WESTMONT, IL—IVP is pleased to announce that My Vertical Neighborhood: How Strangers Became a Community by Lynda MacGibbon was named the best nonfiction book of the year as part of the 2022 Word Guild Awards. In addition, IVP Academic’s Welcome, Holy Spirit: A Theological and Experiential Introduction by Gordon T. Smith received the 2022 Word Guild Award in the Christian Living – Spiritual Formation category. And the late Donald M. Lewis received the top honor in the academic category for his book A Short History of Christian Zionism: From the Reformation to the Twenty-First Century.
The Word Guild’s thirty-fourth annual awards event was held on Saturday, September 17, in honor of talented Canadian writers who are Christian. The event, which took place online for the third consecutive year, recognized unpublished work by new writers as well as work published in 2021 for both Christian and mainstream audiences. During MacGibbon’s acceptance speech, she said, “Thank you to the Word Guild for championing writers in Canada, particularly writers who come from a Christian perspective in thought and writing.”
After encouragement from friends and family to write down her experiences of moving from a small city in eastern Canada to a high-rise apartment in Toronto, MacGibbon spent five years writing My Vertical Neighborhood. She tells the story of the community that took shape as neighbors said yes to weekly dinners and a writing group, Christmas morning brunch and even a Bible study. It’s a story of the simple, everyday risk of reaching out with love to those around us, and of the beauty and messiness of real human relationships. ”Thank you to the team at InterVarsity Press who believed in this project,” MacGibbon said.
MacGibbon currently serves as vice president of People and Culture for InterVarsity Canada. Before working for InterVarsity, she was a journalist for over twenty years.
Karen Stiller, author of The Minister’s Wife: A Memoir of Faith, Doubt, Friendship, Loneliness, Forgiveness, and More, said, “Whether you live in a tall apartment building or a tiny house on a quiet street, My Vertical Neighborhood will make you want to throw your doors open wide and invite the neighbors in. This beautifully written chronicle of risk taking, hospitality, success, and even the sadness and struggles of building community for the sake of loving neighbors well over the long run, is inspiring and also practical. There are good ideas in these pages. After reading it, I want to shop for salty olives and some really good bread, and throw a dinner party for my neighbors.”
The recipient of the Word Guild Award in the Christian Living – Spiritual Formation category, Welcome, Holy Spirit by Gordon T. Smith, helps readers cultivate an understanding of the Holy Spirit that helps them experience the presence of the Spirit in worship, in witness, in joy and sorrow, in seasons of blessing and times of difficulty alike, all the while honoring the fullness of the Trinity.
Domenic Ruso, founding planter of the180 Church in Québec and faculty member at diverse theological schools across Canada, said, “In an age bubbling with numerous spiritualities, Dr. Smith, in this book, has given us a gift: a biblical, pastoral, and practical guide for what it means to discern and obey God the Holy Spirit so that God the Son and God the Father are magnified in our time.”
Smith (PhD, Loyola School of Theology, Ateneo de Manila University) is the president of Ambrose University and Seminary in Calgary, Alberta, where he also serves as professor of systematic and spiritual theology. He is an ordained minister with the Christian and Missionary Alliance and a teaching fellow at Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia. He is the author of many books, including Institutional Intelligence, Courage and Calling, Your Calling Here and Now, and Evangelical, Sacramental, and Pentecostal.
The late Donald M. Lewis, a beloved Regent College professor who passed away unexpectedly in 2021, was honored by the Word Guild for his book in the academic nonfiction category. In the early 2000s Lewis became fascinated with the Christian Zionist movement. In 2009 he published The Origins of Christian Zionism: Lord Shaftesbury and the Evangelical Support for a Jewish Homeland. This was followed by this, his last book, A Short History of Christian Zionism: From the Reformation to the Twenty-First Century.
Lewis was a prolific author who wrote eleven books, including the two-volume Blackwell Dictionary of Evangelical Biography, 1730–1860. His first book with IVP was titled Global Evangelicalism: Theology, History and Culture in Regional Perspective, which he edited with Richard V. Pierard.
Jon Boyd, academic editorial director for IVP, said, “Working with Don on his history of Christian Zionism gave me insight into what the fruits of a life well spent in scholarship can be. The long hours with archival and primary sources shone through, of course, but that’s just a baseline for any historian. What Don added was patience with and even an appetite for feedback to develop the manuscript further, a sincerely charitable attitude toward critics, and a vision for the good he hoped his work might do. What a privilege to watch someone like that at work!”
The Word Awards were established by The Word Guild to encourage the pursuit of excellence in the art, craft, practice, and ministry of writing and help raise the profile of Canadian writers who are Christian. For more information about The Word Guild, please visit thewordguild.com. You can see the complete list of winners for the 2022 Word Awards below and at thewordguild.com/media.
For a complete list of IVP award winners visit ivpress.com/award-winners.
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