Vol. 36, No. 2
1) Servant Leadership Models for Your Parish: Written by Dan Ebener, this book explores the practice of servant leadership in a church context. It presents seven behaviors practiced by leaders and members in high-performing parishes and provides real-life examples of these practices. 288 pages, published by Paulist Press, 800-218-1903.
2) The Story of Citizens United v. FEC: Created by Annie Leonard, this video looks at the growing power of U.S. corporations. Leonard, director of The Story of Stuff Project, made the film after the disastrous 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (FEC) that permitted corporations to spend freely to influence U.S. elections. The eight-minute video explores the history of the U.S. corporations and corporate political spending, the appropriate roles of citizens and for-profit corporations in a democracy and the toxic impact the Citizens United decision has already had on our political process. It ends with a call to amend the U.S. Constitution to confirm that people—not corporations—make the decisions in a democracy. Available for viewing and download here.
3) Why stay Catholic? Unexpected answers to a life-changing question: In this book published by Loyola Press, Orbis Books publisher emeritus and editor-at-large Michael Leach focuses on, in short and digestible chapters, ideas, people, and places that exemplify Catholicism's best. He ranges from theological-institutional (Catholics have powerful sacramental imaginations that allow them to glimpse God unexpectedly) to just plain fun (Catholics like to party; Jesus did, too). His "places" highlight the infrastructure of institutions that Catholics have built within society: charities, hospitals, schools, relief agencies – all an integral part of the U.S.'s social backbone. 304 pages, $14.95. www.loyolapress.com, 800-621-1008.
4) Coming to Consciousness: Reflections for Lent 2011: Angie O'Gorman writes short reflections on the Lent lectionary readings. The reflections ask us to come to consciousness of God, acknowledging the ways in which we see God and also deny God's kingdom in our everyday lives. Also available in Spanish.
5) Jubilee USA campaigns: This spring, Jubilee USA launches two campaigns, Voices of Esther and the 1,000 Faith Leaders Initiative. "Voices of Esther" will inspire and support U.S. citizens who want to use their voices to impact legislators on issues of economic justice. The 1,000 Faith Leaders Initiative will get at least that many heads of denominations, communities and others to sign a letter to President Obama urging him to implement debt relief and financial reform for the world's poorest people. To learn more about either campaign, contact Jubilee USA.
6) There you go: Published by Survival International, Oren Ginzberg's online book uses cartoon imagery to show the dangerous parallels between past colonialism and modern democratic development. View the book at www.survivalinternational.org/thereyougo. Survival International works to protect the lifestyle of tribal people by helping them protect their lands, lives and futures.