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Free books available to equip faith formation in PC(USA) readers at home

Applications are open until Oct. 15 for English and Spanish versions of ‘Psalms of Wonder’

by Beth Waltemath | Presbyterian News Service

“A psalm is a song that we sing to God,” writes Carey Wallace, author of “Psalms of Wonder: Poems from the Book of Songs,” a new illustrated book published by Flyaway Books. “Today, the psalms are known in almost every language that humans speak, but something happened as these songs moved around the world: They lost their music.”

Organized in chapters titled “Songs of Wonder,” “Songs of Courage,” “Songs of Comfort,” “Songs of Joy,” “Songs of Protection” and “Songs of Love,” Wallace and the book’s artist, Khoa Le, share their renderings of these ancient poems “to help us remember that the psalms are songs.”

To encourage faith formation at home through equipping households and the worshiping communities that serve them, the Presbyterian Mission Agency is partnering with the Presbyterian Publishing Corp. to offer 10 copies of “Psalms of Wonder,” in either English or Spanish, free to those who apply by Oct. 15. Preference will be given to small congregations.

“Any PC(USA) worshiping community or church is encouraged to apply,” said Miatta Wilson, associate in the Office of Christian Formation. “We will prioritize smaller congregations and worshiping communities who do not have the budgets to easily purchase books.” Spanish-speaking congregations will have priority over the Spanish version, but others are welcome to apply. There will also be a downloadable guide for parents and caregivers available in English and Spanish to accompany the books when they are delivered in November. For those who wish to purchase individual copies, “Psalms of Wonder,” which will be published Oct. 3, can be preordered at the PC(USA) store.

Khoa Le illustrates Psalm 12 and 13 for Carey Wallace’s translations in “Psalms of Wonder.”

By staying close to the originals, the selections in “Psalms of Wonder” are easily recognizable by faithful Bible readers while also catching the ear of new readers. The timeless texts and beautiful images make this book an object to be shared, and its incantations call to be read aloud in sanctuaries, small groups or at bedtime. They are the perfect resource to spark curiosity and to start conversations.

“We consider households to include parents and children, grandparents and children, foster families, and even community outreach households,” says Stephanie Fritz, coordinator for the Office of Christian Formation, who encourages applicants to “think creatively about how you can reach young children and their guardians.” The Office of Christian Formation is excited to offer this book and the accompanying guide as it launches a larger campaign to equip faith formation at home in part due to a recent $1.25 million grant received from Lilly Endowment Inc. On Aug. 16, the Office of Christian Formation held a listening session for those interested in hearing about the plan to resource and equip caregivers and communities for faith formation in the home over the next five years. It also hopes to hear feedback through a form now available.

The English form to apply for the books by Oct. 15 is available here.

The form is available in Spanish here.

For questions, contact Miatta Wilson with the Office of Christian Formation.

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