The Dean's Book Club
Join Dean Churchwell in her office the last Thursday of each month to discuss a book and share lunch! Bring a sack lunch and a copy of the book (or not!) and have an enlivening conversation in around the table.
Can't attend in-person? Join on zoom!
September 28 - Sober Spirituality by Erin Jean Warde
Sober Spirituality offers encouragement, wisdom, and practical insight for readers who want to reexamine their relationship with alcohol. I name not only the challenges of sobriety and spirituality but also the tremendous gifts and blessings that come through quitting drinking or being more mindful about alcohol use.
October 26 - Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann
In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, the Osage rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe. Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. The family of an Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, became a prime target. One of her relatives was shot. Another was poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more and more Osage were dying under mysterious circumstances, and many of those who dared to investigate the killings were themselves murdered. As the death toll rose, the newly created FBI took up the case, and the young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to try to unravel the mystery. White put together an undercover team, including a Native American agent who infiltrated the region, and together with the Osage began to expose one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history.
November 30 - Here if You Need Me by Kate Braestrup
Here If You Need Me is the story of Kate Braestrup's remarkable journey from grief to faith to happiness - as she holds her family together in the wake of her husband's death, as she pursues his dream of becoming a minister, and as she ultimately finds her calling as a chaplain to search-and-rescue workers. Her story is dramatic, funny, and deeply moving - an uplifting account of finding God through helping others and of the small miracles that happen every day when a heart is grateful and love is restored.
December - No Book Club
January 25 - Dear Church by Lenny Duncan
Lenny Duncan is the unlikeliest of pastors. Formerly incarcerated, he is now a black preacher in the whitest denomination in the United States: the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Shifting demographics and shrinking congregations make all the headlines, but Duncan sees something else at work -- drawing a direct line between the church's lack of diversity and the church's lack of vitality. The problems the ELCA faces are theological, not sociological. But so are the answers. Part manifesto, part confession, and all love letter, Dear Church offers a bold new vision for the future of Duncan's denomination and the broader mainline Christian community of faith. Dear Church rejects the narrative of church decline and calls everyone -- leaders and laity alike -- to the front lines of the church's renewal through racial equality and justice. It is time for the church to rise up, dust itself off, and take on forces of this world that act against God: whiteness, misogyny, nationalism, homophobia, and economic injustice. Duncan gives a blueprint for the way forward and urges us to follow in the revolutionary path of Jesus.
February 29 - Walking in Wonder by John O’Donohue
John O'Donohue, beloved author of To Bless the Space Between Us, is widelyrecognized as one of the most charismatic and inspirational enduring voices on the subjects of spirituality and Celtic mysticism. These timeless exchanges, collated and introduced by Quinn, span a number of years and explore themes such as imagination, landscape, the medieval mystic Meister Eckhart, aging, and death. Presented in O'Donohue's inimitable lyrical style, and filled with rich insights that will feed the "unprecedented spiritual hunger" he observed in modern society, Walking in Wonder is a welcome tribute to a much-loved author whose work still touches the lives of millions around the world.
March 28 - Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis is a classic masterpiece of religious satire that entertains readers with its sly and ironic portrayal of human life and foibles from the vantage point of Screwtape, a highly placed assistant to "Our Father Below." At once wildly comic, deadly serious, and strikingly original, C.S. Lewis's The Screwtape Letters is the most engaging account of temptation—and triumph over it—ever written.
April 25 - God is not a Christian by Desmond Tutu
For the first time, a collection of the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s profound and controversial historic speeches, interviews and sermons, demonstrating Tutu’s courageous and much-needed needed moral vision. Biographer John Allen collects Nobel Peace Prize winning Tutu's most inspiring words in this anthology of speeches, interviews, and sermons that have rocked the world, including topics such as reconciliation after the atrocities of apartheid and later Rwanda, how we can celebrate differences, and welcome a variety of voices to the table. An unforgettable look at the South African pastor’s deeply rooted empathy and penetrating wisdom, God Is Not a Christian is perfect for anyone moved by of Martin Luther King Jr.’s“ I Have a Dream” speech or Nelson Mandela’s stirring autobiography Conversations with Myself, brilliantly connecting readers with the courageous and much-needed moral vision that continues to change countless lives around the globe.
May 30 - Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning
Are you bedraggled, beat-up, burnt-out? Most of us believe in God’s grace—in theory. But somehow we can’t seem to apply it in our daily lives. We continue to see Him as a small-minded bookkeeper, tallying our failures and successes on a score sheet. Yet God gives us His grace, willingly, no matter what we’ve done. We come to Him as ragamuffins—dirty, bedraggled, and beat-up. And when we sit at His feet, He smiles upon us, the chosen objects of His “furious love.” Brennan Manning’s now-classic meditation on grace and what it takes to access it—simple honesty—has changed thousands of lives. Now with a Ragamuffin’s thirty-day spiritual journey guide, it will change yours, too.
June, July, August - TBD/Summer Fun Reads