Printed Resources

These are books and pamphlets that help shape the Church of the Covenant Community.

Click on the book covers to link directly to and other suppliers. Some of these books are also available in the book section in the Lodge of the Fishermen.

The Authentic ChurchBecoming the Authentic Church, N. Gordon Cosby & Kayla McClurg

Subtitled “A Guide Toward Being in Diverse, Healing Community Rooted in Reconciliation and Justice,” the 52-page booklet addresses the ways in which the Church of the Saviour is evolving from its beginnings to this newer model 58 years later. Quoting from the book: “This book is for all who sense that the church still is God’s hope for the world, and who long to join others in living with greater integrity the transforming good news of Jesus Christ.”

By Grace TransformedBy Grace Transformed: Christianity for a New Millennium, N. Gordon Cosby (1999)

Review by Colin Andrews: It has been my privilege to visit with the Church of the Saviour and I have heard Gordon Cosby preach often. This book is a superb collection of his sermons.The script is simple to read and the theology is profound because he lives out a life of deep commitment and represents one of the most credible and compassionate Christian communities I have ever connected with.This book is a must for anyone who is serious about the Gospel of Christ.

Call to CommitmentCall to Commitment: The story of the Church of the Saviour, Washington, D.C., Elizabeth O’Connor (1963)

This is the beginning story of the Church of The Saviour, an ecumenical church in Washington, DC, out of which the Potter’s House and approximately 50 other ministries have been born. This exciting story captures how the Christian life can be a vital, life-giving, challenging experience. Sometimes called an “unconventional or non-traditional church”, the Church of The Saviour is actually a church firmly rooted in the first-century church, where members are continually discovering again for the first time what it is that God wants to accomplish in and through them.

Hear Elizabeth O’Connor talk about her book, Cry Pain, Cry Hope on June 7, 1987 (36:12)

Celebration of DisciplineCelebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth, Richard J. Foster (1988)

Hailed by many as the best modern book on Christian spirituality, Celebration of Discipline explores the “classic Disciplines,” or central spiritual practices, of the Christian faith. Along the way, Foster shows that it is only by and through these practices that the true path to spiritual growth can be found. Dividing the Disciplines into three movements of the Spirit, Foster shows how each of these areas contribute to a balanced spiritual life. The inward Disciplines of meditation, prayer, fasting, and study, offer avenues of personal examination and change. The outward Disciplines of simplicity, solitude, submission, and service, help prepare us to make the world a better place. The corporate Disciplines of confession, worship, guidance, and celebration, bring us nearer to one another and to God.

Community and GrowthCommunity and Growth, Jean Vanier (1989)

Customer review: Vanier takes an in-depth look at community life and living through his experiences with the L’Arche community in France. This Biblically-based book offers excellent insights, tips, rules and suggestions for how to build a healthy community. The book is a wonderful primer for anyone considering the possibility of living in Christian community.

The Cost of DiscipleshipThe Cost of Discipleship, Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1995)

What can the call to discipleship, the adherence to the word of Jesus, mean today to the businessman, the soldier, the laborer, or the aristocrat? What did Jesus mean to say to us? What is his will for us today? Drawing on the Sermon on the Mount, Dietrich Bonhoeffer answers these timeless questions by providing a seminal reading of the dichotomy between “cheap grace” and “costly grace.” “Cheap grace,” Bonhoeffer wrote, “is the grace we bestow on ourselves…grace without discipleship….Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the girl which must be asked for, the door at which a man must know….It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life.”

Eighth Day of CreationEighth Day of Creation, Elizabeth O’Connor (Paperback, 2007)

The exercises and meditative materials that make up this unusual book are designed specifically to help you identify your God-given gifts and to encourage you to use those gifts creatively in the world. Read Eighth Day of Creation in one sitting, or study it a little at a time, over a period of weeks, letting the words of great writers and thinkers stimulate your own thoughts and prayers. Once you’ve read it, you’ll find yourself returning to it again and again for insight and encouragement as you continue the exciting process of becoming all God created you to be.

No image availableHandbook for Churches and Mission Groups, Dorothy Devers & N. Gordon Cosby (2000)

This often-requested handbook now is back in stock. The handbook spells out the principles and structures of a church and a mission group -principles that have developed during 50 years of experience at The Church of the Saviour. Many visitors to The Church of the Saviour have read Elizabeth O’Connor’s books describing the various dimensions of that church’s life as it has been lived out. Their principal questions have had to do with group structure. This handbook is designed to answer those questions.

“Structure, though uninspiring to many, is the key to maintaining a quality of life that can quicken the heart of the beholder … Once the principles and structures are embodied, the possibilities for the explosion of spiritual power in the world are unlimited.” (From the Handbook’s Introduction.)

The Heart of ChristianityThe Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith, Marcus J. Borg (2004)

World-renowned Jesus scholar Marcus J. Borg shows how we can live passionately as Christians in today’s world by practicing the vital elements of Christian faith. Emphasizing the critical role of daily practice in living the Christian life, he explores how prayer, worship, Sabbath, pilgrimage, and more can be experienced as authentically life-giving practices. Borg reclaims terms and ideas once thought to be the sole province of evangelicals and fundamentalists: he shows that terms such as “born again” have real meaning for all Christians; that the “Kingdom of God” is not a bulwark against secularism but is a means of transforming society into a world that values justice and love; and that the Christian life is essentially about opening one’s heart to God and to others.

Journey Inward, Journey OutwardJourney Inward / Journey Outward, Elizabeth O’Connor (1975)

This book continues the story begun in CALL TO COMMITMENT, telling of the Church of The Saviour’s vital balance of engagement with self, God and others (the “journey inward”) and how it proceeds from this solid base to involvement with the needs of the greater community (the “journey outward”). This church community not only leads members to increasingly deeper self-discovery, but also taps unsuspected wells of individual creativity in its renewed emphasis on the servanthood of the church. Contained here are the stories of some of the primary missions of those early days — missions like the Potter’s House and For Love of Children and The Restoration Corps. You will be moved by the successes and struggles of ordinary people in creative partnership with God.

Last Child in the WoodsLast Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, Richard Louv (2008)

Nature-deficit disorder is not a medical condition; it is a description of the human costs of alienation from nature. This alienation damages children and shapes adults, families, and communities. There are solutions, though, and they’re right in our own backyards. Last child in the Woods is the first book to bring together cutting-edge research showing that direct exposure to nature is essential for healthy childhood development—physical, emotional, and spiritual. Sending kids outside to play is increasingly difficult. Computers, television, and video games compete for their time, of course, but it’s also our fears of traffic, strangers, even virus-carrying mosquitoes—fears the media exploit—that keep children indoors. Meanwhile, schools assign more and more homework, and there is less and less access to natural areas. Parents have the power to ensure that their daughter or son will not be the “last child in the woods,” and this book is the first step toward that nature-child reunion.

Let Your Life SpeakLet Your Life Speak, Parker J. Palmer (1999)

With wisdom, compassion, and gentle humor, Parker J. Palmer invites us to listen to the inner teacher and follow its leading toward a sense of meaning and purpose. Telling stories from his own life and the lives of others who have made a difference, he shares insights gained from darkness and depression as well as fulfillment and joy, illuminating a pathway toward vocation for all who seek the true calling of their lives.

Parker Palmer talks about The Decision to Live Divided No More on September 17, 1999 (38:38)

Life TogetherLife Together: The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community, Dietrich Bonheoffer (1978)

After his martyrdom at the hands of the Gestapo in 1945, Dietrich Bonhoeffer continued his witness in the hearts of Christians around the world. His Letters and Papers from Prison became a prized testimony to Christian faith and courage, read by thousands. Now in Life Together we have Pastor Bonhoeffer’s experience of Christian community. This story of a unique fellowship in an underground seminary during the Nazi years reads like one of Paul’s letters. It gives practical advice on how life together in Christ can be sustained in families and groups. The role of personal prayer, worship in common, everyday work, and Christian service is treated in simple, almost biblical, words. Life Together is bread for all who are hungry for the real life of Christian fellowship.

Living Buddha, Living ChristLiving Buddha, Living Christ, Thich Nhat Hanh (2007)

Buddha and Christ, perhaps the two most pivotal figures in the history of humankind, each left behind a legacy of teachings and practices that have shaped the lives of billions of people over two millennia. If they were to meet on the road today, what would each think of the other’s spiritual views and practices? In this classic text for spiritual seekers, Thich Nhat Hanh explores the crossroads of compassion and holiness at which the two traditions meet, and he reawakens our understanding of both. This is a 10th anniversary edition of the classic text, updated, revised, and featuring a Mindful Living Journal.

Original BlessingOriginal Blessing: A Primer in Creation Spirituality Presented in Four Paths, Twenty-Six Themes, and Two Questions, Matthew Fox (2000)

Here is a reissue of the critically acclaimed bestseller, named one of the “20 books that changed the world” in New Age Journal’s Annual Source Book for 1995. Maverick theologian Matthew Fox provides a daring view of historical Christianity and a theologically sound basis for personal discovery of spiritual liberation. In this revolutionary work, Fox shows how Christianity once celebrated beauty, compassion, justice, and provided a path of positive knowledge and ecstatic connection with all creation.

Peace is Every StepPeace is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life, Thich Nhat Hanh (1992)

In the rush of modern life, we tend to lose touch with the peace that is available in each moment. World-renowned Zen master, spiritual leader, and author Thich Nhat Hanh shows us how to make positive use of the very situations that usually pressure and antagonize us. Lucidly and beautifully written, Peace Is Every Step contains commentaries and meditations, personal anecdotes and stories from Nhat Hanh’s experiences as a peace activist, teacher, and community leader. It begins where the reader already is—in the kitchen, office, driving a car, walking a part—and shows how deep meditative presence is available now. Nhat Hanh provides exercises to increase our awareness of our own body and mind through conscious breathing, which can bring immediate joy and peace. Nhat Hanh also shows how to be aware of relationships with others and of the world around us, its beauty and also its pollution and injustices. the deceptively simple practices of Peace Is Every Step encourage the reader to work for peace in the world as he or she continues to work on sustaining inner peace by turning the “mindless” into the mindFUL.

Also the writings of: Thomas Keating, Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen, Howard Thurman, and Elton Trueblood