Spring has finally arrived! That means warm days reading outside and bombarding my friends with book suggestions and bookish gifts. In my bookworm opinion, there’s nothing better than receiving a gift for your bookshelf. Think about all the different spring and summer gift-giving opportunities that are quickly approaching. Graduation is just around the corner, and confirmation is close behind. Baptisms are happening every day, and seminary students have received their vicarage placements or first pastoral calls.
New books, new Bibles, new catechisms: the gifting list is (almost) endless. In preparation for this season of gifting, download free printable bookplates to place inside the front covers of your books. Different options let you state the giver and the receiver, or just the owner’s name, to personalize to the book. Now, for some for amazing gift-giving ideas . . .
For the Confirmand
There are plenty of books to guide faith formation. A brand-new Bible is a great gift for confirmands as they grow in faith and move through different phases of life. Journaling Bibles (such as The Enduring Word Bible) are a good option to keep catechism notes, prayers, and doodles right alongside an ESV text and footnotes. Of course, no confirmation gift is complete without a copy of Luther’s Small Catechism (2017), which provides helpful insights and explanations of the major aspects of faith, including the Sacraments, Confession, Baptism and more.
For the Vicar
For second-year seminary students, receiving a vicarage placement opens a new world of exciting opportunity to serve God’s people. Prepare new vicars for their service to the Church with books to help them follow Christ’s lead. As they go out and begin teaching the faith outside of the classroom, Timeless Truth can help them learn philosophies for teaching the faith and how to design impactful lessons for young students. Additionally, send them on their way with comfort and encouragement from previous pastors in a collection of letters by Hermann Sasse.
For the Newly Called Pastor
A new pastor’s first call comes with a lot of excitement. It’s finally his time to go out and lead God’s people as he has been called. Equip pastors with a beloved book from the Luther’s Works series, which contain Martin Luther’s sermons, disputations, and commentary. Or, prepare him to care for his congregation with a copy of the Pastoral Care Companion, a helpful tool filled with Bible verses, psalms, prayers and commentary for more than 60 different topics.
For the Graduate
Graduation gifts are common, but only some stick with the graduates long term. Books and their teachings not only guide a graduate’s life, but also stick with them after the party decorations are put away. For those graduating from middle school, there are a lot of questions that need answers. Words of Strength and Promise offers 70 devotions written by a variety of authors to give guidance on tricky topics while building a habit of daily personal devotions.
Moving from high school to college is a major step. High school graduates are faced with questions of who they want to be, what career they want to pursue, and what they want to do with their lives. Callings for Life is written by a campus pastor and answers the ways that God calls His children to multiple vocations. A Martyr's Faith in a Faithless World also can help new graduates find strength in the Word and promises of God to continue their faith and live out their catechism teachings. Finally, college graduates could use a bit of help clearing out all the confusion of jumping into the working world. Clearly Christian can offer relief after a stressful finals week and remind them of their Christian roots in Christ.
As you compile your list of books to give for the spring gifting season, remember to download these free bookplates to put in the front covers and personalize as you see fit. Your recipient will love seeing your name inside their book as a reminder of how you are supporting them on their faith journey.
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