Beginning on Jan. 15 and Jan. 17, Community UCC will offer two opportunities to study “Love Beyond Belief: Finding the Access Point to Spiritual,” by the Rev. Dr. Thandeka, a Unitarian Universalist theologian, journalist, and congregational consultant. Dr. Thandeka will be the guest speaker at the Interfaith Scholar Weekend, March 1-3.

She was given the Xhosa name Thandeka, which means “beloved,” by Archbishop Desmond Tutu in 1984. She is the founder of Affect Theology, which investigates the links between religion and emotions using insights from affective neuroscience.

A new Women’s Book Discussion Group will explore the book at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 15. An open group will meet at 6 p.m. on Thursdays. Both groups will study one chapter per week, and meetings will be held in the Conference Room.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu said:

“’Love Beyond Belief’ is a hope-filled book reminding us in historical and contemporary terms that we are loved always, even when we feel lost and alone.”

“Love Beyond Belief” is available on Amazon: “Using insights from the brain science of emotions, “Love Beyond Belief: Finding the Access Point to Spiritual Awareness” narrates two millennia of lost-and-found stories about love beyond belief as the access point to the heart and soul of spiritual life. Many of today’s “spiritual but not religious” people — one in four U.S. adults — have found the access point to spiritual experience that Western Christianity lost: unconditional love. “Love Beyond Belief” tracks the history of this lost emotion.”

Robin Carlson, our commissioned minister of Christian education, will guide this discussion, which will go through Feb. 26.

Books are also available on Amazon for $24 (paperback) and for $9.99 (Kindle).