Bright new book launched with Adventist bookshop team

Signs Publishing assistant book editor Lauren Webb, author Sukeshinie Goonatilleke and associate director of the Ellen White Estate Pastor Dwain Esmond at the launch of As Bright as the Stars.

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Adventist Book Centre (ABC) managers and staff from across the South Pacific Division celebrated the launch of As Bright as the Stars, Sukeshinie Goonatilleke’s second book of stories from the Reformation. The book was launched in an afternoon of immersive activities at their annual ABC Sales and Marketing Seminar at Camp Howqua, near Mansfield, Victoria, from February 23 to 28.

Written in a similar style to the author’s successful debut book Sisters in ArmsAs Bright as the Stars presents four new stories exploring the themes of discipleship and personal evangelism during the Reformation. “Stories of the Reformation tend to focus on individuals,” Mrs Goonatilleke said. “Rarely do we look at the connections between these individuals. But the ideas of the Reformation spread because people shared what they learned with others. Discipleship and personal evangelism were crucial.”

The title of the book comes from Daniel 12:3, which compares “those who turn many to righteousness”—disciples who disciple others—to brightly shining stars.

ABC representatives explored these themes in a series of activities on the Sabbath afternoon of their program. One of these activities focused on the power of personal stories. After hearing the story of Ursula von Münsterberg, a 16th-century woman who sparked a movement of runaway nuns when she published her testimony of illegally fleeing a convent, bookshop staff shared their own stories with one another.

Dr Danijela Schubert, author of The Green Dress, speaking to ABC managers and staff.

New ABC manager Kinson Yamahune, from the Sepik Mission in Papua New Guinea, told colleagues how God called him to serve at the ABC four times before he accepted. “Being here at the seminar has confirmed that it was the right thing to do to accept God’s call,” he said. “It is not just about learning how to sell books, but about learning how to spread God’s love to my customers and help them to prepare their lives for Jesus’ soon return.”

The ABC seminar also included presentations from Pastor Dwain Esmond, associate director of the Ellen White Estate, Dale Galusha, Pacific Press Publishing Association president, and authors Sukeshinie Goonatilleke and Danijela Schubert, along with presentations of new books from Signs Publishing, Pacific Press and Stanborough Press.

Pastor Esmond affirmed the service of ABC staff. “Their testimonies of how God led them to dedicate their lives to this important ministry were eye-opening for me. They love God and they love people!” 

Reflecting on the launch of As Bright as the Stars, Signs Publishing Book Editor Nathan Brown commented, “The stories we share are important—they shape who we are, how we live, how we believe and who we are becoming. They encourage us as we share our faith and hope with others.”

As Bright as the Stars is available now from Adventist bookshops in Australia and New Zealand and online.

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