Press Release: Forest Life

Posted in: New Releases- Aug 30, 2012 No Comments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SHANE CRASH OFFERS A POST-MODERN TALE OF DEPRESSION, LOSS, AND ULTIMATELY LOVE

San Jose, CA, April 3, 2011 – Shane Crash has crafted a post-modern tale of depression, loss and redemptive love. Forest Life is the author’s semi-autobiographical tale of learning to overcome the terrible tragedy of the loss of a soul mate.

This fictional account follows Emmett Thompson as he retreats to seclusion in the woods of Paris, Tennessee. After suffering the loss of a loved one, Emmett struggles to sustain the will to live. He must confront his suffering and overcome it, before it permanently destroys him.

Shane’s work has already been compared to William P. Young’s The Shack for it’s willingness to take on the deeper and often darker aspects of our relationship to life, God, and what it means to make it through suffering.

Shane says this about the book, “Forest Life is a book about enduring in the face of suffering. The story deals with the issue of mortality and the inevitable loss of love in life. It features a character who struggles to grapple with the questions that accompany death. It’s a very personal story that deals with very personal issues like suicide, alcoholism and disillusionment with humanity. The book sweeps from failure to triumph in the midst of darkness and despair.”

For more information about the book, visit Civitas Press’ website at http://civitaspress.com/portfolio/forest-life/.

Forest Life is available online at Amazon.com, B&N.com and in bookstores.

About the Author

Shane Crash is an American author and activist. He’s published several zines centered on alleviating poverty and homelessness. In 2009 he co-authored a collection of satire and poetry in the short zine, Lost Thoughts. And in 2010 he released Travel Logs, a short chronicle of his travels across the globe.

He’s a student of cosmology and physics. From the age of 21 to 23, Shane traveled the world, voluntarily homeless, living out of a backpack, traveling from city to city.  Shane has partnered with the Catholic Worker House to care for single mothers fleeing abuse. He’s also partnered with the Catholic Workers to tutor immigrants, teaching English and American history.

Shane often speaks on nonviolence and social responsibility. He runs Pacifist Army, a volunteer group of nonviolent activists who raise awareness on various social issues, including nonviolence and poverty.

Shane passionately advocates for education and nonviolent alternatives to war. He’s a fan of marvel comics and pizza.

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New Community Project: Soul Bare

Posted in: Call For Submissions, Community Projects- Jul 13, 2012 No Comments

Civitas Press is pleased to announce a new community project called, Soul Bare: Reflections on Becoming Human.  This community project will be a collection of stories that explore people’s experiences with facing their fears and discovering the hidden human being underneath.

Cara Sexton explains: “Standing emotionally naked before God and others, facing our fears and removing the masks of false self can be an intimidating but richly prolific experience.  I developed this project to explore both the journey into authenticity and the destination of greater love and understanding. It is a progression of salvaging our own broken pieces, telling our story, and gaining a deeper understanding of one another and of God’s beautiful purpose for us as we seek to develop who we have been into who we are becoming. Soul Bare journeys into to the depths of human experience, exploring the redemptive purpose of authentic, soul-bare expression.

We are looking for real, honest stories of people wrestling with what it means to take off the mask and discover the real human being inside. We encourage you to let it all out on the page, and share in detail both the external circumstances and the internal conflicts that arise because of it.  When at all possible show – don’t tell.  Give us the gritty details, the emotions, the conflict, how you felt, how you responded (good and bad), and what you learned, if applicable to your story. Although we rarely censor graphic content or language if it serves the story, we ask that you use discretion. Please make sure that in telling your story, you do not condemn those who are finding church on a different path. We are NOT looking for self-help essays on solutions, professional opinions, theological argumentation, or personal agendas.

Jonathan Brink, publisher at Civitas Press, had this to say about the project. “Cara approached me with a genuine idea that embraces the spirit of inspiration we’re always looking for in a great project.  Soul Bare is meant to invite people to discover who we are underneath all the pretense and social constructs.  I’m really looking forward to this one.

About the Author: Cara Sexton is passionate about artistic expression and its relation to living out authenticity in the Christian faith. She is a wife and mama/foster mom who lives in beautiful Southern Oregon and spends her days chasing children, drinking coffee, scribbling words, kissing freckles, laughing, and staring across oceans of evergreens alongside her husband (and vicious Scrabble opponent), Ryan. She pairs fine wine with fast-food french fries and cannot be trusted with chocolate…or lipstick. Cara is a regular contributor for BibleDude.net, and her work is featured in many online communities including DaySpring’s {in}courage, the MOB Society, and the High Calling. She is also a contributing author for two current Civitas Press titles: What a Woman is Worth and Finding Church. Cara blogs at WhimsySmitten.com, where she writes raw about life, authenticity, chaos, love, faith, art, family, pain, and the beautiful mystery of grace.

Submission Deadline: November 1, 2012

Estimated Publishing Date: February 1, 2013

For project submission information, authors can go here.

Press Release: Spirit-Led Parenting

Posted in: Book Announcements, New Releases- Apr 03, 2012 No Comments

TWO MOTHERS CRAFT A REDEMPTIVE APPROACH TO PARENTING A NEWBORN

San Jose, CA, April 3, 2011 – Christian authors Megan Tietz and Laura Oyer have crafted a redemptive, freedom based approach to parenting a new born, which they share in Spirit-Led Parenting, From Fear To Freedom In Baby’s First Year.

After reading all the spiritual parenting manuals that offered specific ways of parenting a child, Tietz and Oyer found themselves failing miserably because their child just wouldn’t fit inside the traditional box.  Both needed and found the freedom to step outside of the traditional approach and following the leading of the Spirit.

This new approach, called Spirit-Led Parenting places an emphasis on stepping into faith with God in order to discover what works for each parent and child.  It allows parents to find ways that work for their child in a powerful way.

Spirit-Led Parenting shares the long, and often troubling journey it took to get to freedom, on the authors call redemptive.  Megan states, “Regret, disappointment, and frustration mark our earliest days of mothering. More than anything, we were terrified that we were failing – failing our children, our husbands, and our God. The more we resisted the movement of the Spirit within and chose instead to cling to the pages of the parenting books, the more miserable we became. God rescued us from our fear-induced misery and put our feet on the path to freedom. Our heart for new parents is that they may know the growth, peace, and joy that comes from parenting under the leadership of His Spirit.”

Laura states, “Spirit-Led Parenting is, at its core, a redemption story. What began as two friends finding strength and solace in their similar parenting journeys became a God-driven passion to share with new parents and parents-to-be the real and unvarnished stories of where we began and how God turned it all around.  We want to tell them what we wish someone had told us when we became mothers, and open the door to a perspective that has made all the difference in our lives as mothers and as followers of Christ.  We wrote this book as an invitation to parents everywhere to let loose of fear and step into freedom.”

Spirit-Led Parenting is available online at Amazon.com, B&N.com and in bookstores.

About the Authors

MEGAN TIETZ is the creator of sortacrunchy.net, a blogging community devoted to discussion and dialogue at the crossroads of the Christian faith and the practice of natural family living.  Over a decade ago, she married her college sweetheart and now they are raising two of the sweetest girls you’ve ever met. They make their home on the windy plains of western Oklahoma.

LAURA OYER met her husband, Mark, in preschool, married him sixteen years later, and now spends her days caring for their two children and pretending to keep the house clean.  Mark and Laura serve in leadership at their church in northern Indiana, and she has served as part of her city’s Community Relations Commission.  Laura blogs at InTheBackyard.net.

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Call For Submission: Not Afraid

Posted in: Book Announcements, Call For Submissions- Feb 01, 2012 No Comments

This is a second call for submission.  The deadline for the Not Afraid community project has been extended to March 16th, 2012.  For more information, please download the project doc.

New Community Project: Finding Church

Posted in: Infos- Jan 11, 2012 9 Comments

Civitas Press is pleased to announce a new community project called, Finding Church.  This community project will be a collection of stories that explore people’s experiences with leaving, changing, finding, and transforming church.

The church is currently experiencing seismic shifts in how people think of church and get involved with church.  On the one hand, the number of mega churches in existence continues to increase every year. People are returning to church who have not attended in years, and more often than not, when they return to church, it is to a mega church where they get the best sermons, the best music, and the best programming. In a culture where excellence is required, mega churches are often seeing substantial increases in size and influence.

But at the same time, millions of people “leave church” every year. This is not because they are abandoning God, ignoring Scripture, or giving up on Jesus. While a few do leave for such reasons, the vast majority report that they leave church to better follow Jesus, obey God, and live out their faith in meaningful and relational ways. They stop attending church to pursue something more intimate and personal.

Behind each and every person who has returned to church or stopped attending church, there is a story filled with doubt, fear, and judgment, as well as faith, freedom, and redemption. And though millions of people have similar stories, many feel alone on their journey back to or away from church. It also does not help that those people who are returning to church often condemn and criticize those who are leaving, and those who are leaving sometimes judge and denounce those who return.

It is for these reasons that your story needs to be told. Telling your story will inspire others to take a step of faith in following your example, and will help those who disapprove to hear what led to understand the decision you made and why you made it.

We are looking for real, honest stories of people wrestling with this issue. We encourage you to let it all out on the page, and share in detail both the external circumstances and the internal conflicts that arise because of it.  When at all possible show – don’t tell.  Give us the gritty details, the emotions, the conflict, how you felt, how you responded (good and bad), and what you learned, if applicable to your story. Although we rarely censor graphic content or language if it serves the story, we ask that you use discretion. Please make sure that in telling your story, you do not condemn those who are finding church on a different path. We are NOT looking for self-help essays on solutions, professional opinions, theological argumentation, or personal agendas.

Jeremy Myers

Jeremy Myers will be leading the project.  Jeremy says, “In the past seven years I transitioned from being a senior pastor of a church to not even attending church. Some assume this is because I lost my faith, abandoned God, or gave up on church. Nothing could be further from the truth. Yet in trying to explain what happened, I found that the best approach was simply to tell my story. My hope is that through this project, we can all grow in understanding, unity, and love for one another as we each tell our stories of transition and listen to the stories of others.

Jonathan Brink, publisher at Civitas Press, had this to say about the project. “The moment I saw the project it instantly attracted me.  People are not leaving God but they are leaving the church.  And a community project that explores why seemed a great fit for Civitas.  It was easy to jump on board. Jeremy also had over 18 people who wanted to write for the project.  This one will move fast.

Submission Deadline: April 30th, 2012

Estimated Publishing Date: November 2012

For project submission information, authors can go here.

Fallen Pastor Press Release

Posted in: Book Announcements, New Releases- Jan 02, 2012 3 Comments

Former Pastor Highlights A Growing Problem

When Ray Carroll fell from the ministry due to adultery over two years ago, he began reaching out to other fallen pastors for answers. He knew he had sinned, but was trying to make sense of how he had reached the point he had. His research ended with some startling discoveries that exposed weaknesses in both ministers and the church culture.

In Fallen Pastor, Finding Restoration In A Broken World, Ray identifies the common decisions and cultural issues that continuously lead to the exact same outcome: a fallen pastor.  Ray highlights issues like isolation, the church as mistress, judgmentalism, and idolatry.  Ray offers no justification for what happened, instead seeking understanding that leads to a Biblical response of restoration.

1,500 pastors a month leave the ministry due to moral failure, conflict or burnout. 37% confess to having inappropriate sexual contact with someone at church. There is a serious systemic problem within the modern church and Fallen Pastor exposes and addresses these issues. Ray includes the story of his own fall as well as sharing the stories of twelve other pastors.

Ray states, “I’ve witnessed firsthand the desolation left behind after a pastor falls. It can be prevented but it takes the willingness of the community of faith to come together and recognize the warning signs and issues. After my own fall, I spent a long time in shame, searching for answers until I finally found the compassion of Christ who had been with me all along. Christ invites us to take on compassion for those around us who fall.

“The stories in this book lead us to see the common traits within our church leaders as well as our churches. Too often, our ministers are in a trap of high expectations, isolation and desperation. If the trap cannot be removed, many ministers will be headed toward a fall. Looking back, I can now see the problems that surrounded my ministry before I fell. I hope that others will be able to identify them now after reading this book.”

Fallen Pastor is available at the Civitas Press bookstore, online and retail bookstores.

About Ray Carroll

Ray Carroll is a certified athletic trainer, speaker and blogger (www.fallenpastor.com). He is married to Allison and has his hands full with a houseful of beautiful daughters: Abigail, Katie and Leslie. He lives in Hopkinsville, Kentucky with his heart always near his home state of Arkansas. He is a regular contributor to Provoketive Magazine and contributed an essay to The Practice of Love under his pseudonym Arthur Dimmesdale.

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Civitas Press Partners With Robb Ryerse

Posted in: Author Announcements- Dec 01, 2011 2 Comments

Civitas Press is pleased to announce that we are partnering with Robb Ryerse for the release of his book, Butterfly Theology (working title). Butterfly Theology tells the story of Robb’s theological transformation. Drawing from scenes throughout his life, Robb describes both the moments that shook the fundamentalism with which he was raised and the ways in which his faith has re-emerged more vibrant and alive than ever before.

Robb states, “I wrote Butterfly Theology because I don’t think I’m the only pastor who has preached sermons I wasn’t sure I believed. I don’t think I’m the only believer who had a crisis of faith over the certitude of fundamentalism. I don’t think I’m the only Christian who has tried to re-imagine our faith in an emerging culture. Butterfly Theology is the story of how my beliefs about God, life, and church have changed. My hope is that it will be an encouragement and help to those who are going through a similar metamorphosis.”

Jonathan, Publisher for Civitas says, “We’re very excited to partner with Robb. Butterfly Theology is the type of book that we’re always looking for, one that shows someone wrestling with theological foundations, and the subsequent journey that follows.  This was an easy choice for us to make.  Robb has a great story and one that will resonate with so many people.”

Butterfly Theology is scheduled for release on September, 2012. You can follow Robb for updates on the book on Facebook, on Twitter or on the Civitas Press Facebok Page.

About Robb: After pastoring fundamentalist churches for a decade, Robb Ryerse founded Vintage Fellowship, an emerging church in Fayetteville AR, where he serves as Narrator and Directional Leader. Robb journeys through life with Vanessa, his wife of fifteen years and their three children: Matilyn, Calvin, and Charleigh. He is a graduate of Biblical Theological Seminary in Hatfield PA and Baptist Bible College in Clarks Summit PA. Because he grew up in the Cleveland suburbs, Robb is ridiculously passionate about the Cleveland Browns. Robb blogs at The Grenzian.

New Community Project: What A Woman Is Worth

Posted in: Call For Submissions, Community Projects- Oct 31, 2011 20 Comments

Civitas Press is pleased to announce a new community project called, What A Woman Is Worth.  This community project will be a collection of essays that explore people’s experiences, perspectives, and thoughts on the worth of women and girls in an effort to bring about greater awareness of the cultural endemic that leaves them wounded, to offer catharsis, comfort, and community, and to give affirmation of the inestimable worth of all people. The infectious and lively personality Tamara Lunardo will be leading the project.

Tamara Lunardo

We are looking for real, honest stories of women who have struggled to believe in their own worth and stories that affirm the God-made worth of women and girls. We encourage you to let it all out on the page, and share in detail both the external circumstances and the internal conflicts that arise because of it.  When at all possible show – don’t tell.  Give us the gritty details, the emotions, the conflict, how you felt, how you responded (good and bad), and what you learned, if applicable to your story. Although we rarely censor graphic content or language if it serves the story, we ask that you use discretion. We are NOT looking for self-help essays on solutions, professional opinions, or agendas.

Tamara says, “Even as a woman comfortable in her skin and secure in her faith, I have so often struggled to believe what I’m worth in the face of the world’s blaring messages. By sharing my struggle publicly, I’ve taken an important step away from the oppressive isolation that silence causes and have been blessed to see so many other women join me in exposing the world’s lies and the damage they do us. My desire is that through this project we will continue to take steps toward health and truth and be able to believe more assuredly in our God-given worth.”

Jonathan Brink, publisher at Civitas Press says this about the project, “Tamara approached me about this project and I immediately loved it.  At the root of so many of our fears and doubts is the question of worth.  If we can create a work that inspired women to really discover their worth and inspire other women to do the same, then that’s the type of project we want to publish.

Initial Submissions are due: January 2, 2012.  Publication is targeted for July1, 2012.

For project submission information, authors can go here.

Civitas Press Partners With Shane Crash

Posted in: Author Announcements, Book Announcements- Oct 25, 2011 1 Comment

Civitas Press is pleased to announce that we are partnering with Shane Crash for the release of our first fiction book, Forest Life (working title).  Forest Life is a powerful narrative of one man’s struggle to sustain the will to live. The story follows a young man, recently widowed, who has retreated to the woods of Paris, Tennessee where he intends to examine the purpose of existence. It is a stark look at what it means to face the agony of death and the seeming futility of living without love. This is the opportunity to follow a ruined man on his journey to find reason and meaning in a world gone wrong.

Shane states, “Forest Life forces the reader to realize the necessity of purpose. I was forced in my own despair to look at the strangeness of existence and this book forces the reader to do likewise. Drawing from my own experience with death, this story showcases the way in which life strips away a person’s distractions, leaving them defenseless against life’s imponderable questions. This story impresses a message of hope and redemption even amongst life’s darkest moments.”

Jonathan, Publisher for Civitas says, “We’re very excited to partner with Shane.  This is our first jump into fiction and Shane immediately caught our attention.  His writing is exceptional and his story was deeply fascinating.  Readers will be captured by his style of storytelling.  It is fresh and remarkably imaginative.”

Forest Life is scheduled for release on June, 2012. You can follow Shane for updates on the book on Facebook, or on the Civitas Press Facebok Page.

About Shane: Shane Crash is an advocate for the homeless who has published several zines centered around social justice. After the experience of love leaving crippled Shane, he sold all of his worldly possessions, grabbed his backpack and hit the road.  His travels over the next two years took him through every major city in the United States and to other parts of the globe. In the dark of life’s despair, Shane Crash discovered a diamond, a perfect love that he is compelled to share with others through writing. Shane is a fan of marvel comics and lives in the pacific northwest with his wife.  Shane blogs at ShaneCrash.com.

Joy Wilson’s Uncensored Prayer Workshop

Posted in: Workshops- Oct 07, 2011 No Comments

Uncensored Prayer: The Spiritual Practice of Wrestling With God Workshop – November 7 – December 9, 2011

Are you searching for something deeper in your prayer life? This course is about the spiritual practice of discussing everything with God, risking honesty to gain intimacy through loving, trusting conversations.  It’s wrestling through anger, faith, pain, hope about every aspect of our lives.  No topic, language, or feeling is unholy.  It will cover how to know you’re hearing from God and explores a variety of ways to pray. This course is an opportunity to discover for yourself the redemptive freedom that comes from being totally honest with yourself and the One who loves you best.  As you practice stepping out of your comfort zone, you will begin to experience confidence in speaking freely with God in ways that are uniquely yours.

The instructor, Joy Wilson, is the author of Uncensored Prayer: The Spiritual Practice of Wrestling With God (Civitas Press, 2011).  Prior to starting the workshop, participants need to order this book, available here in the Civitas Bookstore or Amazon.com   http://www.amazon.com/Uncensored-Prayer-Spiritual-Practice-Wrestling/dp/0615480810/.  The five-week online class is self-paced so you can participate at any time during the week.  It includes readings in the texbook, prayer practice exercises, and online interactions with other students.

Class size is limited, so if you are interested, I encourage you to sign up today.  The cost is just $69.  To register, click here:  http://beadisciple.com/workshops.html#UncensoredPrayer.