The Heartbeat of God Leader's Guide: <br>

This comprehensive teaching tool will help you guide students to a deeper understanding of the secular issues of our day that have profoundly religious roots, and our responsibility to take action as individuals and communities of faith.

Jenifer Gamber

8½ x 11, 83 pp | 978-1-59473-308-6

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Insights from a pioneering leader in world religion, on the intersections of the sacred & the secular.

“As Christians—indeed as people of faith of any tradition—we are called to tend to the needs of the least among us. Our response to them must be the response of faith. God gives us a new heart to do this work, and every time we gather to do it, God offers a pacemaker jolt to tweak our heart’s rhythm. The challenge is this: will our hearts respond with a strengthened beat, in tune with God’s own heartbeat, sending more life out into the world?”

—from the Introduction

Explore our connections—as human beings with each other, as one nation with all other nations, as the human species with the whole of our environment—through the lens of faith. Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church, examines these connections as she looks at the intersections of faith with the major issues of our day:

  • How does faith speak to poverty, climate change, the economy, health care, and what is the faith response?
  • How can believers from many faith traditions find common ground while honoring the Divine, serving one another, and creating deeper community?
  • How do we best use the resources of faith to connect us to the hearts of our neighbors and to the heart of God?

“Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, with her elegant, light touch, shows how an authentic Christianity demands a concern for, and an involvement with, thoroughly mundane issues such as ending poverty and hunger, providing health care, and dealing with climate change, gender equality and crime. In her version of reality, everything is sacred except sin.”

The Rt. Rev. Desmond Tutu

““[Jefferts Schori] doesn’t just point out the problems plaguing the world ... she also provides guidance and asks questions that make readers examine their hearts.... Germane to people of all faiths.... Encourages us that together we can overcome adversity.”

“By meditations on scripture and personal anecdotes, Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori calls the Church to love our neighbor as ourselves and gives examples of how to do so.”

John C. Danforth, Episcopal priest; former US senator from Missouri; special envoy for peace in Sudan; US ambassador to the United Nations

“A down to earth, heartfelt exposition of biblical truth for everyday life—from a remarkable, barrier-breaking woman.”

Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell, author, Living into Hope: A Call to Spiritual Action for Such a Time as This

“Timely ... peppered with wisdom and perspective born of reflective and courageous living.... Adeptly weaves together Scripture, personal experience, insights from current events and wisdom from others.... Nothing short of prophetic.”

Christian Feminism Today

“With a sense of proportion informed by hope ...  gives us a great gift: the sound of a voice of calm in the midst of seemingly perpetual storm.”

Jon Meacham, author, American Gospel; winner of the Pulitzer Prize

“Uses a sensitive spiritual stethoscope to detect the ‘heartbeat of God’ among people crying out for justice…. A wonderful invitation to join Bishop Katharine in a powerful and prayerful twenty-first-century reflection.”

Maureen Fiedler, host of Interfaith Voices (a public radio show); editor, Breaking Through the Stained Glass Ceiling: Women Religious Leaders in Their Own Words

“Relevant, practical, and actionable ... well suited for personal study.... An incredibly rich resource.... Has the power to change the way you live by resetting your spiritual cardiac rhythm to that of God’s own heart.”

“Bishop Jefferts Schori wrestles—sincerely and fearlessly—with the call of the gospel and with every kind of impediment we have to a vibrant response to that call. Her exploration of the core teachings of Christian texts will challenge and illuminate people far beyond the Episcopal world.”           

Andrea Cohen-Kiener, author, Claiming Earth as Common Ground: The Ecological Crisis through the Lens of Faith

“Maintains that Christians are challenged to help bring about the commonweal of God.”

Spirituality & Practice

Foreword ix
Acknowledgments xi
Introduction xiii
Part One
Connecting with the Margins 1
Serving the Poor 3
Healing for All 20
Listening for the Voice of God 25
Creative Survival 30
Opening Doors to Women 35
Seeking Our Roots 41
Peace Work 46

Part Two
Connecting Faith with Public Life 51
Immigration and Faith 53
Salt of the Earth 57
Heaven on Earth 62
Blessed Are the Change Makers 67
Provoking Love 72
Interrupting Business as Usual 77
Mission Possible 82
Ubuntu 87

Part Three
Connecting with Creation 93
God on the Gulf Coast 95
Science and Faith 99
The Ecology of Faith 106
Good Shepherd 112

Part Four
Connecting with the Heart of God 117
Who Is Jesus in the World Today? 119
Finding Our Way Home 127
Stardust 131
The Dream of God 134
Called by Name 139
The Web of Life 143
Saints and Superheroes 148

Holy Conversation 153
Part Five
Healing Broken Connections 159
Practicing Peace 161
Pentecost Continues 166
Living the Questions 172
High Anxiety 177
Pushing the Boundaries 182
Go Forth for God 187
Fossils 192
A Moveable Feast 196
Healing Division 201
Finding God in Dissent 206
Notes 211
Suggestions for Further Reading 213