Saturday, December 08, 2007

"Holy Places" -- Brent's Newest Book

From the shameless self-promotion department -- Brent's newsest book, co-written with co-workers Nancy DeMott and Tim Shapiro, has just been released. It's title is Holy Places: Matching Sacred Space with Mission and Message. It's important topic because buildings communicate. Stained glass windows, high altars, multi-purpose worship/gymnasium spaces, Plexiglas pulpits, padded pews—these and all other architectural elements say something about a congregation’s theology and mission. They point to a faith community’s beliefs about worship, identity, purpose, and more. From the stark simplicity of a Quaker meetinghouse to the splendor of a Romanesque Revival building, sacred spaces speak loudly. What they say can either reinforce a congregation’s mission or detract from it.

Our book is designed to be used by congregations who are involved in or are contemplating work on their facilities. This could include renovation, remodeling, expansion, or building. No matter how extensive the project, approaching the work with mission at the forefront is the key to having a final result that strengthens the congregation’s ministry.

Intended for leaders in a congregation’s facility project—from expert builders to novices—this book will help you create a reflective approach to your work, enable you to learn from one another, and make space for discerning God’s direction for your congregation. Each phase of the process—discern, decide, and do—consists of a series of questions that a congregation must address and assumes no particular level of prior knowledge about building issues. This effective process lets congregations begin where they are and provides the help they need to move to the next level.

Praise for the Book
“Have every member of your leadership team read Holy Places; it offers a clear and compelling guide to rethinking—not just rebuilding—your sacred place.” —Ron Wolfson, Author, The Spirituality of Welcoming: How to Transform Your Congregation into a Sacred Community, President, Synagogue 3000

“The authors describe the most common mistakes made during renovation and new construction—so your congregation doesn't have to make them! The chapters outline each step of the building process, so your congregation can have confidence in the outcome—a completed project that matches your mission” —Cynthia Woolever, Sociologist, U.S. Congregational Life Project

“Holy Places coaches you in the art of good communication by enhancing your discernment and decision-making skills. This book provides you with insight to help take advantage of one of your greatest resources: opportunity.” —Keith Crouch, AIA, NCARB, Church Architecture Resources

Check it out at

-- Brent


Robin M. said...

Golly, I'm just now reading Holy Silence. How will I ever catch up?

I may not be the target audience for this new book, but I can think of a couple of people who are. I will try to forward them a link.

Brent Bill said...

Hi Robin -- well, the target audience for "Holy Places" is any congregation who's doing any sort of building project. At least that's its stated audience. Actualy, I think anybody who's in the midst of any kind of congregational project could use the 3 stage process we developed -- Discern, Decide, Do.

Still, it's pretty specialized, so I doubt that I'll be retiring on teh royalites! Besides, I have to hurry up and get "Sacred Compass: A Way of Spiritual Discernment" finished -- it's due to the publisher, um, er, yesterday...