Rebekah Simon-Peter

Non-Fiction

United Methodist pastor coaches church leaders and congregations on how to achieve dreams previously thought impossible.

Looking back over thirty years of recovery from addiction and twenty-five years as a United Methodist pastor, Casper, Wyoming, author, Rebekah Simon-Peter, reflects on the power of spirituality, a surprise vision, and her work coaching church leaders in her latest book, Dream Like Jesus:  Deepen Your Faith and Bring the Impossible to Life.  The result is an engaging volume which charts a path beyond conventional Christianity.  The lessons contained in her DARE model — Dream, Align, Realize, Expand — apply far beyond religious circles.

Simon-Peter not only draws on her family roots of Jewish and Christian faith, but also includes reflections on contemporary culture, controversies and leadership, with an engaging mixture of wisdom and wit.

Rebekah Simon-Peter is also the author of The Jew Named Jesus (Abingdon Press, 2013), Green Church: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rejoice! (Abingdon Press, 2010), and 7 Simple Steps to Green Your Church (Abingdon Press, 2010). A nationally-recognized inspirational speaker, in her spare time, Simon-Peter enjoys gardening and hiking the wilds of Wyoming with her husband, Jerry, and two four-legged friends.

Learn more about Simon-Peter on her website.

BOOKS:

Dream Like Jesus:  Deepen Your Faith and Bring the Impossible to Life, 2019

The Jew Named Jesus:  Discover the Man and His Message, 2013

Green Church:  Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rejoice!, 2010

7 Simple Steps to Green Your Church, 2010

Biggest literary influences: 

Countless! From Louisa May Alcott and Madeleine L’Engle; to Kurt Vonnegut and Agatha Christie; to Dickens, George Plimpton and John McPhee; to Amy Tan, Annie Lamott and Diana Butler Bass. And let’s not forget Carolyn Keene, the author of the Nancy Drew series.  I have gulped down books my whole life. Usually several at a time.

Last book read:

Susan Wiggs’ Between You and Me. Now turning the pages on The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray.

The book that changed your life: 

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. I could enter a whole world of imagination. One person, a girl, Meg, could fight back and make a difference. She could resist the intense pressures of conformity, release her dad, reunite her family and turn back the forces of evil. This book gave me hope and courage during a time I really needed it.

On the other hand, another early book that changed my life was Dr. Raymond Moody’s groundbreaking book, Life After Life, about near-death experiences.  I was 13 or so when I read it. It deeply influenced me and opened the way for me to have an enduring belief in God and in the afterlife.    

Favorite literary character: 

I’ve read SO many books over the years that it’s hard to choose just one.  But I do have to say that the characterization of Jesus in the New Testament is quite compelling.  I found myself thinking as I read the New Testament for the first time … who IS this man who turns water into wine and heals people with the touch of a hand or a bit of spittle??  He is by far the most well-developed Jewish character in the entire Bible.

Currently working on: 

My to do list for next week, and an emerging manuscript about discovering and claiming your inner divinity.

Words to live by: 

Easy does it, but do it.

Advice for aspiring authors:

Get your ideas down on paper. My first book was written when I was 7 or 8, I think, on a pad of white paper. I can’t remember what it was about. But I sure remember being proud. Something else: read three, four, five books at a time from different genres and disciplines. Whatever interests you. Let the ideas intermingle. They’ll prompt brand new connections within you and your writing will grow more original, more creative. 

ARTICLES/REVIEWS

“An Antidote to Gutless Prayer: Dreaming Like Jesus with Rebekah Simon-Peter” by Alex Joyner

PODCASTS

Latter-Day Faith 033: Dream Like Jesus

Beardcast for 12.16.19 with Special Guest Rev. Rebekah Simon-Peter

Three part podcast with Iliff School of Theology’s Tom Barlow: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

TESTIMONIALS

Soul-Nourishing and Church-Changing
Rebekah Simon-Peter takes what is good in laity-friendly theology books, leadership training books, church self-help books, and inspirational books…and blows all their takeaways out of the water. She’s not just offering vaguely inspiring ideas, and she’s not just giving readers a “how to save the church” to-do list. This is a book about both individual and social components of church leadership, and it is exactly as intimidating and daring and hopeful as following the Jesus revealed in the gospels ought to be. I’m not even halfway through, but every chapter has left me thinking about my church and my call in a whole new way. It’s been almost like devotional reading for me, except that devotional reading doesn’t usually have such clear applications for the church body as a unit.

Virginia, Amazon reviewer

An outstanding book for such a time as this…..
Rebekah Simon-Peter may be one of the most interesting and inspiring people I know. Her new book, Dream Like Jesus, reads like part credo and part workbook on living out the prayer of Jesus, “thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” It is inspirational and helps all church leaders navigate these tumultuous times. As a United Methodist denominational executive, Rebekah’s work moving us from discipleship to apostleship (from faith in Jesus to the faith of Jesus) has been the proverbial shot in the arm to many of our leaders. This book takes the best of that work and makes it available to us all.

—Derrek Belase, UMC

Insightful! Challenging!
Most churches that are in decline lack one thing; vision. In chapter two Rebekah dives deep into “eight decline dynamics” of churches with no vision. This book will challenge pastors and leaders to get out of their comfort zones and help face their fears to engage God’s vision. It is a must-read for all church leaders!

Gary Step, program participant