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Faith and Hope in Midlife: Reflecting on Churchgoers’ Experiences – eBooks

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Faith and Hope in Midlife: Reflecting on Churchgoers’ Experiences
Anne Shave

You are buying eBook editions of this 246 page book in PDF, ePub and Mobi formats.

The ISBNs are: PDF 9781991027061; ePub/Kindle/Mobi 9781991027078
You can download 1, 2 or all 3 eBooks. 

After paying for your eBook/s you will be provided with links on screen to download them immediately. You will also receive an email link to download them later.

See the bottom of this page for details of other places to order this eBook and also the Print editions. 

Short Description

Based on interviews with churchgoers from Presbyterian, Anglican and Catholic congregations, clergy and spiritual directors, this challenging and inspirational book explores the experiences of Christians in midlife and considers ways that churches can support people in this life stage.

Questions for reflection and discussion are included.


Based on interviews with churchgoers from Presbyterian, Anglican and Catholic congregations, and conversations with clergy and spiritual directors, this book explores the experiences of Christians in midlife and considers ways that churches can support people in this life stage.

Chapter One provides an overview of some key themes and theories relating to midlife.

Chapter Two looks at the topic of faith development, through story, metaphor and theory.

Chapters Three and Four explore midlife churchgoers’ experiences of church – what they value, and why, and what challenges they face when it comes to church involvement.

Chapter Five focuses on individuals’ spirituality and spiritual practices at midlife.

Chapters Six and Seven propose ways that individuals and congregations might acknowledge, celebrate and respond to the spiritual development of parishioners in this life stage.

Chapter Eight draws these themes together.

At the end of each chapter there are questions for personal reflection or group discussion, and recommendations of relevant resources.

Reviewers’ comments:

“Anne Shave lets us hear the voices of several dozen churchgoers at midlife as they discuss their hopes, fears, personal experiences, and God’s presence in the challenges and opportunities. She gives a clear presentation of patterns of discipleship and spiritual growth at midlife, and the longing of her interviewees for more – more depth of faith, more help with discipleship, more resources for the challenges, and more guidance for their inner journey. … Her book is a blessing for anyone at midlife. She provides reassurance of the significance and blessings of this underappreciated life stage. Shave also connects the themes of midlife – explored through interviews and a helpful overview of research – with faith communities, enabling more effective ministry with and to people in this life stage.”

Rev Dr Lynne Baab, author of A Renewed Spirituality: Finding Fresh Paths at Midlife and Embracing Midlife: Congregations as Support Systems

 • • •

“I highly recommend this book. Anne Shave brings experiences of midlife Aotearoa New Zealand churchgoers into creative, accessible dialogue with her extensive research on this phase of life which is rarely addressed in churches. True to her claim that her intention is to raise more questions than answers, Anne sits with the questions as stories, images and experiences trigger insights that offer new ways forward. … This book is a taonga (treasure) raising consciousness about the desire for the more that is at the heart of the midlife journey. … It is essential reading for those in midlife, for clergy and all concerned with communities of faith.”

Kathleen P. Rushton. Independent Biblical Interpreter and Spiritual Director. Teaching Fellow Trinity Methodist College

 • • •

“How can the church attend to the needs of people in midlife? This is such a vital question both in terms of how we care for people but also how the church maintains meaningful connection with this group in an age when many people are disconnecting. Anne Shave’s work is based on significant research and well-chosen interviews and provides an invaluable insight into the spiritual journeys and needs of this age group. Anne not only records her findings, but she also draws helpful conclusions. This is a good read, challenging and inspirational for church life.”

Rt Rev Hamish Galloway, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa NZ

 • • •



1 — Counting our days

Defining midlife
Midlife crisis?
Tasks of midlife
Review and reappraisal
Fresh perspective
Where to from here?
Questions for reflection or discussion
Recommended resources

2 — Faith development and midlife

Rosemary’s story
Jane’s story
Images of spiritual development
A journey
A slinky, spiral or labyrinth
Organic models of growth and fruitfulness
Holy mixed metaphors
Faith Development Theory
Tony’s story
Faith transitions
Developmental expectation
Questions for reflection or discussion
Recommended resources

3 — Part of the Family

Small groups
Children and families
Opportunities for service and for reflection
Experiences of worship
Sermons and homilies
Holy ground
Questions for reflection or discussion
Recommended resources

4 — Challenges

Family responsibilities
Care for children
The “empty nest”
Care for parents
Pastoral care
Others issues and possible responses
Questions for reflection or discussion
Recommended resources

5 — Something more

Desire for better understanding
Desire for deepening relationship with God
Simple prayer
Long-established patterns of prayer
Desire for challenge
Questions for reflection or discussion
Recommended resources

6 — Addressing the Discipleship Gap

Communal and individual responsibility
Ian’s story – Part One
Ian’s story – Part Two
Mentoring within congregations
Spiritual Direction
Experiences of spiritual direction at midlife
Questions for reflection or discussion
Recommended resources

7 — Two case studies

The Moses Project
Ignatian Retreats in Daily Life
Points of commonality
Further thoughts to ponder
Questions for reflection or discussion
Recommended resources

8 — Observations and next steps

Churchgoers in midlife
Spiritual directors
Next steps

Appendix — The research process

The original interviewees
Churchgoers in midlife
Spiritual directors
Selection of interviewees
Limitations of the sample
Cohort effects



Other places to buy this eBook

Click the links to order: | Amazon UK | Amazon Aust    

Kobo NZ | Kobo UK | Kobo USA | Smashwords

Places to buy Print editions

Click the links to order:
PGPL NZ | Amazon UK | Amazon Aust

You will get the following files:
  • EPUB (1MB)
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  • MOBI (3MB)

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