to expand their current programs.

Available now on Amazon.com

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Knowing Justice, Knowing Peace — NEW JOURNAL JUST RELEASED

Knowing Justice, Knowing Peace

Perhaps you’ve attended one of the virtual rallies recently. Electrified words linger powerfully in the air all around you. Throughout the speeches, the possibilities of freedom and change resonate in your spirit.

Tired, but hopeful, you watch the marchers brandish their signs. You desire to stand with them. A policy change is in order! You want to make a difference this time around, but you don’t know how to do it. Maybe it’s your season to stir things up from the inside out, time to change the system by changing yourself. Knowing Justice, Knowing Peace will help you turn your passion and outrage into action. Engaging in the daily disciplines of journaling and prayer will empower you to grapple with the hard issues as you seek a way forward that works for you.

This diary provides a structured format based on adult learning theory to facilitate your self-awareness of systemic racism and injustice in America. Scripture and photographs, along with your own reflections on news of the day, evoke a prayer response. Daily devotion using a diary can serve as a scaffold as you work to resolve areas of dissonance and move towards personal transformation.

Knowing Justice, Knowing Peace is available on Amazon

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CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Do you have skills as a curriculum developer? Are you concerned about social justice issues? Are you interested in Christian education?

Center Street Publishing is looking for qualified authors and educators to help us develop curriculum materials dealing with unity, justice, peace, and love. Assignments will be made on a contractual basis. Our primary audience will be adults. However, we would welcome participation by those skilled in middle school education. Send inquiries to Dr. Lorrie C. Reed at CSpubsinfo@gmail.com. Let your light shine!

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CALL FOR MANUSCRIPTS

Over the last few weeks, we have observed people from all racial groups and walks of life who are disconcerted with the current state of affairs and wish to contribute to the attainment of racial equality and social justice. Although they stand in solidarity with the cause, some feel powerless to effectuate meaningful change.

Many of these supporters need opportunities to introspect and process their own feelings and values. Currently, good-quality, issue-focused adult learning materials are in short supply. The editorial staff at Center Street Publishing aims to bridge the gap.

We are seeking to work with aspiring authors to develop and publish adult learning resources that facilitate self-awareness and transformation. To that end, we are issuing a call for book-length manuscripts, workbooks, collections of personal growth exercises, and other learning materials that help readers understand and grapple with issues of systemic racism and injustice in America. Please send inquiries to Dr. Lorrie C. Reed at CSpubsinfo@gmail.com. Let your light shine!

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Praying from the Bottom Up

A couple of years ago, I received a call from Joyce (not her real name). She had recently accepted Jesus as her personal savior and was in the process of trying to solidify her relationship with the Lord. After reciting her understanding of the basic tenets of Christianity and sharing her beliefs about salvation, she admitted that she was still confused and a bit frustrated. She needed clarity.

Someone along the way had told her to pray about it. And so she did. Joyce said to me that she had been praying the same prayer every day, three or four times a day, for the Lord to reveal a way forward. Then she repeated her prayer and exclaimed, “It’s not working!”

Like so many other new Christians who are seeking maturity in their relationship with the Lord, Joyce thought that her prayers had to take on the characteristics of a secret formula in order to be authentic. She believed that by saying the “right” words in the “right” order, God would hear her petitions and answer. What she failed to realize was that her approach did little to help her build a relationship with the One with whom she desired to have intimacy.

Joyce and I used this experience as a way to broaden her thinking about prayer. There is more than one right way to pray! There is power in all forms of prayer.  And the Lord God hears them all!

Praying from the Bottom Up:  Beside Still Waters – A Devotional and Prayer Journal can serve as a tool to help you learn more about prayer. Using scripture, photography, and reflective prompts, the journal provides a scaffold for those who wish to develop a daily discipline and build a relationship with God.

My gift to you – Obtain your eBook FREE between June 1 and June 5.

Available now on Amazon.com

Read what others are saying about the book:

“I love it!  We are entering what someone referred to as a ‘different’ normal, and we need to relook at those things we considered normal for a fresh take. Dr. Reed has provided this with God’s Word in an easy to follow format that counters the complexity of this season. The journal offers readers an opportunity for deep reflection in a non-intimidating structure”. – Rev. Melody L. Seaton, Pastor, Grace United Church of Christ-

“I love the format of the prayer journal. The purpose of the book, instructions on how to use the journal, and the layout are all clear and easy to understand. I feel that people of all ages, backgrounds, etc. will be able to utilize this resource. The beginning provides sufficient instruction and information concerning prayer. This will also be a great resource for someone who is a new Christian and is being disciple-d by someone more mature in Christ. This can even be useful for “seekers” – those who do not actually have a relationship with Christ. I feel that it will help them to draw closer to Him.  Overall, I think it is great for people of all levels!” – Valarie Cooper, Member, Waukegan Community Church

“I enthusiastically endorse this straightforward and practical “Devotional and Prayer Journal.” Especially helpful for me personally, were the chapters focusing on the  “Daily Devotional Tools” and “Finding Your Own Prayer Style.” I have been an academician and clinician for over thirty years and even though I am a Christian, I have often felt that my public prayers were not powerful enough to actually be effective. This journal has changed my views about my prayer life.” – Mary Allen Carey, Ph.D., Allen Carey Associates, LLC —-

“It is a pleasure to endorse this timely book. “Praying from the Bottom Up: Beside Still Waters-A Devotional and Prayer Journal” provides an opportunity for anyone seeking to develop a more intimate focus on their spiritual walk. Many times when I am reading my Bible or praying, I love to jot down notes and scriptures. This ‘Prayer Journal’ gives me another format to support and enrich my prayer life.” – Min. Dr. Dorothy Thompson, Minister, Africa Resurrection & Restoration Ministries (ARRM)

 

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Do you remember?

Do you remember?

For people from my generation, the question might be, “Where were you when John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, at 12:30 p.m.? That date evokes vivid memories that spring forth in living color. I was in junior high school, and our concert band was participating in a regional music festival involving dozens of schools in Lake County, IL. The clarinet section was rehearsing for the big concert to take place later that evening. When the announcement came over the loudspeaker, we sat stunned in a state of disbelief.

Where were you when the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed in 1968? When I heard the news, I was visiting with my sister during her college spring break. We ventured onto Michigan Avenue in Chicago that afternoon just to see what was happening. We cringed in disbelief as angry people threw trash cans through shop windows in the South Loop. Later on the news, we saw buildings and businesses on the West Side blazing out of control. The crowd chanted, “Burn it down!”

What about “9/11” when the Twin Towers came crashing down in 2001? I was teaching at the university that day. Before class, I entered the office to retrieve my mail. People huddled around the TV as they watched in horror. The networks played the scene over and over again. Airplanes crashed into the buildings, and smoke billowed from wounds gashed into the majestic skyscrapers.

One day, your children may ask, “Where were you during the Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020?” What will you tell them about this historic event? What did you see? How did you feel? What messages did your soul whisper to you as the earth struggled to arrive at a “new normal”?

I suspect that various interpretations of the incident will emerge. Various voices will narrate the history of this incredible period in our lives. Will your voice be among them? What will be your version of the story?

Don’t miss this opportunity to journal your journey. Write it down so that others will know what you went through in 2020. And, when the time is right, consider publishing your story to share with future generations. Just let us know when you’re ready.

Lorrie Reed