Category Archives: Books

Q&A with the Rev. Tim Schenck

You may know the Rev. Tim Schenck as one half of the Supreme Executive Committee— he’s the creator of the wildly popular online devotion Lent Madness. In addition to filming Monday Madness videos and creating saintly brackets, Tim is also the rector of the Church of Bethesda by-the-Sea in Palm Beach, Florida, and the author of books full of humor and faith. His latest release, Devotions for People who Don’t Do Devotions, is available now from Forward Movement.

Get to know Tim a little better – and explore his unconventional devotional book!

Where did the idea for this book come from?

The whole concept for this book, and the title in particular, is rooted in my own frustration with so many devotional books out there. There are times for contemplation and spiritual navel gazing, but I also think we need to engage our faith on a practical, real life level. I find that’s often missing in the devotional industrial complex.

As I write in the Introduction, “Maybe it’s the saccharine sweet, holier-than-thou tone of most of the devotionals I’ve browsed in the Religion & Spirituality section at Barnes & Noble. Okay, most of those were put out by Joel Osteen, Inc. But still, there’s a Ned Flanders-esque vibe to many spiritual books that leaves you wondering if the people who write them even inhabit the same planet. And surely that’s not helpful for those of us seeking the divine presence in the midst of our daily lives.”

What is your hope for this book?

Ultimately, I hope that people will buy it. Just kidding. I hope that people will relate to the personal stories I share, and that they’ll see themselves and their own experiences in what I write. Like any good sermon illustration, you should be able to find something relatable that touches something deep in your own soul — not that the book is preachy or anything…

But I also really hope people engage the book in groups. There are reflection questions following each devotion and I’d love to hear that people are building community by reading the book together. Loneliness is such a spiritual burden and here’s an accessible, fun opportunity to gather and go deeper with one another.

You’re well-known to many of our readers as one of the faces behind Lent Madness, our Lenten bracket challenge featuring various saints. How is writing devotional books like this one similar to – or different from – working on Lent Madness?

Well, I like to think that I bring a bit of that Lent Madness humor to my writing. With Lent Madness, and in my own ministry in general, I always seek to take my faith, but not myself, too seriously. You can speak deep spiritual truths without being grim.

Also, there’s less voting involved!

Where do you typically write?

Coffee shops! I do all my sermon writing, book writing, pretty much any kind of writing with the accompaniment of a good cup of single-origin black coffee. I hear there are other ways to write, but I haven’t come across them.

What was the most enjoyable part of writing?

Hitting send on the manuscript email to the editor! Sort of kidding. But writing is hard, often gut-wrenching work, that you put your whole being into. I love to write, but it’s never an easy process. This is my fifth book, and after each one, I swear I’ll never write another one. Which I stick with…until I get another dose of inspiration.

But the most enjoyable part of writing this particular book, was reflecting back on situations and encounters and experiences from my life and viewing them anew through a spiritual lens. It’s always a fruitful exercise.

Do you have a favorite prayer?

That’s like asking a preacher if they have a favorite Bible verse. Or a coffee snob if they have a favorite coffee. But I’ll have to go with one from Compline that I pray most nights, one that I’ve concluded every vestry meeting I’ve led over the past 20+ years:

Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the afflicted, shield the joyous, and all for your love’s sake. Amen. (Book of Common Prayer, page 134)

How can folks support Lent Madness and all the other accessible spiritual practices that Forward Movement offers?

Consider becoming a donor today! Donations power Forward Movement’s variety of ministry resources, from RenewalWorks to The Good Book Club and seasonal offerings like AdventWord and Lent Madness. Help us inspire disciples and empower evangelists every day!

Q&A: Amanda Perkins McGriff, author of Will You?

Amanda Perkins McGriff is an Episcopal priest who lives in Memphis, Tennessee, with her husband Wil, their son Darwin, and their retired greyhound, Goose. She currently serves as a chaplain at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital and as curate at St. George’s Episcopal Church.

A graduate of Bexley Seabury Seminary in Chicago, she is the recipient of a 2021 Episcopal Evangelism Society grant to create a curriculum exploring connections between baptism, eucharist, and evangelism. This project is available now as Will You? a five-week Lenten study on the Book of Common Prayer’s baptismal promises. Learn more about Amanda and her work in this author Q&A.

Where did the idea for this book come from?

Will You? began as a project  for a Bexley Seabury Seminary class called Reimagining Congregations in Mission. The assignment was to design a five-session formation offering specific to my context that invited participants to think about mission in new ways, and I had the idea to build my curriculum around the five “will you” questions of the Baptismal Covenant. These promises that we agree to, or that are agreed to on our behalf, in our baptisms are supposed to guide our individual and corporate lives. It should not be a surprise that they can guide us into a fresh understanding of evangelism as well. After graduation, I received an Episcopal Evangelism Society grant which allowed me to expand that initial project, through two piloting phases, into Will You? and the accompanying Group Leader Guide.

What is your hope for this book?

My hope is that Will You? will help Episcopalians come together during Lent to engage in lively and fruitful discussion about where our Baptismal Covenant is calling us. I hope that the book leads people to think deeply about the connections between evangelism and these promises we make in our baptisms.

Your book examines the five baptismal promises from the Book of Common Prayer. Which promise resonates the most with you? Are there any of the promises you struggle with?

I struggle with all of the promises, but the promise that I think about the most as I go about my day is to “seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself.” I am a hospital chaplain, and my prayer every day is that the love of God will shine through me, that I will see and treat all those I encounter as the beloved children of God that they are. The promise that was the most difficult for me to write about was “proclaiming by word and example the Good News of God in Christ.” This is the most obviously evangelistic baptismal promise, and it is also what I am called to do as a priest. But I struggled because there are so many different ways to interpret “proclaiming the Good News.” I wanted to be careful because some of our past interpretations of this mandate have led to some of our worst corporate sins, but I also wanted to invite readers to think boldly and creatively.

What does evangelism mean to you?

I think that the cover art for Will You? is a perfect illustration of my definition of evangelism. I am so grateful to artist Jason Sierra, who created it. He was able to really encapsulate the concept of the book, which is that the “will you” questions of the Baptismal Covenant follow an arc, from a gathering in to a sending out. The art on the cover is inviting readers to go out of their church doors, but it is an invitation issued from inside the church. And that is what I think we miss about evangelism and why it is so helpful to look at it through the lens of the Baptismal Covenant. It is indeed going out of our church doors and participating in God’s healing work in the world, the essence of those last three “will you” questions. But those actions need to be grounded in our beliefs, in prayer and discernment in community, and in self-examination of our past mistakes and repentance of sin. These are the elements that make up the first part of our Baptismal Covenant, and we get into trouble when we leave these important pieces out of our definition of evangelism.

Do you have a favorite prayer?

My favorite prayer from the Book of Common Prayer is Thanksgiving Over the Water. It is part of the service for Holy Baptism and is found on page 306 in the BCP. I love the imagery and the balancing of the phrasing in it. And I love that it conveys our story so succinctly yet so beautifully.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with readers?

I first want to highlight that there is a comprehensive free Group Leader Guide available. As someone who has led small groups in the past, it was very important to me to give group leaders the tools they would need to facilitate weekly discussions that follow along with the book and delve deeper into the Baptismal Covenant questions. Find the Group Leader Guide here or on the Will You? page on Forward Movement’s website.

I also want to share my sincere gratitude to all of those who are considering making Will You? part of their Lenten practice, whether individually or in a small group. I am so humbled and honored to be on this journey with you.

A new devotional and small group study: Will You? A Lenten Study of Baptismal Promises

Book cover of Will You? A Lenten Study of Baptismal PromisesCincinnati, OH – Forward Movement, in collaboration with Episcopal Evangelism Society, invites Episcopalians to reflect on their baptismal promises during Lent through a new small group study and corresponding book, Will You? A Lenten Study of Baptismal Promises.

This five-week Lenten small group study offers daily reflections, examples of evangelism in action, and an invitation to think in new ways about the promises we make to God, each other, and ourselves in baptism.

A free downloadable group leader guide helps facilitators plan and guide six group meetings to discuss the book.

When we are initiated into the church with the water of baptism, we (or our sponsors) answer a series of questions called the Baptismal Covenant. The first three questions echo the words of our creeds, our beliefs about God and the church. The last five questions focus on action. They each begin with the words: “Will You?”

These “Will You” questions articulate how we are to animate our baptism, to follow Christ’s example in our relationships with others, our communities, and the world. These questions move from a “gathering in” to a “sending out”—they are a call to embrace and practice evangelism by proclaiming the Good News of Christ in all we do and say.

The study was written by Amanda Perkins McGriff, who received a 2021 Episcopal Evangelism Society grant to create a curriculum exploring connections between baptism, eucharist, and evangelism.

“This resource will inspire meaningful conversations about evangelism, as it relates to our Baptismal promises, for congregations at any stage of engaging Episcopal evangelism. It was transformative in my own congregation,” said Day Smith Pritchartt, Executive Director of the Episcopal Evangelism Society.

Will You? is available in print from Forward Movement directly, with affordable bulk rates for churches and groups. The print edition is also available through online sellers such as Amazon; please note that when you buy the print version directly from Forward Movement most of your money reaches us and is reinvested in our ministry.

The book is also available as an eBook on Amazon Kindle and Apple Books, and audiobook on Audible and Apple Books.

Order directly from Forward Movement at or by phone at 800-543-1813.



About Forward Movement

Inspiring disciples and empowering evangelists around the globe every day, Forward Movement has been producing excellent, innovative resources to encourage spiritual growth in individuals and congregations for more than eighty years.

The world doesn’t need one more devotional book…

The Rev. Laurie Brock, rector of St Michael the Archangel Episcopal Church in Lexington, Kentucky and author of God, Grace, and Horses, recently reviewed our new release, Devotions for People who Don’t Do Devotions. Here’s what she had to say:

The world really doesn’t need one more devotional book. We have devotional books for people who do too much, devotions for people who want to do more, devotions for animal lovers, devotions for pizza lovers, and devotions for people who love putting Ikea furniture together.

Okay, so maybe not the last one, but I’m sure someone just got an idea for another devotional book.

Hopefully, the plethora of devotional books are a response to our very human yearning to connect to something bigger than we are and to find meaning in the moments of life that are troubling, awe-inspiring, and confusing. More and more people are not members of a traditional faith community, and yet that yearning to understand, to find meaning, and to experience comfort continues.

Whether you are someone who is a member of an active member of a faith community or who is simply seeking some time each day or week or whenever you find space to spend a few moments, Tim Schenck meets you where you are with quirky, humorous, and insightful reflections on life and the bigger than life invitation of God to love ourselves and each other. From the angel’s share to garbage time, Tim invites us to see awe in everyday moments, to rest in the wisdom of life gone not quite right, and to find love written in life each day.

While the world doesn’t need one more devotional book to remind us we aren’t enough, we always need one that reminds us the world is messy and lovely, if we just remember to notice, to look, to listen, and to be. Devotions for People Who Don’t Do Devotions is exactly that.

– The Rev. Laurie Brock, Rector
St. Michael the Archangel Episcopal Church

Forward Today: Summer reading

Dear friends in Christ,

The summer solstice may not be here yet to make summer official, but to my reckoning, the arrival of June brings the beginning of unofficial summer.

For many folks, summer brings a different rhythm. We may have some vacation time, and many of us enjoy a slightly slower pace of life. If that sounds familiar, you may be wondering what to do as life gives you bit more breathing room.

In our go-go-go culture, there’s nothing wrong with slowing down and resting! Sleep more! Take naps! Goof off! Do nothing!

As for me, I hope to do more reading this summer. I’m always looking for summer reading suggestions, and maybe you are, too. There are loads of great books out there. As you might expect, I want to suggest a few books from Forward Movement that might make some good reading this summer.

If you’re spending more time reading the Bible (which is a great idea!), you might enjoy having a copy of Bible Women handy. We’ve recently updated this book, which includes every word spoken by women in the Bible. You’ll also get the back story on what she said and why.

Looking to refresh your spiritual disciplines? I wrote The Way of Love: A Practical Guide to Following Jesus as an encouraging companion for increased discipleship. Seek and You Will Find will help you find new prayer practices.

A Generous Beckoning may be helpful in your devotional life. Thinking of revitalizing your congregation? Check out Signs of Life: Nurturing Spiritual Growth in Your Church. Finally, if you want a challenging read about the church and its relationship to money, check out The Unjust Steward: Poverty, Wealth, and the Church Today.

However you choose to use the gift of this time, God bless you.

Yours faithfully,
Scott Gunn's signature
Scott Gunn
Executive Director

P.S. If you’re ordering books published by Forward Movement, it supports our ministry if you order directly from us. But if Amazon is how you need to get them, that works too.

More from our ministry:

From Grow Christians: Endings and New Beginnings

New from ChurchNext: Keeping Your Daily Devotions Fresh

Pray through the new season with us:

Q&A: Jay Sidebotham, author of Signs of Life

Jay Sidebotham has served as a priest in the Episcopal Church for more than 30 years. He also enjoys creating artwork, including cartoons, reflecting life in the church. Before ordination, he worked in an animation studio that produced Schoolhouse Rock cartoons and then as an art director in several advertising agencies. Some say he is still in advertising.

Jay is also the founder of RenewalWorks, a ministry seeking to make spiritual growth the priority in Episcopal congregations and to build cultures of discipleship in those congregations. His new book, Signs of Life, draws on what Jay has learned in a decade of doing this work. Learn more about Jay and his work in this author Q&A.

How did the idea for this book develop?

After 10 years of work with RenewalWorks, I wanted to share what I had learned in the process. Part of my interest in writing was admittedly to help me clarify key learnings from this work, for my own understanding. I also wanted to share what I had seen churches doing to deepen the spiritual lives of the members of their congregations, in the hopes that those insights could be helpful to folks in a time of anxiety about congregational vitality and church decline.

What is your hope for this book?

My love for the church is deep. My respect for those who lead churches (clergy and lay) has only grown over the last ten years. With that hopeful perspective, I hope that by sharing some of what we’ve learned, we can expand the reach of those learnings. While I would love for every church in Christendom to take on the RenewalWorks process, I know that won’t happen. But I believe many of the insights from this work can be helpful to congregations. In this book, I’ve gathered some core principles in one accessible place, so that congregations (and their leaders, lay and clergy) can consider these principles, and perhaps apply them. All of it has as its goal the deepening of a sense of discipleship, as we seek to follow Jesus and be part of his movement in the world.

You’re well known in the Episcopal world for your prolific cartoons, found on the “Slow down. Quiet.” calendars and elsewhere. How is your creative process different for writing and visual art?

The novelist Walker Percy described modern people as waiting for news. For me, the creative process, written or visual, is about communicating some useful and even transformative news. At the heart of all creative processes, there’s an idea, a message worth getting across. In my own case, I go with the medium that can best get that message across. I can say some things in a cartoon that I couldn’t say otherwise. At other times, a written reflection is a better way to make a point. I enjoy being able to do both.

Where do you typically write?

Anywhere. No place in particular. That’s why God made laptops.

Do you have a favorite prayer?

That’s a bit like asking if I have a favorite child. One of the prayers that has guided me over the years is a prayer that appears in services for Ordination, the Liturgy for Good Friday and the Easter Vigil. It speaks of the church, and God’s commitment to the church:

O God of unchangeable power and eternal light: Look favorably on your whole Church, that wonderful and sacred mystery; by the effectual working of your providence, carry out in tranquility the plan of salvation; let the whole world see and know that things which were being cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with readers?

Just one more hope for this book, which is that everyone who reads it will see it as a prompt to think about their own spiritual growth. I’m convinced that our congregations will be as spiritually strong and vital as the members of those congregations. My hope then for the church is that every member will explore their own spiritual growth, which we’ve come to understand as growth in love of God and love of neighbor. When that happens, I believe the church will be stronger, living more fully into what God intends, what God is calling us to do and be.

Signs of Life is available on the Forward Movement website. Read a sample or order your copy today.

Q&A: Peter Wallace, author of A Generous Beckoning

Peter M. Wallace, an Episcopal priest serving in the Diocese of Atlanta, is the executive producer and host of the Day1 radio/podcast and internet ministry ( Peter is the author of eleven books, including his newest meditative exploration, A Generous Beckoning. Learn more about Peter and his work in this author Q&A.

Where did the idea for this book come from?

I’ve written devotional books on the gospel of John and the Psalms, among others, but the basis for this set of meditations came when I was contemplating God’s invitations. Years ago, one of my mentors, the Rev. Gray Temple Jr., used the phrase “a generous beckoning” in a sermon, referring to God’s welcoming invitation for all. That concept prompted a series of meditations springing from Bible verses in which God—as Father in the Old Testament, as Son in the gospels, and as Holy Spirit in the epistles—used the imperative case, speaking directly with a command, an invitation, a nudge, or an admonition. What I discovered was that the scriptures are full of such invitations, and when I opened myself to them they became immediately relevant, calling for a prayerful and active response.

What is your hope for this book?

I hope readers will spend some time first thinking through the verse I’ve selected for each meditation, listening for what God is saying to them in that moment. And I hope my meditation on the verse will help bring it home for them so that they will wrestle personally with what God is inviting them to be or to do. When I can hear God speaking directly to me through scriptures, will I respond more authentically? Will I hear God inviting me to answer in a way that is meaningful and authentic? I also encourage readers—individually or in their prayer, study, or formation groups—to use the Study Guide for A Generous Beckoning (available at no charge from Forward Movement) and consider prayerfully the questions posed in each section. My prayer is that folks will find this book to be a springboard to robust moments of meditation that will equip them to love and serve the Lord in the world.

Can you share a moment where you experienced God in your daily life?

I try to be open to the Spirit’s nudges throughout the day, and to prepare myself for them so I will be in a place to readily say “yes.” But one encounter with God stands out for me, when I decided to go on a personal retreat for the first time. I share this experience in the book (“A Peaceful Burden,” pp. 252ff, edited here):

I wanted to meet with God to get a fresh sense of direction for my life, so I arranged to stay in a cabin next to a rocky, rolling creek at Camp Mikell, the Episcopal conference center in North Georgia. On the covered porch overlooking a rambunctious creek, sitting in a rocking chair, I cataloged my feelings. I felt frazzled after a long, hard day at work. I was also scared, unsettled—I had gotten lost on the way up in the dark. But now I was starting to feel safe. And a little hopeful. Even though I had no idea what I would do or what would happen, I was just going to play it by ear.

Saturday morning, after a restful night’s sleep, I started with Morning Prayer. In the confession, the phrase “and what we have left undone” struck me. I was feeling as though my life was full of “left undones.” A series of verses came to me as I read the prayer book. As verse tumbled upon verse, I found myself weeping. I remember almost viscerally sensing the embrace of Jesus. My simple notes, hardly able to capture the depth of renewal I felt, read: “Overcome by the love and presence of Jesus! Weeping tears of love and joy—not sadness. Feel accepted and loved and cherished like a friend and lover.”

This experience carried on through the rest of my retreat weekend and helped me begin the hard process of opening my heart and my eyes to God’s wider will for my life—and a painful but ultimately life-giving journey to where I am today.

Where do you typically write?

Anywhere I can! I usually write in my little home office on an iMac, but I also take my laptop to write wherever I can. My spouse and I love to travel, and I always bring my laptop in case the muse strikes. Whether it’s in Brazil or Vietnam or on a cruise ship somewhere in the Caribbean, I enjoy finding a quiet place to write. Pleasant scenery always helps!

What was the most enjoyable part of writing?

Sometimes I’m amazed at what comes out of my head! Even when I feel I have nothing to say about a particular verse or topic, I’m often amazed at what ends up on the laptop screen after some quiet contemplation and careful study of the text. I love the discovery along the way of new thoughts, unexpected insights, surprising ideas. I enjoy capturing all that in early drafts, but I also enjoy wordsmithing and polishing—including the pain of cutting things out that I first thought were so interesting, but in hindsight turned out not to be all that helpful. I hope readers are also caught up in the same spiritual current so they can discover their own captivating insights into God’s Word as they read and meditate.

Do you have a favorite prayer?

When I first wake up, I recite in my head a series of prayers and Bible verses—I’ve found it’s a wonderful way to start the day before getting out of bed…
– “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)
– Psalm 23
– “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10)
– The Hail Mary
– The Lord’s Prayer
– The hymn, “O God, Our Help in Ages Past”
And some others from time to time. But perhaps my favorite and most-used prayer, always at the ready at any moment of the day or night, is The Jesus Prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.” I repeat that often throughout the day and night and am grateful for the healing and strength it can offer. (I write about this in “Request Line” on pp. 325ff.)

Is there anything else you’d like to share with readers?

I am grateful and honored that Forward Movement is publishing this book. I’ve been enriched spiritually over the years by so many resources FM has published, especially Forward Day by Day, which I started reading when I first became an Episcopalian in 1990, and still read daily (well, there were times I drifted away, but I’m glad I always came back home!). Through my work with the “Day 1” radio and podcast program over the years, I have worked with several church leaders connected with Forward Movement, including the Rev. Scott Gunn, who serves on the Day 1 Advisory Council. On this book it’s been a deep joy to work with Scott and his amazing staff, particularly Richelle Thompson, Jason Merritt, Chris Yaw, and others. I have been blessed in so many ways through the Forward Movement ministry, and I hope readers will also experience that blessing themselves through this new book.

A Generous Beckoning is available on the Forward Movement website. Read a sample or order your copy today.

Q&A: Lindsay Hardin Freeman, author of Bible Women

Women of the Bible have been trapped in dry and dusty literary caskets for centuries—but no more. In a groundbreaking book, author Lindsay Hardin Freeman identifies every woman who speaks in the Bible, providing their words, context, and historical background. This beloved book has recently been expanded to feature new ways to use and study the words and wisdom, updated content for today’s context, and 93 prayers—one for each woman who speaks in the Bible. Learn more about Bible Women’s expanded edition in this author Q&A.

What inspired you to make a 2nd edition of Bible Women?

I’ve had the good fortune to meet with women’s groups across the country since the original book came out: ECW (Episcopal Church Women) meetings, book clubs, students, Zoom meetings, and various Bible study groups. They, and Richelle Thompson, Forward Movement’s executive editor, have inspired me to write this second edition.

I’m amazed at how deeply women will share joys and sorrows in small groups with people they might not have ever met before. We all have mountains to climb and deserts to cross, and it makes such a difference when we don’t do that alone.

Seeing women use the book to get at deep faith issues is huge for me. Being at the intersection of contemporary women and Bible women — seeing the continuing commonalities —is a really inspiring place to be — and the renewed interest in the book shows that Bible women are never outdated.

How does the 2nd edition content differ from the first?

Much has happened on the world scene since the original book came out: the war in Ukraine, more desperation at the Southern border, an increased number of mass shootings, the murder of George Floyd, and political instability at the national and international level.

We’ve added 120 pages, with deeper questions for discussion, revised chapter content to will help readers consider what Bible women might have to offer in light of such events, provided additional suggestions for use, and added a more intentional meditative focus with a prayer for each of the 93 women who speak in the Bible selected from scholars, saints and theologians across the ages. Ninety-three women, so ninety-three prayers.

How has writing the 2nd edition been different from the first?

To add those prayers for each woman’s chapter — a prayer that would make her contributions ring even louder — took another kind of work. My dining room table was covered for months with books and scraps of paper as more ancient voices seemed to ring out. Voices from long ago from people searching for the truth and for God’s presence right alongside Bible women is an amazing experience. It wasn’t easy — there were long, hard and crazy hours, but I’m proud of the way the whole project turned out.

What is your hope for this book?

The Holy Spirit is the one doing the heavy lifting, of course, but my hope is that my words will help deepen the faith of contemporary readers. Writing is my vocation — it’s what I do — and I hope this book will be a bridge between God’s people of the past and God’s people of the present and future.

The first edition of Bible Women has been out in the world for a while now, and I know it has been a hit with readers. Do you have a favorite reader story you’d like to share?

I was leading a retreat on Bible Women in New England, and I there was a woman there who seemed angry with me. I wondered what I had said that caused such a reaction. It turned out that her daughter had died four years earlier, and she had lost her faith. But she was there — sharing her deep sorrow with other women. And she told me that weekend was the first time she’d taken Communion since her daughter died. There was healing, a drawing closer to God because of  sharing with other women at her table, sparked by Bible Women — and I’ll always treasure that.

Do you have a favorite Bible Woman? Or one who is particularly inspiring you right now?

My favorite woman in the Bible has always been Rahab — the prostitute who took Hebrew spies into her home, lied about their presence to the King’s guards, and then helped the emerging nation of Israel cross over into the Promised Land. She was a survivor, and so many of us are. She had to make a decision on a moment’s notice and she did. She looked out for others, and God blessed her.

During this Epiphany season, though, I’m always inspired by Elizabeth, who prayed at the temple in Jerusalem for some eight decades, waiting to see the Messiah. Her wish and prayer were fulfilled and she is a stunning example of how prayer works.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

I am not alone when I do this work. The Spirit is right beside me, cajoling me, guiding me, leading me. Our research team has worked together for twelve years now; we have a chaplain that prays for us and for readers continually. Forward Movement has been incredibly helpful — and most of all, my poet-priest husband Len Freeman is with me each step of the way to make all this possible.

The expanded second edition of Bible Women is available on the Forward Movement website. Read a sample or order your copy today.

Forward Movement books win top honors in Christian book awards

Four books recently released by Forward Movement have been recognized as among the best Christian books by the 2023 Illumination Book Awards.

The Creation Care Bible Challenge, the ninth book of the best-selling Bible Challenge series created and edited by Marek Zabriskie, has been awarded the 2023 gold medal for Bible Study.

 Three silver medal awards were bestowed upon other Forward Movement titles: Mark Bozzuti-Jones’ Face to the Rising Sun: Reflections on Spirituals and Justice in the Devotional category; Miguel Escobar’s The Unjust Steward: Wealth, Poverty, and the Church Today for Theology; and Seek and You Will Find: Discovering a Practice of Prayer, by Rhonda Mawhood Lee, in the Spirituality category.

“We are excited to see these wonderful books receive recognition from the Illumination Awards,” said Richelle Thompson, managing editor of Forward Movement. “Each offers an invitation to deepen our relationship with Christ, ourselves, and each other. We’re proud to work with inspiring writers and contributors to bring these dynamic and engaging resources to life and help disciples on their journey.”

To celebrate these achievements, Forward Movement is offering an extra discount on each of these titles at, now through February 28, 2023.

To order these books or other resources, visit or call 1.800.543.1813. Our titles are available as eBooks on Kindle and Apple Books.


Forward Movement’s Holiday Gift Guide

This holiday season, give the gift of learning and spiritual connection with Forward Movement books. We’ve put together a set of curated recommendations for the disciples, evangelists, and book lovers in your life.

The impact of your gift stretches farther when you purchase directly from Forward Movement. Each purchase supports our ministry to provide free books and devotionals to prisons, nursing homes, hospitals, and military bases. Order today – and see more of our bestselling books – at

For a friend who wants to pray, but doesn’t know where to start:

Invite your loved one into a rhythm of prayer with the beautiful, lightweight Hour by Hour. Or share the wisdom of a new writer each month – delivered to your doorstep throughout the year – with a subscription to our beloved devotional Forward Day By Day.

For anyone looking to deepen their spiritual life:

The Way of Love is a wonderful jump-start for spiritual reflection, giving you space to write your own thoughts in the pages. Seek and You Will Find offers a dozen different practices of prayer – which one will speak to you in the New Year?

For the new or longtime Episcopalian in your life:

Our bestselling volumes Walk in Love and Inwardly Digest are perfect for new church members or for anyone looking to deepen their understanding of our tradition.

For those who love beautiful ways to pray:

Even the person who has many prayer books already will be enchanted by our new Gift Edition of the Book of Common Prayer. The BCP Gift Edition has red-letter rubrics, elegant leather, and gold edging. Another beautiful favorite from our collection is Saint Augustine’s Prayer Book. This small volume can help you begin and continue a holy habit of prayer.