Customer Responses, 2001


Your Samplers give ideas that are easy to use. We used them during our house prayer services. --Noemi Guilbeaux, Cliffside, NJ

I first read about Alternatives in a "Christmas Festival" story in The Other Side, 15 years ago and I have been your fan ever since. I am inspired with each catalog and now each e mail. God bless you. Keep the inspiration coming! You are a blessing. Your fan in Arizona, Socorro

Treasury of Celebrations, A Simple Christmas and The Heart of a Family contain wonderful ideas. We plan to include the names of books on family resource lists and on our denominational Advent, Christmas, Epiphany packet list. - Willa Brown, Reformed Church in America, Grand Rapids, MI

I am considering forming a study circle and using Simpler Living, Compassionate Life. I plan to use FutureStories as a family game and a teaching tool in high school. - Kimberly Hardesty, Madisonville, KY



"Whose Birthday..." and "Adviento," "Wedding Alternatives" and "Nuestra Boda" are resources to share with families, churches and pastors. Top quality for a reasonable price. Thanks for the fine resources and service! Keep trying for culturally sensitive/appropriate materials by Latina/o writers.

Support Oregon farm workers. Boycott Flav-R-Pac, Santiam and Westpac (NORPAC labels). Gracias!--Ed Brandt, Dallas, OR

I plan to use "What Is a Gift?" and "O Little Town of Bethlehem" bulletin inserts as handouts for a community night introduction to simplicity. I also received "Tracks in the Straw." You always have interesting, thought provoking reading material. Keep up the great work. I've never been disappointed with items received from you. Thank you. --Linda Pavlovich, Menomonee Falls, WI



Greetings! Ashley Nedeau-Owen gave a very nice talk yesterday for Church Women United. I was pleased to see you have a newsletter, and I would like to be on your e-mail list. One of these days I'll have to stop in and see your library. Blessings -- Gail Follmann


I do appreciate receiving your Emails! - Charlotte Strecker-Baseler, Oberlin, KS



I plan to use some items for my own edification, some for church programming and donate some to the Public Library and some to a group study. I have asked our city library to purchase some of your materials. They will buy newly published material for collections at patron request. -- Myrtle Nygren, Fremont, NE

Thank you so much for your prompt response. - Barbara Bardo, Emmaus, PA



I looked up your web site as part of our Women of the ELCA summer Bible study based on Micah. The theme for the 1999-2002 triennium for Women of the ELCA is "Live God's Justice." One way the first of the two Bible studies told us we could live God's justice is to identify when we have enough and that indeed we do have too much. Your web site was suggested in the Leader guide as a means to help us take stock in all this. I decided to look you up and then printed out several parts of your web pages to share with my two women's Bible Studies. I most likely will order from you, but just need to check things out first before I do so. Thanks for all the hard work you are doing to help us see that simple living gives us riches beyond belief. -- Lois Rumfelt, Avon, NY


2/7/2001 & 2/14/2001




During Lent, our entire congregation will be using your "Spirit of Simplicity: A 40-Day Guide for Lent & Easter." Thank you for your faithfulness to the Lord and to God's call for us to be good stewards of all of God's Creation. Sincerely, Pastor Lola J. Turnbull, King's Chapel United Methodist Church, New Castle, PA

"Stages on the Way" looks really creative! We'll use it primarily in worship. -- Faithful Shepherd Presbyterian Church, Omaha, NE

Please find enclosed check for $5 to cover the cost of the 50 copies of your 40-day Lenten Guide. It is really an excellent resource this year -- even better than in previous years. We are a small congregation, but appreciate your help in keeping us focused in the right direction for the Lenten season. Thanks for all the work you do. -- Marilyn Russell, Emanuel UCC, Irvington, NJ

I plan to use "Who's Risen from the Dead, Anyway?" in Sunday worship. It's well laid out, lots of ideas, cost effective, well done. --Emmanuel Lutheran, Norwood, MA

I plan to use "Before and After Easter" as activities for Sunday School children. --Kathy Zivicki, Oak Creek, WI



"Who's Risen from the Dead, Anyway?" contains lots of new ideas! Sunday sermon ideas, Sunday School, family use. I heard about it via email. I use Alternatives resources so my well won't run dry. [smiley face] --Carol A Krause, Binghamton, NY

I plan to use "TV Violence and Your Child" with religious teachers/aides, and with parents in adult education. You carry excellent materials; good to facilitate our educational program. I appreciate the direction of your business. --St. Lucy's Church, Middletown, RI

Thank you for being the voice of sanity in an INSANELY materialistic world! -- Molly & Joe Bishop, Rangeley, ME

I regret that I am not in a position to give to you. I live on less than $12,000 a year. But, I will hold your work in my prayers and support you through making others aware of it. I believe it to be one of the best works happening Thank you for doing it. -- Sallye Hardy


I'm using the "Alternative Wedding Book" to plan our wedding and to get ideas about how to do it cheaply. Great ideas, beautiful design, reasonably priced, very fast service. Thank you! Jay Glick, Charlottesville, VA

I use "Simple Living 101" as a resource for talks and newsletters. I'm always looking for ways to get the message of simple living across to the public. -- Jeanne Wingenter, St. Paul, MN

Add my name! It's so ironic that I just made a note to email the DMA to take me off their list to stem the tide of catalogs to my door... and then your mailer arrived. This will be the only direct mail piece that I have solicited and that I will look forward to getting. Please include me with your US Mail or email in all of your distribution. Thanks so much for all of your inspiration. --Susan A. Kasprak, Portland, ME

Thank You so much for your outstanding ministry. You can count on me to spread the word. Peace, Jean Kenny, S.P.



I'm using "The Alternative Wedding Book" to plan our daughter's wedding. A fancy traditional wedding exploits the young couple and misses the focus of the marriage of two people. -- Erika Wagner, Cleveland, OH

Thanks for all you do. We really enjoy your newsletter. You're awesome! -- Rose Townley Bakewell, Omaha, NE

Please add me to your wonderful approach to guiding materialistic consumerism toward its reality of source. Thanks, Rev. Carolyn S. Belshe, Littlefield, TX

I got great ideas for my wedding from "Treasury of Celebrations" and "The Alternative Wedding Book." I like your selection, believe in the cause. Laurie Kay Watson, Winston-Salem, NC

Thanks for all your wonderful work and info. -- Mary B Rosenthal, Anchorage, AK

Sorry, I am not able to contribute at this time. I support and appreciate all that you are doing. I am only able to give prayer support at this time. Sister Mary Ann Garisto, Bronx, NY


I give "The Alternative Wedding Book" to couples preparing for marriage. Resource like "Treasury of Celebrations" and "Simple Living Any Year Calendar" match my values as a Pastor in the Church of the Brethren. -- Tim Binkley, Onekama, MI

I plan to read, apply and share "Living More with Less." -- Mary Margaret Wedge, San Jose, CA

I like your focus. I got "To Celebrate" for personal use and for youth groups. --Jane C. Lefavor, Crownsville, MD

WONDERFUL! Good, quality information. I plan to use "Living More with Less" in a study group. --Edmundite Missions Group, Selma, AL

Great info, terrific web site, easy to order and prompt delivery of materials; prices are very reasonable, service excellent. I got "Downscaling," "Whose Birthday," bumper stickers, "Simple Living 101" for personal and church related use. --Jennifer B. Meixsell, Pflugerville, TX



I plan to use "Simple Living 101" and the video "Break Forth into Joy" in program for Sunday School and family camp. I intend to start a group to support Simple Living. -- Sue Cepull, Orlando, FL

I give "Wedding Alternatives" to couples planning a wedding. [Your resources] are excellent, helpful materials, priced right, look good. --Rev. Madeline Jervis, Arlington, VA

I used "Wedding Alternatives" to plan my wedding; "Treasury of Celebrations" for many other life rituals. Good service, prices. --Carlton Etnier, Montpelier, CT

Thanks be to God for you and all the good you do! Love and Grace, Allen Polen. "Real friends are those who, when you feel you've made a fool of yourself, don't feel you've done a permanent job."

Thank you for your wonderful service. --Linda Hendrickson, Menlo Park, CA


I appreciate what I received -- purchased and free. A real challenge! I really appreciate the fact the box of books was in was recycled!!! Bravo! -- Suzanne Gurr, Aitkin, SC

I'm using "Use Less Stuff," "Downscaling," "'Tis a Gift to be Simple" and "Living More with Less" to move myself toward simpler life, both encouragement and methods. You're a good source for books not found elsewhere. Good service. Thanks. -- Mary Houston, Donnellson, IA

"Wedding Alternatives" are thoughtful, person-centered and adaptable to many different situations. I plan to use as an additional resource for wedding planning. --First Presbyterian Church, Lawton, OK

I plan to make personal use of "The Joy of Simple Living." -- Sophie Mathonnet Vanderwell, Pella, IA

Really low on cash but wanted to vote with my wallet anyway. Just did your "Consumo" play in morning worship service and it got a great reception! -- Barbara Georgesch, East Palestine, OH


I plan to give "Believing Cassandra" as a gift and to use "Rebirth of the Small Family Farm" for personal reference. Great, simple alternatives to consumerism. Keep up the good work! --Catherine Fouchi, Lake Crystal, MN

We certainly support your ministry in this often baffling culture. --Don and Sarah Martin, Winter Park, FL

I appreciate your efforts on behalf of Simple Living! -- Mary Emma Hibbard, Des Moines, IA

Great job! MUCH needed! -- Lee T. Tate, Climax, NC

I plan to use "Wedding Alternatives" for my own wedding and share a copy with my church, his church and my sister. I heard about you through your web site. I believe in "live simply so others may simply live." Thank you! --Barbara Carson, Blue Earth, MN

Warmest blessings and many thanks to you for your VITAL and life effort/energy!!! Keep it up. It is REALLY needed. I have a great interest in the role and linkage of spirituality in this process. You have many resources/materials in your catalogs. THANKS!!! Shalom & Joy always. -Fr. John Cockayne, Thomaston, CT


I am delighted to find so much of your information on-line! Thanks for that generous offering! Please add me to your mailing list. When I do receive info from you, it invariably runs off in the hands of one of my friends or students. Thanks -- Joy Heebink, Forest City, IA

Hi, Thanks for the catalog (this is the first time I've thanked an organization for sending me something unsolicited :-) Thanks, Pat Gillham & Tamara Laninga, Boulder, CO

I appreciate your Alternatives messages that come now and then. Mennonites have been preaching the alternative lifestyle for generations but need to be reminded to walk the talk. Keep up the gentle revolution. -- Jim S. Amstutz, Pastor, West Swamp Mennonite Church, Quakertown, PA - "A Way of Life Near You"


I just LOVE your magazine and ideas! I am using them as teaching tools for our parents to teach Christian Education to their children. This makes the parents the primary Christian Educator and not the Sunday School teachers who only have their children for 45 minutes once a week! Please keep sending me ideas! -- Sabrina Evans, Minister of Christian Education, St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Pinson, AL

I just got married. We used the Alternative Wedding Book to plan the wedding and it was so very helpful!! I've passed it along to my brother. ALL OF THIS IS VERY HELPFUL. AS A FUTURE PARISH PASTOR, I BELIEVE VERY STRONGLY IN CONNECTING SIMPLE LIVING AND FAITH. Thank you for being who you are!! --Rebecca Gordon, Chicago, IL


Thank you for the quick service. -- Glen Draper, Eldora, IA

We needed a St. Frances resource (St. Frances and the Foolish of God) for a Roman Catholic connection. Charles Grey's WEB [World Equity Budget in "Toward a Nonviolent Economics"] fascinates us. "Simple Living 101" has many practical next steps and linking web sites. We use these in our course "Saying 'Enough' in a Land Shouting 'More'" and later in other teaching and retreat settings. Also, they'll convert us further. Good theological roots. Good 25 year story of fruits.

Service was personal, trusting, affirming and nicely paced -- not too fast and not too slow. Just focused in simplicity. -- Lee & Juanita Mangan-Van Horn, Jubilee Economics Ministries, Chicago, IL


I gave a workshop and retreat on nonviolence and used "Toward a Nonviolent Economy" and "Fire, Salt & Peace" (intentional communities). -- Leonard Desroches, Toronto, Canada

I plan to use the book Joy of Simple Living in my everyday life. -- W. J. Turkowsky, Winchester, VA

[In response email newsletter] WOW, such a lot of GOOD info. -- Thank you and your marketing /outreach colleagues. Best - Dick Webster, OH

What a wonderful web site!! I used to have a small socially/environmentally responsible bookstore in Mission, Kansas. We sold a book called "Unplug the Christmas Machine"--transformed a lot of people's holidays!! I found your info in the "National Green Pages." I look forward to receiving your catalog!! Thanks so much! Yours, Tracy Shapiro-Hoffine, Kansas City, MO

I use "Walk in the Light" for illustrations in worship. I believe in your goals. -- Anon.


Please keep me on your mailing list for your free quarterly Resource Guide. I love it. God bless you. --Joan C. Sobel, Harrison, NY

I gave the game "Lifestories" as a gift. Great selection! Thank you. --Manning, Fort Collins, CO

Thanks for your wonderful web site! Tanya Williams, Georgetown, TX

Well said -- Alternatives work makes a difference, one person at a time! God bless you. Bruce Cook, Sioux City, IA

I plan to use your resources in worship planning and small groups. I like your items and purpose. -- Rev. Sarah Evans, Columbia, MO


I plan to give "Selected Poems of Wendell Berry" as a gift. I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly the book arrived. I agree with your philosophy and like your products. --Rita Haugh, Winona, MN

I am absolutely satisfied with "Simple Living 101." I plan to use it for both individual study and for study groups in my church. (I'm a UCC pastor.) I have been buying resources from Alternatives for over 15 years. They are outstanding and the way I stay connected to the larger "simple living" community. Yeah! I'm not alone! -- Rev. Pamela J. Tinnin, Partridge, KS

I heard about you from a friend! Enjoyed your web site. -- Elizabeth G. Thorne, Columbus, GA

Great materials for personal use and ministry. Thanks! --Sara Meza-Romero, Oregon Farm Worker Ministry, Woodburn, OR

Send me only one catalog per year. Perfect! Thanks for setting it up this way. -- Deb Koester, Milan, IL

Keep up the good work! -- Marilyn Lines, Christ the Redeemer Parish, Orion, MI


"Simple Fun for Busy People," "Making a Living While Making a Difference," "The Joy of Simple Living" -- Thought I'd read them and then share with my niece who is deciding to go back to school and has children and could learn from these titles. The world is so full of people who go along in hectic way. Ideas sound great to share. Great titles. -- Mrs. Frances Tyau, Buffalo, NY

I am a female clergy person -- teaching and preaching. I plan to use "Speaking for Ourselves: Voices of Biblical Women." -- Rev. L. Stoner, Kentwood, MI

[In response to Alternatives opening web site archives] HURRAH!

What a great step forward; hurrah for you and Alternatives' colleagues. Richard S. Webster, Ph.D. - President, Personal Resources Management Institute (PRMI), Worthington, OH

Thanks so much! I really enjoy your e-mails and have printed several out to convince my church folks to use your resources this year and they have agreed! --Kathy Lossau,

I enjoy getting your [email] note from time to time. Thanks again for all you do. Grace and Peace. Sonny Stange, Emmanuel Baptist Church, Jefferson City, TN


I read an article about your "extra" verses to Christmas carols in the

Oregonian (Portland, OR), and went exploring. I liked what I saw -- and

have set the calendar to order the carols from you late in the summer so

our musicians can practice before Advent next winter. --Susan Masse

I have been purchasing materials from Alternatives for several years, do receive the e-mail and have visited your web site. I have used the materials to introduce new Christmas traditions within our family, and use several videos in a program called JustFaith--a nine month intensive study of Catholic Social Teaching. Thank you for your contribution toward Simple Living and Justice. Peace and Joy! --Donna Rustvold, Huntington Beach, CA

"New Games for the Whole Family" and "365 Outdoor Activities" has good ideas for simple activities that build up the group and emphasize play rather than winning. I plan to use them in youth ministry and youth camping experiences. Prices are fair. Service was very good. --Anon.

I plan to use for Bible study, small group, self education and adult Sunday School peace and justice class: "Shalom Connections," "Families Creating Circles of Peace," "Speaking for Ourselves," "How to Teach Peace to Children," "1000 Cranes." --Myrna Wheeler, San Dimas, CA

I heard about you on the radio. I gave your information packet to a church leader. A lot of groups may want to help save the rain forest but do not know how to go about it, etc. You're a good thing! Thank you! --Mary Ann Kiaunis, Irons, MI


Enjoyed the meditations in "Whose Birthday." Great products. -- Bill, Christ Church, Chatham, Ontario, Canada

I also was wondering if you could supply us with a large number of catalogs. My husband, Ken, is directing a student-developed play called "Stuff" at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, that deals with the affluenza epidemic. It opens this Thursday, and I thought that it would be neat to have your catalogs on hand (or any other information you might have for such an occasion) to give audience members if they are interested in pursuing the subject further after seeing the play. There will be six or eight performance of the play, and I anticipate a few hundred audience members although I don't imagine that you'd want to ship 300 catalogs for the event.

We think you are a great organization and would love to let others know about you. Thanks so much. I hope that having them available will help some people find you. We're sure glad we did. --Pam Stofferahn, Hudson, WI


"Alternatives" is one mailing list I'm happy to be on. Thanks, and I look forward to hearing from you again soon. --James R. Hall, Pittsburgh, PA

I give your resources to Church School and Missions leadership. I believe it's a needed change. I wish to renew my membership. --Margaret Wilkins, Hazel Crest, IL

I plan to use "Rich Christian in an Age of Hunger," "The Joy of Simple Living," and "Extending the Table: A World Community Cookbook" as a display for browsing and borrowing at the Diocesan Center, Episcopal Diocese of Chicago. They support my values of simple living. --Gary Cox, Chicago, IL

I plan to share "Affluenza" [video] with my college students. Interesting, relevant. [Your resources] are of interest to me. Leslie Spencer, Morrisville, PA

I plan to use "Crafts for Fun " for vacation Bible School. Like your style. --Shirley Ingram, Crossville, TN

I will lend Gaviotas to as many as possible. --K.M. Daughtry, Tampa, FL


Keep up your good work. As far as I can imagine, material simplicity, voluntary or otherwise, is the only hope we have for long term

well-being. Best wishes. Yours, Mike Nickerson, Merrickville, ON, Canada

God Bless you for your ministry! -- Joyce Robinson, Eastminster Presbyterian Church,

THANK YOU, GERALD, AND ALL YOUR "CREW" FOR YOUR SPECIAL MINISTRY!!! --Art Vermillion, Congregational Resource Center, Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, IN

Thanks for past information and Best wishes on your conscious-raising in our materialistic society! God's blessings. --Clara Milko, Cary, NC

We are teaching a four week morning Adult Sunday School unit using "Simplier Living, Compassionate Life" and would like to have some resources to give out. Our aim is to start at least on Circle of Simplicity during the fall. Our membership will be arriving soon. Thank you for your offer! --Tom and Claire McDonough, Church of the Holy Cross Episcopal, Valle Crucis, NC

Thanks for all the great work you do; keep it up. I rely heavily on your resources for our Christian spiritual formation programming. --SarahLee Morris, Covenant Presbyterian Church, Lubbock, TX


I plan to use TREK with an adult discussion group in my meeting (Quaker). Thank you! I really appreciate the service your provide! --Marie Gasper, Cincinnati, OH

Your program and purpose make sense to me. Please put me on your mailing list. The small check should help a little bit. --Alfred Payne, Blacksburg, VA

I like your products and the concept. --Brian Kittelson, Sioux Falls, SD

Thanks for all the great work you do. --Dick Kiefer, Des Moines, IA

I always enjoy browsing through your catalog. It's so refreshing and

inspiring. As my husband says (an adaptation from an Army slogan),

"People first, Earth always." Terri Kimmel, Denton, TX


I plan to share "Simple Living 101" with the others in a program on Simple Living. Thanks! -- Sr. Virginia Jones, SSJ, Kalamazoo, MI

Because of your niche in simple lifestyle values, we will include "Break Forth Into Joy!" in our free-loan library. We send videos to schools, churches, etc. --Anonymous.

I feel the call to simplify my life. In the Jubilee Study Guide we are using, your organization was given as a resource to find alternative ways to celebrate that do not promote addictive consumerism. Please send me whatever materials you have. Yours in Christ, Aida L. Mandaput, Beachwood, OH

I plan to use "365 Outdoor Activities with Your Child" and "Everyone Wins" to plan activities for summer church camp, Vacation Bible School and with my own kids. I'm always looking for good youth group games. You're right on track. --Les Rust, United Presbyterian Church, Harrodsburg, KY

"Gifts That Make a Difference" will give me alternatives for gift giving. You have information I can't find anywhere else. -- Rebecca B. Boone, Harrisburg, PA


I'm interested in doing some workshops in the fall on Simplifying Christmas. Keep up the good work. --Nancy Haga, Farmville, VA

Your resources educate and motivate me. They're full of useful tips. I've been pleased with everything I've purchased from Alternatives. I especially like "Simple Fun for Busy People" and plan to buy more copies for friends. --Kathryn Parks, Delaware, OH

I use "May I Have This Dance?" "Watch & Pray," and "A Call to Peace" in my personal meditation and litanies for church worship. I gave some to my pastor and the worship council. I like your selection of titles, low prices of paperbacks and service. We did a "Seder" from "Shalom Connections." Very well received. --Marge Vanderwagen, Downers Grove, IL

I plan to use "How to Teach Peace to Children," "Just Family Nights," "Families Creating a Circle of Peace" in a workshop and mention the titles in a newsletter. Wonderful resources. You are one of the few good quality resource places. You all do such a wonderful job! Thanks. --Judson Memorial Baptist Church, Lansing, MI

We plan to include "Simple Living 101" in our church library because our community suffers from "Affluenza" and we need a cure. --G. Anne Fortman, Geneva, IL.


I found Alternatives for Simple Living during an internet search. I've just been wondering about a way out of all typical Christmas craziness. Thanks so much for the information! -- Donna LoCicero, Coconut Grove, FL

I plan to use "The Plain Reader" for personal use. Wonderful books! GREAT service! -- Anon., Tacoma, WA

I plan to use "A Selective Bibliography of Voluntary Simplicity" to review items for acquisition and use. I saw a copy with a display in the local library. Alternatives is a good source. --F. DeVilliers, Mountain View, CA

Thank you for your ministry! Keep up the fine work! --Anne Shields, Halfway, OR

I plan to use "Seven Times the Sun" with a parent toddler group. --Ruth E Anderson, Riegelsville, PA


I'm using Tolstoy's "Walk in the Light' for personal reading. Thanks! -- E. Burke, San Antonio, FL

We use "A Little Child Shall Lead Them" and "365 TV Free Activities" as gifts for new families. Good values. Our consumer culture is destroying us and we need alternatives out there! -- Marilyn Medau, Emeryville, CA

In my work as a college chaplain "Whose Birthday" will be useful. Your resources are so original! Keep up the great work! -- Katie Pete, Linfield College, McMinnville, OR


Thanks for everything you are doing! --Linda Solaya, Lakewood, CO

I pray for your continued expansion. Thanks for the efforts. Most Sincerely, Arden Wil Tiley, Algonac, MI

I use "A Country Far Away" at work. It shows two different cultures and how the same story line can be entirely different according to context. I like your resources for birthday gifts. Keep up the great work. I'm giving "Breaking Bread" and "Let's Say Grace" as wedding presents. Great gifts! I wouldn't change a thing! -- Elysha Iversen, St. Paul, MN

I plan to use many of your resources in campus ministry and personally. Good source and quality products. I'd like more graphics, cartoons and visuals to use as "clip art" for bulletins and handouts. --Jill Warren, Ann Arbor, MI

I plan to use "Extending the Table" and "More-with-Less Cookbook" as gifts. They're exactly what I ordered. Good products. --Julie Taylor, Bedford, VA

I plan to make available in my churches, as gifts and for my own reading "Adviento," Peace Corps calendar, bulletin inserts, "Shoemaker's Dream" and children's books like M. L. King, Jr. They promote Biblical values of stewardship, uphold the spiritual over material and they counter our society's consumer/material values. --Gary Cox, Chicago, IL


I plan to use the "Leader's Guide to 'Unplug the Christmas Machine'" to conduct a local workshop this fall. You provide books that interest me. --Deborah Taylor-Haugh, Olympia, WA

I will use "Planning an Alternative Christmas Festival" for a fall "bazaar." -- Debra Lewis, Williamsburg, VA

I like the new design of "Whose Birthday." I plan to use it and "More Mudpies" and "Those Who Speak for God" for congregational awareness of alternative resources. Good quality, responsible, prompt service. --Milwaukie Lutheran Church, Milwaukie, OR

I use "Carols with Justice" in classes at school, at some group gatherings and maybe in school liturgy for purposes of justice and consciousness raising. Thanks. You do good work for the world! -- Anne Seeley, Statten Island, NY


Thanks for doing what needs to be done to focus on the spirit behind Christian doctrine. -- Skip Londos, Waco, TX

Keep up the good work. --Charlie Sneed, Durham, NC

Your Carols with Justice" sound like they would be "just right" for use by my congregation at Hiram Christian Church, --Ann Patella, Hiram, OH

I used "Whose Birthday" as a children's message. I ordered on Friday for use on following Sunday -- one day service. It made it on time! Thanks so much! -- Shari Ickes, Page, NE


I plan to teach the class "Unplug the Christmas Machine." Great book! Great service! -- Unitarian Universalist Society, Laconia, NH


Our Sunday School teachers used "Christmas Angels" during church. You carry quality products! -- Florida

I use "Carols with Justice" and "Everyone Wins" with church youth. Good resources. I've been a member a long time. -- Virginia Spence, Richmond, VA

I use "Whose Birthday" to have a more meaningful Christmas focused on the true meaning. -- Mattie S. Land, Dillwyn, VA

I use "Whose Birthday" as a devotional booklet for members of the church. -- Rev. Silvia Mueller, Wyoming, IL

"How to Organize a Christmas Festival and Workshop" was just what I was looking for. I plan to get your video for a workshop and other books for a study group at my church. Thank you! -- Cynthia E. Morton, Rossville, GA



The carols are great! -- Velma Shearer, Englewood, CO

I plan to use "The Christmas Game" in a youth Sunday School class. -- Patrick Fleming, Martinsburg, WV

I plan to use "Whose Birthday" as material for the church Advent calendar. -- Katherine Jobe, Poulsbo, WA

I used "Whose Birthday" to prepare a church presentation on celebrating Christmas in the Jubilee Year. Good work! -- Joseph Hastings, Seattle, WA

I plan to use "Unplug the Christmas Machine" and its workbooks for a workshop. Excellent materials. Prices are very reasonable and it is appreciated. -- Ms. B. McNamara, Rockford, IL

I distributed "The Christmas Game" to adult Sunday School classes. You are REAL and of INTEGRITY. Thank you! -- Rev. Nancy Tinnell, Middletown UMC, Louisville, KY

"Carols with Justice" are what I hoped they would be. They are for my son, who works in Africa. I got my order quickly. -- Remigia N. Farias, Union City, IN

I used the "Leader's Guide to 'Unplug the Christmas Machine'" for a workshop at church. You offer thought provoking items. -- The Mante family, Bethlehem, PA

We'll probably use "Whose Birthday" calendar insert as an Advent guide for the congregation. --Sermon on the Mount Mennonite Church, Sioux Falls, SD

We use "Whose Birthday" as Advent study booklets for members. -- First Presbyterian Church, Snyder, TX

Just got "Whose Birthday is it Anyway?" and it looks great! We've already been thinking about how we can strengthen the alternative workshop that we put on last year and are starting planning efforts. I enjoy reading the newsletters, emails and updates. Hope you are doing well. --Christine Leonard-Osterwalder, CA

Thank you very much for your prompt attention to my request. Keep up the good work Gerald. This information [Whose Birthday] will be of great use to us as we plan to hold an Alternative Christmas Faire at our church in November as a way of helping us all do what you say so well in your statement: "Equipping people of faith to challenge consumerism, live justly and celebrate responsibly." Again, your assistance is greatly appreciated. --Debbie Lundberg, Redwoods Presbyterian Church, Larkspur, CA



The enclosed donation is given in honor of our daughter, Cindy Warner. She is concerned about the commercialism of Christmas and wanted part of her gift from us to be this contribution. We appreciate your work. -- Joan Warner, Xenia, OH

I plan to use "Unplug the Christmas Machine Leader's Guide" in a church program. I am Christian Social Issue Ministry Team Chairperson. -- Jeanne Carley, Dundee, NY

We distributed "Whose Birthday" free to families wanting one. Great Advent ideas for entire family. -- American Reformed Church, Orange City, IA

We gave "The Christmas Game" out in SS class; then ordered more to sell. Fun. Appreciate the message. -- Mary Beth Blinn, Winchester, VA

We used "A Simple Christmas" and "Hundred Dollar Holiday" for holiday celebration ideas. Alternatives' web site is convenient and offers many resources. -- D. Barton, Fresno, CA

"Whose Birthday" came just when I was expecting it. Great ideas. Looks good! Very trusting staff! -- Sabares-Kiema, Baltimore, MD

We use "Carols with Justice" in groups. Our emphasis is Enough in how we live and in what we teach. -- Jubilee Economics Ministries, Chicago, IL


I gave one "Simple Lifestyle 2001 Calendar" as a gift and one for myself. -- Katherine Elizabeth Batson, Wilmington, NC

"Carols with Justice" is well done, theologically sound. I used them for Christmas liturgy. Alternatives is right on! --The Rev. Jim Kellaway, St. John's Episcopal Church, Vernon, CT

I plan to give away "Whose Birthday" at church. [Your resources] develop community support for simpler living. Karen Johnson, Bethel, CT

I plan to use your Advent-Christmas Sampler of Adult Discussion/Activity Guides to stimulate alternative Christmas gift giving. Excellent content and price, speedy service. I'd prefer to download and print it myself (more flexible output, don't have to pay for delivery). Ms. Marti Scheel, Greenbelt, MD

[Editor: Now you can down load many of Alternatives resources. Visit www.SimpleLiving.org. Click on Archives.]

"The Christmas Game" is just what I need for our Christmas luncheon. --Lee Hatch, Cibolo, TX

We give "Whose Birthday" away at church. Just what I wanted! Terrific material on stewardship. Prompt delivery! --David Downes, Fairfax, VA

I use "Whose Birthday" with the family at home. Good resources and philosophy. -- Heidi Zavatone-Ueth, Hamden, CT


We used "The Christmas Game" at an evening church/community dinner. Good stuff! Great content, reasonable price, necessary topics. -- Andrea Baldyga, Cleveland, OH

I distribute "Whose Birthday Is It, Anyway?" to my UCC congregation the first Sunday of Advent. I'm a "regular." --First Congregational, Hartland, WI

I plan to use "Whose Birthday Is It, Anyway?" for congregational alternative Christmas programs. Your resources are some of the best available. -- John Moore, Manassas, VA

I want to make "Unplug the Christmas Machine," "Simplify & Celebrate" and "Let's Talk About Christmas" available to the church. Good quality. Well researched. I want to encourage church members to adopt those values. -- S. Freeto, Blanco, TX

We plan to use "Whose Birthday" and Christmas greeting cards with family and a Sunday School Class party. -- Clark Mundhonke, Lincoln, NE

We distribute "Whose Birthday" to church families. We're always happy with your materials. -- Community Congregational Church, Pinckney, MI

We send Notecards greetings to friends. Simple, thought-provoking sayings. Good quality. We support your work. -- Joseph A. Genito, Philadelphia, PA


"The Shoemaker's Dream" is a good story that I like to read to our children at Christmas time. Alternatives' web site is convenient. Good resources. -- David Barton, Fresno, CA

We use "Whose Birthday" as a hand out in an Advent Family Pack. Good service. -- First Presbyterian Church, Rochester, MN

We use your "Christmas Collection, Reader and Sampler" in worship. New, refreshing, unique, quality, different. -- Shawnee Presbyterian Church, Lima, OH

I plan to use "Simplify & Celebrate" and "Privileged Conversations" with children and to prepare a radio show. I appreciate the service you provide. -- St. Patrick's, White Haven, PA

I gave "Whose Birthday" and Notecards to others. Wonderful, immediate, responsive service. -- Kathleen Omalley, Albuquerque, NM

I use "Whose Birthday" with a church women's group and one of the four books on simplicity with a church study group. As an Episcopal priest, this is the direction I feel drawn to go both as an individual and as a church leader. -- Julia Loomis, Portsmouth, VA

The content of "Whose Birthday" is great for the families of the parish. We distribute it to them for the cause of living simply. -- St. John's Episcopal Church, Vernon, CT


I'm giving the book, "Baby Jesus Like My Brother" as a gift. I like the emphasis of simple living and giving. Quick service. -- Marilyn Vander Weide, Orange City, IA

I plan to use "The Christmas Game" and "Unplug the Christmas Machine" in Sunday School. I've used Alternatives' materials since the late '80's. Good stuff! -- Columbus, IN

I use "Whose Birthday" to teach my family and will possibly use other resources for faith development of my family. -- Karen Schafer, Fowler, MI

I plan to use "Carols with Justice" for a United Methodist Women devotion program. -- Florence McKibben, Schenectady, NY

I've enjoyed my copy of "Unplug the Christmas Machine" so much I've encouraged our Pastor, another friend's church and my sister's family also to use this as a guide for them this year. Our church will be offering this as a workshop in conjunction with the Methodist doctrine. -- Kathey Jeffers, Batavia, IL

I plan to use "Cloth for the Cradle" in Advent/Christmas worship. Came quickly. Nice person on the phone. Good resources; one of a kind. -- Bill Johnson, San Jose, CA


I used "Privileged Conversations," "Behold That Star," "Simple Living Any Day Calendar," and "Adbusters Calendar" for Christmas s gifts and for church programs. I find your resources helpful. -- Norma Jean Lister, Dallas Center, IA

I gave "The Shoemaker's Dream" as a gift. Good quality. Good service. Good products. -- Rita Elsenpeter, New Prague, MN

I plan to use "Merry Little Christmas" video at a family service workshop. Good social justice products. --San Jose, CA

I plan to use "Whose Birthday" for an Advent & Christmas bulletin board, for social ministry work and for an Advent program. Content supports advocacy. Service was excellent. -- Dubuque, IA

I offer "Whose Birthday" at our church's "Potluck for families with children." -- Church of St. Austin, Minneapolis, MN

I plan to use "The Christmas Game" at a church Christmas gathering. Looks interesting. -- Ruth Waldbieser, Center Point, TN

We use "Whose Birthday" at an Advent Family Night. Thank you. -- Trinity UMC, Lafayette, IN

I use your Advent activity guides with our youth group. I like the perspective. I saw lots in your catalog I'm interest in. -- First United Presbyterian Church, Bellefontaine, OH


I plan to use a variety of your Christmas titles to create an atmosphere of simpler Christmas by educating our congregation. I like the message taught. I am delighted to find the book "The Nativity" in your resources at an affordable price. It is one of my favorites and I am purchasing it for our church library! --Misse Elkin, Calvary Presbyterian Church, Indiana, PA

I plan to use "Whose Birthday," "What Is a Gift," "Gifts of Peace," and "Shalom Connections" for an alternative Christmas Market. I have been using your resources for years. Good content, attractive, recyclable, good price. Your resources are the best! --Joyce Georgieff, Santa Ana, CA

I use "Christmas Angels," "Before & After Easter" and "Voluntary Simplicity" with the grand kids, to share with friends and at church. I heard about you from my mom a long time ago. I like the things offered. -- Herbert & Margaret Vanderbilt, Lowell, MI

I gave "Whose Birthday" as gifts. --C Montgomery, Englewood, FL

I read "Christmas Sampler," "Walk in the Light" and "Stories & Songs of Simple Living" to my kids. -- Kodiak Brown, Anchorage, AK


Last weekend we spent in Washington, DC, with our adult children who paid for our four night hotel stay as their Christmas gift to us. You've influenced our family giving over the years! -- Joyce Houk, Durham, NC

The lady who moderates our Sunday School class had the picture of Santa kneeling at the Manger, which was our "food for thought" this past Sunday, and gave us the web address where she found it. Thanks for including me. Have a great Holiday and a wonderful New Year! --Kathie Rhodes, Callaway, VA

"Whose Birthday" prompts thinking and discussion with me and my husband. --Lori Ann Nicholson, Westminster, CA

I used "Whose Birthday" for personal devotions this year. May expand next year. -- Nancy H. Goyda, Newark, DE

I got "Whose Birthday" for personal use. It's great! I may share it with my church youth group. As a former member of Lutheran Volunteer Corps, simplicity is important to me. Y'all rock!!! -- Jennifer Peters, Saratoga Springs, NY


I am practicing what your preach. My giving instead of Christmas gifts to family and friends has gone to Teen Missions, Teen Pact, Orleans Co. Ministry of Concern (local), Laubach Literacy Institute, LVA, Hospice (local), UMCOR, HOPE. I am a widow. My taxes are greater than my pension (NY State). -- Jean Gates, Medina, NY

I plan to show "Whose Birthday Is It, Anyway?" to the church Stewardship Committee for possible use. You have good resources. --Sherry Gutierrez, Corvallis, OR

We're using your sampler of Advent-Christmas-Epiphany posters and calendars for a seasonal display. -- First Reformed Church, Nyack, NY

I plan to share "The Christmas Game" and "Whose Birthday" with five denominations. Thank you. It's a pleasure to be served by such a well organized, professional company. -- Carol Sander, Scotia, NY

I used "The Christmas Game" at a Sunday School class party. It's a meaningful, fun game. Your resources meet my needs. -- Bobby Scarsdale, Ada, OK

We use "Whose Birthday" and your video in church school and adult discussion. Alternatives is unique, positive and Christian. -- John T. Moore, Manassas, VA


We plan to use "Carol with Justice," "Cloth for the Cradle," "and Christmas Angels" at an ecumenical Advent service, an interchaplaincy event at a large state university. We admire your emphasis of simplicity and social justice. -- Lutheran Campus Ministry, University of Maryland

We used your greeting cards -- Prayerful Santa, La Familia Santa [Spanish] and Gift of Love [Vietnamese] at an Alternative Gift Fair, and to write to shut-ins and college students. Our church supports a more Christian Christmas. -- Judy Baude, Elizabethtown, PA

I use "Cloth for the Cradle" and " Tracks in the Straw" in designing worship. Appreciate such quick service. -- Jana Jirak, Ashley, MI

"Let's Say Grace" and "Whose Birthday" help us to teach prayers before dinner and to have some special ones. It's nice to know that your group is profiting from these items ands not B&N. -- The Kendall Family, Merrillville, IN

I use "The Christmas Game" in Sunday School. -- Outten, Harrington, DE


I would appreciate receiving a free copy of "10 Tips for a Simpler, More Meaningful Christmas." I have been thinking a lot about simplifying my life, reducing my part in the commercialism of Christmas, and being more faithful to the true meaning of Christ's birth. Thank you. -- Margaret Granger, Southfield, MI

We sent out "The Christmas Game" with our cards and played it with our family. GOOD service, good materials. --Cathy Peterson, Catawba, WI

I gave "The Shoemaker's Dream" as a gift. I like the selections available. -- John & Rita Elsenpeter, New Prague, MN

I have been using "Whose Birthday" with my 5th grade CCD class. Your resources, like "6 Weeks to a Simpler Life," support my values. -- Carol Barta, LaCrosse, KS

I have been a member a long time. I have given your catalog to several friends. --Dorothy Mosher, Nashville, TN

I first read about alternatives in a "Christian festival" story in The Other Side, 15 years ago and I have been a fan ever since. I am inspired with each catalog and now each email. God bless you. Keep the inspiration coming! You are a blessing. Your fan in Arizona, Socorro


I plan to use "Whose Birthday" and your greeting cards at home, at church and in a women's group. I liked what I received. The operator couldn't have been friendlier or more helpful!! Thanks! -- Tami Babbs, Westfield, ID

Your calendars are thought provoking and different (in a good way) from commercial calendars. I do a church newsletter and will use the info from the calendars. -- Sharon Schmid, Poulsbo, WA

I use your resources, like "Whose Birthday," because they are practical. -- Dennis & Karen Henson, Burkesville, KY

I plan to use "Whose Birthday Is It, Anyway" for mission group outreach for Christmas. Materials appear very effective. -- Karen Seddler, Portage, MI

I distribute "Whose Birthday Is It, Anyway?" to my Christian Educators and clergy. Your resources are groovy. --Episcopal Diocese of Missouri, St. Louis

Many thanks for the quick response! Peace this holiday season. --Passionist Lay Missioners, Chicago, IL


We plan to use some of the 20 titles we ordered in the church library, some as worship resources. Useful, intriguing titles. Keep as it! --Faith UMC, So. Burlington, VT

I gave your [Simpler Living Alternatives] one-page-per-day calendar as a gift to my daughter in Virginia. I think it's what she wanted. I enjoy your catalog and see some interesting items. --Esther Seid, Emmetsburg, IA

We used "Carols with Justice" in our adult Sunday School class. Very prompt service. -- Carol Potter, Kansas City, KS

"Whose Birthday" is a good resource for prayer and reflection at home. I like looking at books you have available fro children as possible ideas for Christmas gifts for nieces and nephews. Very friendly service. --R. Elsenpeter, New Prague, MN


As chair of the Mission Committee, I use your resources as education, trying to spark interest in congregational education. Your resources are in keeping with Scripture, globalization, shrinking planet, etc. Very satisfied. --Betsy Yeager, Cotati, CA

I distributed "Whose Birthday" to members of our religious community (Daughters of Charity), our lay volunteer community and my family. Nice variety, applicable to a wide audience. I believe in your ministry! Thanks for all you do! Keep up the great work! God bless! -- Sr. Mary Jo Stein, Bladensburg, MD

I plan to give Apoplectic greeting cards as gifts. Good stuff. -- Georgia Lyga, Sacramento, CA


I use the Simple Living calendar at home. My life calls for it. I'm glad you do what you do for me and all. -- Rev. Douglas A McNeill, Greenbelt, MD

We distributed "Whose Birthday" to the congregation. -- Presbyterian Church in Chinatown, San Francisco, CA

I use "Carols with Justice" in a ritual workshop I do. You do good work! -- Karin Watson, Langley, WA


Dear community of Alternatives,

I am a first year kindergartner teacher in Chicago Public Schools. I believe God led me to this ministry not only to teach children to love learning, but also to share with them the passion for "justice for all."

So far this year, we have read books about conservation, stories of children from all over the world and discussed "community." As I neared the holiday season, I wanted more resources for my room to help me teach about the holidays.

In addition, as a Christian with a commitment to simple living, my heart was getting heavier as the world filled with tinsel, reindeers and ads equating love with gifts. Every year, I struggle to turn away from the mall and towards the manager. As a person of prayer, I needed resources to help me peacefully prepare for Christmas.

Thankfully, I had a recent "Alternatives" catalog. (I bought your Simple Wedding book for a friend last year.) I found exactly what I needed for my prayer chair, many resources for my classroom and things to share with my church.

The "Elijah's Angel" and "Nativity" books were hits in the classroom and with children I know. The multi-cultural angels hang beside the Menorahs, Kwanzaa mats and Santa Claus faces we've made. I've been opening my day with the Shaker melodies CD and closing my days with "Simplify & Celebrate" and "A Christmas Reader."

My heart and I are saddened with the consumerism running rampant, but we are nourished by Alternatives resources. Thank you.

I was alarmed to receive your letter sharing your financial concerns. I believe in the work you do and am able to send this check to you to share in your work. May God bless all of you and the work you do.

Peace, Renée Grogg, Chicago, IL

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ALTERNATIVES for Simple Living, 109 Gaul Dr. * P.O. Box 340 * Sergeant Bluff, Iowa 51054
800/821-6153 * 712/943-6153 * Fax: 712/943-1402   E-mail: Alternatives@SimpleLiving.org

This page last updated 27 February 2003


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MISSION: Equipping people of faith to challenge consumerism, live justly and celebrate responsibly // An all volunteer educational organization.