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Books by Bruce Epperly

More about Tending to the Holy: The Practice of the Presence of God in Ministry

Named the 2009 Book of the Year by the Academy of Parish Clergy, Tending to the Holy invites pastors to embody their deepest beliefs in the routine and surprising tasks of ministry. Inspired by Brother Lawrence’s classic text in spirituality, The Practice of the Presence of God, Tending to the Holy integrates the wisdom and practices of the Christian spiritual tradition with the commonplace practices of pastoral ministry. Bruce and Katherine Epperly utilize a variety of spiritual disciplines—especially Benedictine, Celtic, Ignatian, Rhineland, and process spiritualities—to provide a framework for helping clergy nurture the awareness of God, creative imagination, and personal well-being in every aspect of their ministerial lives.

Practicing God’s presence in the ordinary tasks of ministry inspires wholeness, spiritual transformation, vision, imagination, endurance, and healthy self-differentiation in ministry. Commitment to joining spiritual practices with the routine and repetitive tasks of ministry provides an important antidote to unhealthy stress, burnout, and loss of vision in ministry. By seeing their congregational leadership in terms of spiritual transformation, imaginative practice, and relational interdependence, ordinary ministerial practices can become ways pastors can deepen their relationship with God.

Growing out of their work with pastors at every season of ministry, as well as combined ministerial experience of nearly sixty years, Bruce and Katherine Epperly invite pastoral leaders to complement and expand on their understanding of spiritual leadership, pastoral excellence, and self-care, integrating traditional and contemporary spiritual practices with the concrete arts of ministry.

Praise for the book

“The great value of Tending to the Holy is the humanity of Bruce and Katherine Epperly. They demonstrate with gentleness and understanding how the pastoral vocation is completed and made whole in the practice of the spiritual disciplines. With this book, those who ‘tend to the holy’ will pause and rediscover it in their own lives. What a helpful book!”

—Richard Lischer, James T. and Alice Mead Cleland Professor of Preaching, Duke Divinity School

“The Epperlys have written an engaging invitation to think about our daily walk as servants of the living Christ. Whether you are ordained or lay, parish pastor, chaplain, or counselor, you will find sustenance in this book.”

—Marja L. Coons-Torn, Conference Minister, Penn Central Conference, United Church of Christ

“Reading this book is already beginning to practice the holy presence it teaches. With their resonantly real, unpretentiously wise, and delightfully different voices, Bruce and Katherine Epperly narrate and nudge us into the breathing room of life. Here is the map of a spiritual path that can sustain your day-to-day ministry—and your moment-to-moment existence.”

—Katherine Keller, Professor of Theology, Drew Theological School and author of On the Mystery: Discerning God in Process