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Three new Advocate Press books slated for release in November

Three new Advocate Press books slated for release in November

Three books of interest to United Methodists in South Carolina are planned for release this November, and two more are on their heels in early December.

Set to be released by the Advocate Press, which is the Advocate newspaper’s book-publishing arm, the books are “varied and strong,” said Advocate Editor Jessica Brodie.

They include “Faith in Action: Stories of Salkehatchie Summer Service,” compiled by the Rev. John Wesley Culp Jr.; “What I Have Come to Believe,” a spiritual reflection by the Rev. Arthur H. Holt, and “Walk with Me: Your Spiritual Esteem Journey,” by the Rev. Cathy Joens and Toni Taylor.

“All three books are different but excellent,” Brodie said. “We’re excited to see them reach publication.”

The Salkehatchie book contains stories written by Salkehatchie volunteers from the ministry’s early days. Founded by Culp, Salkehatchie started in 1978 and continues every summer, with the exception of the last two years because of COVID-19. Registration starts soon for the 2022 season, and ministry leaders hope the stories will inspire and encourage a new generation of students to come alongside seasoned adults to repair homes in some of South Carolina’s most poverty-stricken communities. Many of the people who wrote the stories were teens when they volunteered and now are doctors, lawyers, advocates and other key leaders in their field; Culp said one is even a diplomat stationed at the United States Embassy in Italy.

Holt’s book is a reflection from the retired longtime pastor about his spiritual journey, exploring how his theology has changed over the years from conservative evangelical to theological liberal. As the book asks, “Are you wavering in some of your theological convictions? Have you given faith the boot from your life, believing it has no place in our modern scientific world? Or are you confused about how to reconcile what you read in Scripture with the “love all” model Jesus Christ offers in his own life?” Holt hopes his reflections—on everything from abortion, science, sexuality, and the End Times to sin, the spirit, and the Bible—will help others in their own faith journey.

And Joens and Taylor’s “Walk with Me” is a fascinating exploration of the messy journey of living out our faith, helping readers dive into the concept of spiritual esteem, gain confidence in their relationship with God and discover how the Lord perfectly equips people with all they need to serve and lead—no perfectionism required.  It asks important questions such as: What are we waiting for? What do we need to give us the confidence to lead in the church? Are we holding out for a self-help book called, “Get Over It and Lead in the Church?” Or are we waiting for a 10-step program or course that provides us a certificate that proclaims we are now equipped to lead in our church? These don’t exist. As the introduction explains, “This book is about having the vulnerability to be in an authentic relationship with God, with yourself, and with others. This authentic relationship fuels the courage to show up, lean in and reach out to people even when you have no idea of the outcome. It calls for courage to be there for someone who needs you and risk what is beyond your control.”

The books will be released in November. Check advocatesc.org/books for updates and preorders.

The Advocate has two more books slated for publication before the end of the year: a poetry collection by Stephon C. Void, “From My Heart to Your Eyes: Poems of Faith and Social Justice,” and a devotional for youth, “Who Am I?” by Cindy Barrineau Curtis. More information will come on these books in the next edition of the Advocate.

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