All Saints: The Surprising Story of How Refugees from Burma Brought Life to a Dying Church
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All Saints: The Surprising Story of How Refugees from Burma Brought Life to a Dying Church

Bethany House / 2017 / Paperback

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Dive deeper into the true story behind the powerful film! After accepting his new position, salesman-turned-pastor Michael Spurlock is ordered to shut down his dilapidated country church, which boasts a dozen members and a mortgage well beyond its means. Instead, he challenges his parishioners to risk it all to welcome refugees and revive their community! Paperback.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 192
Vendor: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2017
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0764230271
ISBN-13: 9780764230271

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Publisher's Description

The True Story Behind the Powerful Film ALL SAINTS

Newly ordained, Michael Spurlock's first assignment is to pastor All Saints, a struggling church with twenty-five devoted members and a mortgage well beyond its means. The best option may be to close the church rather than watch it wither any further. But when All Saints hesitantly risks welcoming a community of Karen refugees from Burma--former farmers scrambling for a fresh start in America--Michael feels they may be called to an improbable new mission.

Michael must choose between closing the church and selling the property--or listening to a still, small voice challenging the people of All Saints to risk it all and provide much-needed hope to their new community. Together, they risk everything to plant seeds for a future that might just save them all.

Discover the true story that inspired the film while also diving deeper into the background of the Karen people, the church, and how a community of believers rally to reach out to those in need, yet receive far more than they dared imagine.

The Reverend Michael Spurlock served All Saints Episcopal Church in Smyrna, Tennessee, for three years. He is currently on the clergy staff at Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue in New York City. Michael, his wife, Aimee, and their two children live in New York City.

Award-winning author and investigative journalist Jeanette Windle has lived in six countries, authored nineteen books, and mentors writers on five continents. To learn more, visit her at www.jeanettewindle.com.

Author Bio

The Reverend Michael Spurlock served All Saints Episcopal Church in Smyrna, Tennessee, for three years. He is currently on the clergy staff at Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue in New York City. Michael, his wife, Aimee, and their two children live in New York City.

Award-winning author and investigative journalist Jeanette Windle has lived in six countries, authored nineteen books, and mentors writers on five continents. To learn more, visit her at www.jeanettewindle.com.

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  1. Carol Cool
    Ephrata, PA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    An Inspiring True Story
    September 24, 2017
    Carol Cool
    Ephrata, PA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 0
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 0
    We all understand that "based on a true story" means that there are parts of the movie that are fictionalized to create drama or streamline the story. That's true of the All Saints movie as well. So I felt very fortunate to receive a complimentary copy of the All Saints book, cowritten by the pastor Michael Spurlock and Jeanette Windle.

    I found the true story of the All Saints Episcopal Church even more inspiring than the fictionalized one in the movie. It's less dramatic and more complicated, to be sure, but it is a powerful story of becoming one congregation across language, culture, and class barriers. What began as two congregations sharing one building became one congregation worshipping together in the same service with two languages! What beauty!

    If you love knowing what happens behind the scenes, if you want to know about the faith of Karen people and the persecution that led them out of Burma and eventually to the United States, the All Saints book will be a satisfying, thirst-quenching read. I was challenged as well to read of the ongoing generosity of the Karen refugees, even when they had little to give.

    The story of the Karen people's arrival at All Saints outlined in the movie took place in 2008. Pastor Spurlock moved on to a new church assignment in 2010, but All Saints Episcopal is still thriving and still multicultural. The commitment of the ministers who have followed Spurlock and the commitment of the congregantsboth Anglo and Karenhave ensured that God is still exhibiting the oneness of his Body in Smyrna, Tennessee.

    I loved learning that there was more to the story and it's a story of people working, living and worshipping together over the years.
  2. Angela Suzanne
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Inspiring story
    September 23, 2017
    Angela Suzanne
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I received a copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.

    I watched the movie of this story about a month ago and I liked reading the book as it brought more depth to the main characters. It included a lot of Ye Wins and Michael Spurlocks background and had an overall biographical feel and didnt just focus on saving the church as was shown in the movie. I found this book to be an inspiring message of how God works and how He can work through a community that comes together and relies on Him. I also liked that it included what happened even when Spurlock left for another church, showing that it was God working through Spurlock and that He could still work in the church regardless of who was leading it.
  3. Danni
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    All Saints
    September 20, 2017
    Danni
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 5
    "Every rime a need arose, we'd wonder how we'd meet it," Father Randy remembers. "And somehow we always did. It sure wasn't because All Saints had some great strategy or we were good planners. It was simply because the church community came together and God answered prayers time after time after time." (pg. 185 All Saints)

    With all the amazing ways God for the All Saints, this might be my favorite quote from the book. Hind sight is always 20/20 right?

    This book though. I loved the honesty of it. It didn't shy away from people being people. At one point there was so much strain that a congregant snapped at Spurlock and yelled about money. I can't imagine what these refugees have gone through. Having to start over the way they did.

    All of this being said, All Saints is an excellent reminder of God's provision today. God just didn't provide thousands of years ago for people in Biblical times. He provides today. Present tense. Providing for our needs everyday. Glad this book came along to continue to remind me of that.

    I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.
  4. cheryl
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Faith. Mission. Community.
    September 20, 2017
    cheryl
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    If you believe, they will come. All Saints, a struggling church in Smyrna, Tennessee with 25 devoted members and a mortgage well beyond what they could afford was saved from closing their doors with a community of Karen refugees from Burma. Rev. Michael Spurlocks first assignment was to pastor All Saints. When he and his family arrived, they did not expect to be faced with a decision of having to sell the church and closing its doors.

    What happened next can only happen with faith in Jesus and prayer. Michael walked the church property, prayed and listened to the voice of God. Will they risk everything to plant seeds for the future that might just save them all.
  5. Kendra
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Inspiring true story
    September 14, 2017
    Kendra
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This book, the true story behind a recently released movie, tells the story of the divinely orchestrated intersection of two unlikely people groups--a struggling white church in Tennessee and Karen refugees recently arrived from Burma. In a time when most news seems bad, this story was an inspiring example of the results of faithful obedience to God. It is also a remarkable lesson in what can be accomplished when people willingly give of themselves and their gifts to serve others.

    Synopsis: The book begins with the stories of Michael Spurlock and Ye Win, two unlikely candidates for church leadership. On opposite sides of the glove, God brings them to faith in him and teaches them to trust his provision in all circumstances. Spurlock eventually becomes vicar of All Saints Episcopal, a small church struggling to pay the large mortgage on its property. The congregation of less than twenty was overwhelmed when a visit by three Karen refugees to a Sunday service results in nearly a hundred more coming the next Sunday. The two groups work to overcome cultural barriers as they learn to know the history that has brought them together. Pooling their skills and recruiting others to help, the All Saints congregation assists the refugees with immediate physical needs--housing, transportation, English classes, and so on. Together they start a farm on unused church property, a project that ended up providing not only food for the refugees but enough income to pay the mortgage and save the church property.

    I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my review.
Displaying items 1-5 of 8
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