What we're reading

Explore the latest books we're reading right now, learn a bit about them and follow the link to purchase from our partner, Hearts & Minds Bookstore. This gem of an independent bookstore is offering CityGate friends a 20% discount on all purchases. Just note “CityGate” in the “order’ section. Byron and Beth Borger or one of their capable team will follow up with you to finalize your order. Your should also subscribe to their rich and thoughtful “Booknotes”, reviews on a whole myriad of CityGate topics such as vocation, work, city, justice, formation, relationships and God.

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What Is My Calling? A Biblical and Theological Exploration of Christian Identity

Many people are confused about God's call on their lives. What does it mean to have a calling? Is everyone called to something? This book clears up the confusion and articulates a whole-life vision for calling. Our calling is not a mystery waiting to be discovered but applies to a range of experiences and challenges: we are called to faithfulness in Christ in every dimension of our lives. The authors defend a thoroughly biblical and theological understanding of calling, empowering Christians to live faithfully as God's people in whatever circumstances they find themselves.

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Visions of Vocation: Common Grace for the Common Good

Is it possible to know the world and still love the world? Of all the questions we ask about our calling, this is the most difficult. From marriages to international relations, the more we know, the harder it is to love. We become cynics or stoics, protecting our hearts from the implications of what we know. But what if the vision of vocation can be recovered—allowing us to step into the wounds of the world and for love's sake take up our responsibility for the way the world turns out? For decades Steve Garber has come alongside a wide range of people as they seek to make sense of the world and their lives. With him we meet leaders from the Tiananmen Square protest who want a good reason to still care about China. We also meet with many ordinary people in ordinary places who long for their lives to matter: • Jonathan who learned he would rather build houses than study history • Todd and Maria who adopted creative schedules so they could parent better and practice medicine • D.J. who helped Congress move into the Internet Age • Robin who spends her life on behalf of urban justice • Hans who makes hamburgers the way they are meant to be made • Susan who built a home business of hand-printing stationary using a letterpress • Santiago who works with majority-world nations in need of capital • George who has given years to teaching students to learn things that matter most • Claudius and Deirdre whose openhearted home has always been a place for people • Dan who loves Wyoming, the place, its people and its cows Vocation is when we come to know the world in all its joy and pain and still love it. Vocation is following our calling to seek the welfare of the world we live in. And in helping the world to flourish, strangely, mysteriously, we find that we flourish too. Garber offers a book for everyone everywhere—for students, for parents, for those in the arts, in the academy, in public service, in the trades and in commerce—for all who want to discover the virtue of vocation.

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The Purpose Path: A Guide to Pursuing Your Authentic Life's Work

How to build a meaningful career with a moral center and a purpose in the world. Some of the world's most successful companies—Google, Disney, Starbucks—are not simply profit-driven, but purpose-driven. They identify the purpose behind why they do what they do, and let their "why" drive what they do every day. Nicholas Pearce argues that we all should do the same: discover our "why" and commit to the journey of aligning our daily work with our life's work. The Purpose Path is for people in any field who long to have more than just a job or a career, but a true vocation that allows them to connect their soul with their role. The Purpose Path is organized around five key questions: What is success? Who am I? Why am I here? Am I running the right race? Am I running the race well? Nicholas Pearce sits at the unconventional intersection of academia, business, and faith. With examples and advice, he shows how he and other people in a variety of fields and at different life stages have asked and answered these five questions in order to start, shape, or even radically change their careers. Inspiring, thought-provoking, and practical, The Purpose Path is an essential book for anyone who seeks the clarity and courage to advance their authentic life's work every day.

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The Purpose Gap: Empowering Communities of Color to Find Meaning and Thriving

In The Purpose Gap, Patrick Reyes reflects on a family member’s death after a long struggle with incarceration and homelessness. As he asks himself why his cousin's life had turned out so differently from his own, he realizes that it was a matter of conditions. While they both grew up in the same marginalized Chicano community in central California, Patrick found himself surrounded by a host of family, friends, and supporters. They created a different narrative for him than the one the rest of the world had succeeded in imposing on his cousin. In short, they created the conditions in which Patrick could not only survive but thrive. Far too much of the literature on leadership tells the story of heroic individuals creating their success by their own efforts. Such stories fail to recognize the structural obstacles to thriving faced by those in marginalized communities. If young people in these communities are to grow up to lives of purpose, others must help create the conditions to make that happen. Pastors, organizational leaders, educators, family, and friends must all perceive their calling to create new stories and new conditions of thriving for those most marginalized. This book offers both inspiration and practical guidance for how to do that. It offers advice on creating safe space for failure, nurturing networks that support young people of color, and professional guidance for how to implement these strategies in one's congregation, school, or community organization.

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Making Work Matter: Your Guide to Meaningful Work in a Changing World by Dr. Michaela O'Donnell

In the past decades, work has changed dramatically. Yet we are still sent into the new world of work with old, outdated tools, expectations, and strategies. This leaves us ill-equipped in our pursuit of meaningful work that will impact our communities and change the world. The result? Unmet expectations and unfulfilled longings. Not to mention curiosity about how to do the work we sense God calling us to. Make Work Matter provides a blueprint for a better future. Filled with stories and insights from faithful entrepreneurs and built on solid research, this book will help you - discover what God is calling you to do in a changing world - define where you are in this season of work - embrace what the Bible says (and doesn't say) about calling - develop a mindset and habits suited for the new world of work - reflect on and work out ways that sustain you on the journey It's time to close the gap between what you're doing now and the meaningful work you desire to accomplish. This book will help you chart your own way forward. CityGate is pleased to partner with Hearts & Minds bookstore, linked below.

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Putting Purpose into Practice: The Economics of Mutuality

Years of research by the Mars corporation has led to an entirely new way of thinking about profit, capital and the purpose of business. In the face of constant change, the nature of business must evolve rapidly if it is to remain relevant to society at large. How then should business change to meet the requirements of the 21st century, in which unbridled globalization and technological advancements are having profound affects on the wellbeing and prosperity of both the people and the planet? The achievement of purpose is the key to successful transformation - not just having a purpose, but making that purpose real at every level of the organization.

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Enneagram Devotionals Forty Days on Being a One (or Two, or Three) Edited by Suzanne Stabile

Offering a 40 Day devotional for each of the 9 Enneagram numbers and written by a person of the type, these little books are packed with Enneagram wisdom. What is it like to be each of the Enneagram numbers? Written by diverse authors and edited by master teacher Suzanne Stabile, these nine Enneagram Daily Reflections will give you a glimpse inside the experiences of each type. Formatted as forty daily readings, each volume also includes opportunities for further engagement such as a journaling prompts, reflection questions, a written prayer, or a spiritual practice after each day's reflection. The Enneagram is a profound tool for empathy, so no matter what your number, you will grow from these readings and enhance your relationships across the Enneagram spectrum.

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Art and Faith: A Theology of Making by Makoto Fujimura

Conceived over thirty years of painting and creating in his studio, this book is Makoto Fujimura’s broad and deep exploration of creativity and the spiritual aspects of “making.” What he does in the studio is theological work as much as it is aesthetic work. In between pouring precious, pulverized minerals onto handmade paper to create the prismatic, refractive surfaces of his art, he comes into the quiet space in the studio, in a discipline of awareness, waiting, prayer, and praise. Ranging from the Bible to T. S. Eliot, and from Mark Rothko to Japanese Kintsugi technique, he shows how unless we are making something, we cannot know the depth of God’s being and God’s grace permeating our lives. This poignant and beautiful book offers the perspective of, in Christian Wiman’s words, “an accidental theologian,” one who comes to spiritual questions always through the prism of art.

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The Work of Leaders: How Vision, Alignment and Execution Will Change the Way You Lead

A powerful study on the complexity of modern leadership and how we each have distinct leadership behaviors and levers to contribute to the team.he Work of Leaders distills leadership best practices into a simple, compelling process that helps leaders at all levels get immediate results. In the view of the authors, leaders have three fundamental responsibilities—the VAE model: crafting a Vision: imagining an improved future state that the group will make a reality through its work; building Alignment: getting to the point where everyone in the group understands and is committed to the vision; championing Execution: ensuring that the conditions are present for the imagined future to be turned into a reality The true value of this VAE model is that it lays out a manageable, realistic framework to guide the process. The goal is to provide straightforward explanations of where you might choose to target your personal development efforts.

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