Women’s Book group will discuss ‘I’ve Been Thinking’ beginning May 14

Our next Women’s Book Discussion Group will begin on May 14, from 6-7:30 p.m. in the Conference Room. We will read “I’ve Been Thinking” by Maria Shriver.

“I’ve Been Thinking” is available on Amazon:

As a prominent woman juggling many roles, Maria Shriver knows just how surprising, unpredictable and stressful everyday life can be.

In this moving and powerful book, she shares inspiring quotes, prayers, and reflections designed to get readers thinking, get them feeling, get them laughing, and help them in their journey to what she calls The Open Field — a place of acceptance, purpose and passion — a place of joy.

“I’ve Been Thinking . . .”  is ideal for anyone at any point in her life. Whether you feel like you’ve got it all together or like it’s all falling apart–whether you’re taking stock of your life or simply looking to recharge, this is the book you will turn to again and again. Like talking with a close friend, it’s the perfect companion — an exceptional gift for someone looking to move forward in life with hope and grace.

Robin Carlson, our commissioned minister of Christian education, will guide this discussion, which will go through June 11. Here are the reading assignments:

  • May 14 – Intro through The Power of Pause
  • May 21 – The Power of Empathy through An Omen from God
  • May 28 – I’ve Learned to Deserve through We All Have Mental Issues
  • June 4 – Why Should we Stop Trying through My Easter Reflections
  • June 11 – A Time to Rest through Oh and One More Thing

Women’s Book group will discuss ‘The Red Tent’ beginning March 12

Our next Women’s Book Discussion Group will begin on March 12, from 6-7:30 p.m. in the Conference Room. We will read “The Red Tent” by Anita Diamant.

“The Red Tent” is available on Amazon:

Her name is Dinah. In the Bible, her life is only hinted at in a brief and violent detour within the more familiar chapters of the Book of Genesis that are about her father, Jacob, and his dozen sons.

Told in Dinah’s voice, this novel reveals the traditions and turmoils of ancient womanhood — the world of the red tent. It begins with the story of her mothers-Leah, Rachel, Zilpah, and Bilhah-the four wives of Jacob. They love Dinah and give her gifts that are to sustain her through a damaged youth, a calling to midwifery, and a new home in a foreign land. Dinah’s story reaches out from a remarkable period of early history and creates an intimate, immediate connection.

Deeply affecting, “The Red Tent”combines rich storytelling with a valuable achievement in modern fiction: a new view of Biblical women’s society.

Robin Carlson, our commissioned minister of Christian education, will guide this discussion, which will go through April 16. Here are the reading assignments:

  • March 12 – Prologue, Part One (Chapters 1-3)
  • March 19 – Part Two (Chapters 1-3)
  • March 26 – Part Two (Chapters 4-6)
  • April 2 – Part Two (Chapters 7-8), Part Three (Chapter 1)
  • April 9 – Part Three (Chapters 2-3)
  • April 16 – Part Three (Chapters 4-5)

‘Love Beyond Belief’ book study ongoing

UPDATE: The Thursday evening book study has been canceled. The Women’s Book Club Discussion will continue at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays.

Modified original post: Community UCC will 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.

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).

Women’s Book group will discuss ‘Love Beyond Belief’ beginning Jan. 15

A new Women’s Book Discussion Group will begin at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 15The book is “Love Beyond Belief: Finding the Access Point to Spiritual Awareness” by the Rev. Dr. Thandeka, a Unitarian Universalist theologian, journalist, and congregational consultant. 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.

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. Reading assignments are one chapter per week.

If you would like to order a book for $20.75 from the church office, please call 559-435-2690 or email Marilyn (office@communityucc.com) before Nov. 20. Books are also available on Amazon for $24 (paperback) and for $9.99 (Kindle).

Women’s Book group will discuss ‘The Sin of Certainty’ beginning Oct. 2

A new Women’s Book Discussion Group will begin at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 2. 

The book is “The Sin of Certainty: Why God Desires Our Trust More Than our ‘Correct’ Beliefs” by Peter Enns, author of “Let Your Life Speak,” “The Courage to Teach,” “Healing the Heart of Democracy.”  It is available on Amazon.

From Goodreads:

With compelling and often humorous stories from his own life, Bible scholar Peter Enns offers a fresh look at how Christian life truly works, answering questions that cannot be addressed by the idealized traditional doctrine of “once for all delivered to the saints.”

Enns offers a model of vibrant faith that views skepticism not as a loss of belief, but as an opportunity to deepen religious conviction with courage and confidence. This is not just an intellectual conviction, he contends, but a more profound kind of knowing that only true faith can provide.

Robin Carlson, our commissioned minister of Christian education, will guide this discussion, which will go through Oct. 30.

Reading Assignment is:

  • Oct. 2 — Chapters 1 & 2
  • Oct. 9 — Chapters 3 & 4
  • Oct. 16 — Chapters 5 & 6 (through Falling Branches)
  • Oct. 23 — Chapters 6 (start at Meeting New People) & 7
  • Oct. 30 — Chapters 8 & 9

If you would like Marilyn to order a book for you, please call the church office or email her at office@communityucc.com.  The cost is $17.50.

Women’s Book group will discuss ‘On the Brink of Everything’ beginning Aug. 28

Women's Book Club Discussion

A new Women’s Book Discussion Group will begin at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 28. 

The book is “On the Brink of Everything: Grace, Gravity and Getting Old” by Parker J. Palmer, author of “Let Your Life Speak,” “The Courage to Teach,” “Healing the Heart of Democracy.”  It is available on Amazon.

Robin Carlson, our commissioned minister of Christian education, will guide this discussion, which will go through Sept. 18.

Drawing on eight decades of life — and his career as a writer, teacher, and activist — Palmer explores the questions age raises and the promises it holds. “Old,” he writes, “is just another word for nothing left to lose, a time to dive deep into life, not withdraw to the shallows.”

But this book is not for elders only. It was written to encourage adults of all ages to explore the way their lives are unfolding. It’s not a how-to-do-it book on aging, but a set of meditations in prose and poetry that turn the prism on the meaning(s) of one’s life, refracting new light at every turn.

Reading Assignment is:

  • Aug 28 – Prelude and Chapter 1
  • Sept 4 – Chapters 2 & 3
  • Sept 11 – Chapters 4 & 5
  • Sept 18 – Chapter 7 & Postlude

‘Gather at the Table’ is next up for Women’s Book group, starting April 17

The next Aramaic Jesus book study will be at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 24. 

51BrMjg5HeL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_A new Women’s Book Discussion Group will begin at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 17. 

The book is “Gather at the Table: The Healing Journey of a Daughter of Slavery and the Son of the Slave Trade” by Thomas Norman DeWolf and Sharon Leslie Morgan.  It is available on Amazon.

This study will be led by group members.

From Goodreads:

Two people — a black woman and a white man — confront the legacy of slavery and racism head-on.

“We embarked on this journey because we believe America must overcome the racial barriers that divide us, the barriers that drive us to strike out at one another out of ignorance and fear. To do nothing is unacceptable.”

Sharon Leslie Morgan, a black woman from Chicago’s South Side avoids white people; they scare her. Despite her trepidation, Morgan, a descendant of slaves on both sides of her family, began a journey toward racial reconciliation with Thomas Norman DeWolf, a white man from rural Oregon who descends from the largest slave-trading dynasty in US history.

Over a three-year period, the pair traveled thousands of miles, both overseas and through twenty-seven states, visiting ancestral towns, courthouses, cemeteries, plantations, antebellum mansions, and historic sites. They spent time with one another’s families and friends and engaged in deep conversations about how the lingering trauma of slavery shaped their lives.

“Gather at the Table” is the chronicle of DeWolf and Morgan’s journey. Arduous and at times uncomfortable, it lays bare the unhealed wounds of slavery.

As DeWolf and Morgan demonstrate, before we can overcome racism we must first acknowledge and understand the damage inherited from the past — which invariably involves confronting painful truths.

The result is a revelatory testament to the possibilities that open up when people commit to truth, justice, and reconciliation. DeWolf and Morgan offer readers an inspiring vision and a powerful model for healing individuals and communities.