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Jonathan (Jon) Barnes was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. From 2002 to 2012 he served Global Ministries (the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ) in South Africa and Mozambique, working with community development and theological education. While in South Africa he completed a Ph.D. in Mission Studies, focusing on issues of colonialism, neocolonialism, and power in ecumenical church relationships. He now works as Executive for Mission Education at Global Ministries, based in Indianapolis, Indiana.
“While the concept of partnership between churches in the Global North and South has been an ecumenical goal for well over eight decades, realizing relationships of mutuality, solidarity, and koinonia has been, to say the least, problematic. Seeking to understand the dynamics of power and control in these relationships, this work traces the history of how partnership has been lived out, both as a concept and in practice. It is argued that many of the issues that are problematic for partnerships today can find their antecedents during colonial times at the very beginnings of the modern missionary movement. For those interested in pursuing cross-cultural partnerships today, understanding this history and recognizing the use, as well as the misuse, of power is crucial as we seek genuine relationships of care and friendship in our fractured and divided world.”
“In reviewing the history of Protestant mission work, Barnes exposes major themes or issues that cause those of us from the West to continually fall short in realizing mature ecumenical relationships, and through this analysis helps us see new possibilities for these relationships in the future.”
Katie Savage was born into the Protestant Evangelical Christian tradition and has been writing about it ever since. (Although she will refuse to show you any of her prayer journals from high school. Those are totally embarrassing.) Katie has a BA in Creative Writing and English Education from Point Loma Nazarene University.
After college, Katie spent time teaching high school and junior high English and earning her MFA from the University of Kansas. She and Scott now live in Kansas City, with their two children, Miles and Genevieve. They are members of Redemption Church, where Scott is the associate pastor. Grace in the Maybe: Instructions on Not Knowing Everything about God is her first book.
Personal essays about faith, with a style somewhere between Anne Lamott and Ann Voskamp
“It seems to me that somewhere in the recent future, many Christians have begun to feel pressured to know all of the answers when it comes to God. I remember seeing a T-shirt in a Christian bookstore that said, “God said it. I believe it. That settles it.” When I was a girl, that sounded great! But as I’ve matured in my faith, I’ve come to realize that there is a great deal of mystery and unknowing when we talk about God. This is not a lack of faith—the acknowledgment that we don’t know all the answers about how God operates—in fact, I think the realization has deepened my faith and has helped me to understand, in the depths, that God is so much bigger and more holy than we have the capacity to gauge. Grace in the Maybe is all about how we can find glimpses of God’s nature in the everyday movements of our lives, in each spiritual season of faith, regardless of whether this gives us answers to anything.”
Excerpt from the book: “There was a time when I knew everything about God. I was young (you’re not surprised) and relatively arrogant (now you’re really not surprised). My team always won when we played Bible trivia games in my church youth group. I knew the stories of Jonah and Daniel and Saul like they were my own family stories; I could quote the most popular Bible verses; I memorized the order of the biblical books and could spell all their names. Somewhere along the way, I lost all that knowledge about God—or at least I began to realize how much there was to learn. Each day I was a Christian seemed to be a step backward in understanding my faith. I started acknowledging the questions in my heart, began discussing those questions with friends and fellow saints, as those in the church are called, however undeserving the label may sometimes seem. And I discovered, after whining about how difficult all of this Christian stuff was, that the mystery of not knowing was also absolutely, undeniably wonderful.”
Heather Squires’ life calling to be an author began in 1989 in Phoenix, Arizona. As an editorial writer on staff at the Utopian Newspaper, she decided to seek further review and publishing. The first project to be completed outside of the journaling world was To Desecrate Man, an action novel; completed in 2005, it became over shadowed by the second project: Rogue, a young adult fiction-adventure novel.
Upon completion of Rogue in 2009, Squires’ place in the young adult fiction world became clear. The Sphere of Archimedes began to take shape, and was finished in 2011. Currently working on the sequel, The Omphalos of Delphi, she continues to create anticipation for the future of young adult fiction.
What is H. Squires’s Genre?
“As an observer, I watch ominous clouds collide in the blue firmament. A black-hooded, male sparrow puffs out his chest, and struts to impress a potential mate. While skating over a broad leaf, a snail’s eyes –perched on tall stalks, nods from the slightest breeze.
The daily creations displayed before our eyes, inspires me to write. I cannot go to my grave without trying to verbally describe God’s handiwork—and, if I can tell a story within the narrative, then [I hope] I do Him justice.”
“Professor Donovan Spiegler, and nine-year-old Oliver Abernathy have no warning that their seemingly routine lives will free-fall into danger and adventure in this sci-fi thriller: THE SPHERE OF ARCHIMEDES.
Oliver, a chubby, freckle-faced boy, is surviving a mundane school-life as the helpless victim of a bully, Dylan Parker.
The Professor, and his assistant, Cedrick Wilhelm, are researching a mysterious metallic orb when Cedrick goes missing, and so does the orb.
On a trip to the Grand Canyon with his family, Oliver discovers a metallic sphere that has special powers. His boyish curiosity builds as he tests the abilities and hazards the orb possesses. He learns the alarming side of the orb when Dylan Parker, the bully, opens it, and is vaporized—or so Oliver believes.
A group of threatening men turn up at Professor Spiegler’s class; at knife point, they demand he relinquish the orb, and show them how to release its powers. In an attempt to flee, the Professor inadvertently leads the mobsters straight to Oliver Abernathy and his family.
In the thrilling adventure that follows, the characters discover the need to work together in order to stay alive. The Professor and the Abernathys encounter other worlds, and meet deadly enemies. Their survival is hinged on solving THE SPHERE OF ARCHIMEDES.”
Katie Manning began creating poems at age four because she loved to play with the sounds of language. She is now the author of three poetry chapbooks, all published in 2013: The Gospel of the Bleeding Woman (Point Loma Press), I Awake in My Womb (Yellow Flag Press), and Tea with Ezra (Boneset Books). She lives in the Los Angeles area with her husband and son, and she is an Assistant Professor of English at Azusa Pacific University.
“I am inspired by stories, and I especially love to write in the voices of people, real or fictional, whose perspectives have been left out. Motherhood and language itself have also been major inspirations for my poetry.”
The Gospel of the Bleeding Woman imagines a life for an interesting, unnamed biblical character. In these poems, the bleeding woman has a name and gets to tell her own story.
I Awake in My Womb is a collection of bizarre poems that are based directly on dreams that Katie Manning had immediately before, during, and after pregnancy. Through the shifting images of dream states, these poems explore the fears and joys of impending motherhood.
Tea with Ezra is a collection of poems that respond to familiar texts: fairy tales, biblical narratives, songs, poems, novels, and more. These are some of Katie Manning’s favorite poems to read aloud to an audience. [Sold out]
Since the day Emjay haltingly read See Spot Run, she was hooked on the written word. As a child, she looked forward to bedtime, because bed and reading went together. All the Luby kids slept with their arms wrapped around books — not stuffed animals.
When she first read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn at the age of 15, she determined that she wanted to be a word spinner — an author — like Betty Smith. She signed up for the Famous Writers Course when she was an 18-year-old stay-at-home mom. Her first story was painstakingly pounded out on an ancient Underwood typewriter.
Many more courses followed over the years, until she finally learned that if she wanted to become a good writer, she needed to spend less time reading about writing, and more time putting words on paper.
She sent an article to a Sunday School quarterly, and was thrilled when they not only accepted her story but paid her $15 for doing what she loved. A Christian magazine accepted an article about her family’s missionary trip to Mexico a few years later.
Many years have passed since she first came up with the idea for The Courting Dress. The outline, character studies, and a couple of chapters sat in the back of a closet until she shared a few pages of the story at an Abba’s Writers meeting. “The women encouraged, prodded, and coerced me to continue writing, and get the book published. I’m grateful for their patience and perseverance as I limped my way to the finish line.”
“I’m fascinated by old mining towns like Madrid in New Mexico and Jerome in Arizona. One day as I was walking through a mining museum, I thought, It would be so cool to go back in time and meet some of the people who lived and worked in these rough-and-tumble towns. Nathan Pierce, Mandy Steven’s love interest in The Courting Dress, is one of those men.”
“One night in March of 1994, while searching through her grandmother’s hope chest, Mandy Stevens finds a charming dress. She impulsively slips it over her head, and is instantly transported from her bedroom in Phoenix, to the middle of a dusty road, and there’s a car barreling down on her! Frozen in disbelief, she’s tackled and thrown out of the path of danger. Her rescuer, Nathan Pierce, tells the bewildered woman she’s in the mining town of Jerome, and the year is 1934. Mandy, whose feet have always been firmly planted on the ground, soon finds herself torn between two eras — one holds the familiar people, places, and things of everyday life, but the other holds a chance to be with the only man she’s ever loved. The past or the present…which one will Mandy choose, or does she have a choice at all?”
J.D. Scott has been the organizing member of Abba’s Writers in Phoenix, Arizona, for the past three years. She leads, organizes, and teaches both critiquing and story development to its 50+ members. She is also a participating member of West Valley Writers Group in Avondale, Arizona.
In February of 2013, J.D. Scott accepted the invitation to become part of the team at A Book’s Mind as a publishing consultant. She thoroughly enjoys working alongside writers, helping them fulfill their dreams of becoming published authors.
The Disillusionment of Anahera Daniels was released in 2013, and the second book in the Anahera Daniels series will be released in the fall of 2014.
Fiction: Young Adult, Science Fiction
“I spent nearly twenty years working with children and young adults as a nanny, mentor, camp counselor, daycare worker, and youth group leader. With a heart for today’s youth, I set out to write books that not only entertain, but also inspire today’s youth to rise above the current culture, and see their value.”
“Nothing of significance ever happened on Pleasant Avenue in the sleepy town of Prescott, Arizona. That is, nothing you’ve ever heard about…
On Anahera Daniels’ 18th birthday, she wakes from a disturbing nightmare, only to walk into another. After overhearing life-shattering news that her parents aren’t who she thought they were—she questions her place among family, friends, and in the heart of Nathan, her high school crush. Ana’s life splinters into two realities when strange dreams develop into a newfound ability to travel between Earth and the world of Posternis.
A world away, Ana finds herself wounded, and fleeing from a dark-winged creature when she collides into Adrian, an attractive Posternis native. Accepting the help of his outstretched hand, she unknowingly binds their fates together. Ana’s fierce determination drives her search to unravel the mystery of her biological parents, and their connection with the Cozen, the gargoyle-like creatures seemingly bent on her destruction.
Armed with only her sarcastic wit and a pocket knife, Ana must decipher where her loyalties lie, and choose between two worlds and two loves—before the deadly side-effects of traveling ends her life altogether.”
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