A Long, Long Road Back to Love
A Lenten Congregational Resource with Sermons, Skits and Children’s Sermons
Arley Fadness, with music by Ed Johnson

Price: $19.95

ISBN: 0788029428
Size: 8.5x11
Pages: 70

This Lenten series, based on the parable of the Prodigal Son, provides an inspiring intergenerational Lenten experience. Many resources are provided to make an inclusive, energizing experience for presenters and parishioners/visitors. The Children’s Mission Moments, Talking Hats, give special attention to children as adults listen in. Chancel dramas give volunteer actors a chance to live out the story concepts as well as share them with others. The messages provide the pastor or deacon or layperson a starting place for customizing a message that fits their audience. My congregation has used one of Pastor Arley Fadness’ Lenten Series in the past, and I am excited that we may have this new resource to use in the future!
—Deacon Laura Lee Campbell, Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Spearfish, South Dakota

Arley Fadness has taken a fresh look at this age-old biblical allegory of Jesus. Created to involve the whole congregation, this resource will save time and effort for the pastor and the participants. People will look forward to the next weekly installment of their Lenten journey. This resource includes:

  • Homilies
  • Children’s sermons
  • Dramatic dialogues

Arley Kenneth Fadness is a retired ELCA pastor who has served numerous Lutheran parishes in South Dakota, Arizona and Minnesota. He currently consults and facilitates visioning processes as a church fitness coach. He also conducts leadership retreats and a workshop on “Finding Your True Flair.” Fadness is a graduate of Augustana College, Luther Theological Seminary, and McCormick Theological Seminary.

Ed Johnson composed the music for “A Song of Jesus” in A Long, Long Road Back to Love. He is a retired elementary teacher with a BA in music from Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. He is currently the pianist at Genesis Lutheran Church in Piedmont, South Dakota.

I am delighted to recommend this resource. Upon perusing the script and playing the score for "A Song of Jesus", the theme song is reminiscent of "Ghost Riders in the Sky". I love the catchy tune and lyrics that Arley Fadness and Ed Johnson have put together. Music and drama have played a huge role in telling the story of God's Promise and Christ's love. I believe this book is soundly based on Scripture and would be helpful to others to spread the Gospel in a compelling way.
— Jan Johnson, Community Lutheran Church, Hill City, South Dakota

Rev. Arley Fadness continues to be a consummate, faithful, creative story teller who brings life to the Scriptures and Lenten season. His dramas hold contemporary and true to life experiences that will invite remembering and open family conversations. They, along with the homilies, bring biblical stories into the light of present-day terms and situations. His wonderful and insightful use of illustrations from Nouwen to Emmylou Harris, Hank Williams, Tolstoy and beyond bring “ah-ha” faith moments for the reader and listener in the midst of a very human and often divided, fractured world.
— Rev. Dr. Charles Berdahl, Phoenix, Arizona

Pastor Arley has the greatest gift of mixing humor and fun into worship settings, all the while staying firmly grounded in God's Word. I have served with Arley in a congregation, so I have seen firsthand how his ideas work. They engage people of all ages in a way that everyone "gets it." I highly recommend The Long, Long Road Back to Love for congregations of all sizes!
— Pat Eidsness, Church Planter, Rochford, South Dakota

Arley Fadness provides a great resource for Lenten and other worship settings. "A Long, Long Road Back to Love," based on the parable of the Prodigal Son, offers a theme song, 'A Song of Jesus,' a mission minute -- 'Talking Hats,' six chancel dramas, and six biblical messages, that promise to inspire worshippers of all ages to return week after week. This series is one of several great published resources, Fadness has written. Some I have used in my parishes over the years, and this will surely be a home run.
— Pastor Howard Skulstad, Staff Pastor, Glen Cary Lutheran Church, Ham Lake, Minnesota

“Arley Fadness has done it again. This chancel drama series of The Prodigal Son story brings to life the lived-out experience of family, adventure, forgiveness, and grace. Fadness delivers thoughtful exegesis into the text. I loved the “Hats” ideas with the mission minutes. The chancel dramas provide the worshipper with a down to earth application and the day to day humor that we can all laugh at. The messages weave the time-told story together with contemporary insights into the issues we all face, thus, this is a resource that all generations will enjoy.”
— Pastor Randy Fett, Senior Pastor at St. Ansgar’s Lutheran Church, Cannon Falls, MN

Arley Fadness, is a favorite regional speaker and writer who particularly shines in his "A Long, Long Road back to Love." He relates the age-old story of the prodigal son with contemporary examples. Fadness' eloquent language is cleverly laced with quirky expressions such as 'careless cellulites and squandering shingles.' A surprising addition of his own lyrics (music written by Ed Johnson) adds much to his narrative; lyrics in which readers/listeners of all ages will experience meaning: "A father old, he had two sons, his love for them was strong...' When I completed my reading of Fadness' manuscript, I surprised myself by saying three words: "Brilliant. Brilliant. Brilliant."
— Lois Wells, Teacher/Pianist

Additional Total Lenten Programs by Arley Fadness: