Voelz book offers lessons in reaching people dealing with reproductive loss and adoption

RICHMOND, VA (May 10, 2018) — Often those who are in positions of leadership in the church fail to respond to needs or seem insensitive to them, simply because they have no idea what to say or do. We have celebrations and commemorations in the church for traditional holy days and for major transitions of life, as we ought. But how do we make theological sense of the more private hardships and joys experienced by members of the community?

If we are to be an effective community, serving as an extended family for one another, we cannot limit ourselves to talking about, celebrating, or even mourning the expected things. We need to be able to connect with people who are mourning for any loss.

In the second edition of his book “Tending the Tree of Life: Preaching and Worship Through Reproductive Loss and Adoption,” the Rev. Dr. Richard W. Voelz, Union Presbyterian Seminary assistant professor of preaching and worship, combines his expertise and his personal experience to think about preaching and worship with regard to issues of reproductive loss and adoption in a way that can bring healing to individuals and to the community. It speaks strongly to pastors and other church leaders, especially those in small groups. It builds understanding and lays the groundwork for making these events of life a part of our continuing concern and our plan to bring wholeness and healing to our churches and to the world.

The book continues the series called “Guides To Practical Ministry,” which are written by authors with significant experience in ministry in local congregations.

Voelz formerly served as the senior minister of the Johns Creek Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), an Open & Affirming congregation in metro Atlanta, Georgia. He has over a decade of ministry experience in various contexts. A graduate of Vanderbilt University’s Graduate Department of Religion with the Ph.D. in Homiletics and Liturgics, Voelz brings expertise and scholarly interest in contextual homiletics, contemporary homiletic theory, preaching and youth, pastoral identity, preaching in the Stone-Campbell Movement, and contemporary liturgical theology.

Richard W. Voelz high-resolution image