What We are Reading at St. Stephens, Feb. 2021

What We Are Reading at St. Stephen’s – 2/18/21


Susan Ho recommends:

I would like to recommend the book The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates. It is all about her work with the Gates Foundation and was quite interesting. She really seems to be intent on going to the actual people that need help, and finding out what they really need, rather than helping in the way of what we think they need.


William Seth Adams recommends:

On the trashy side, I am near the end of my second reading of Jimmy Buffett’s Where is Joe Merchant?  This story is richly tainted with the craziness of Carl Hiaasen alongside Buffett’s on flare for the adventurous and the looney.  Very engaging and a happy diversion.


Mary Green recommends:

The book I recommended Sunday, White Too Long, The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity by Robert P. Jones, is a tough read, not one I'm 'enjoying'-- I'm still struggling through it slowly-- (but one I had been intending to recommend just to you Tom.)  It is an important book for the church to struggle with, to be engaged by, if we're serious about examining our own formation and how we got to this critical place in the life of the Church and in our nation. 


An easier and more uplifting book is by Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, Love is the Way, Holding on to Hope in Troubling Times.  The title says it all.  Bishop Curry's ebullient spirit shines through and encourages me.  


Anni Campbell recommends:

Short Stories by Jesus Amy Jill Levine. An audio book. Jewish theologian and professor interweaves history and spiritual analysis to explore Jesus’ most popular teaching parables, exposing their misinterpretations and making them lively and relevant for modern readers.


The Movie Goer by Walker Percy. A man breaks out of his caged everyday life and launches himself on a journey, a quest, in a "search" for God.


I’m listening on audio to Lentil Underground: Renegade Farmers and the Future of Food in America by Liz Carlisle. This book was on recommended reading list from Organic Farm School(OFS)  on Whidbey.  I am a student this year.  We start in April and wrap up in October.  I hope to grow food using their methods and provide targeted fresh organic food to programs serving folks who otherwise can’t afford healthy food .


Tom Johnson recommends:

The Index of Self-Destructive Acts by Christopher Beha. Set in New York, this novel weaves together the daily lives of good people making major mistakes (self-destructive acts) and trying to find redemption.


The Order of the Day by Eric Vuillard. Beautifully translated from the French, this little book traces the rise of Hitler with sarcastic, incisive wit, especially against the German industrial giants and petty bureaucrats who made it possible. Historical fiction.


Jeff Neuberger recommends:

Love is the Way by Presiding Bishop Michael Curry. In a very personal way, Bishop Curry ‘unpacks’ the notion that ‘love is the way’ through experiences as a young man, early in his ministry and through his tenure as Presiding Bishop of TEC. Included are stories of his journey through the LGBTQ issues related to the church, joining in the Standing Rock ‘protection’ (the Native Americans were careful to call it a protection, not a protest), and certain political issues that have developed in the last few years.  


Bishop Curry made a comment that will forever stay with me, precisely that Jesus shows us love is the way, not agreement (a comment he made about sitting down with the Archbishop of Canterbury…now I have you curious!).  We may have differing opinions about things that divide, but love is the way to accept and care for one another.


Desire of the Everlasting Hills: The World Before and After Jesus by Thomas Cahill. This is a very thoughtful, deeply insightful book about how people ‘saw’ Jesus.  But first Cahill describes the people Jesus knew:  the Greeks, the Jews and the Romans. He then goes on to look at Jesus in successive chapters through the eyes (and words) of the Apostles, through Paul (the longest chapter), Luke, John and ‘people of the way,’ i. e., early Christians.  Cahill helped me see Paul in a slightly different light, as more ‘open’ and less ‘closed’ than we generally view him and his writings.  I enjoyed this enough to read it again (and soon); there’s a lot to take in.


Val and Rory Roseberry recommend:  A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor by Hank Green.  This is a sequel to An Absolutely Remarkable Thing and it is just as intriguing.  April May might not be dead.  Her friends are running across personalized books that are written just for them and guide them new experiences.  Both books bring up fascinating questions about our relationship to Social Media, to fame, and to the question:  What would happen if a bunch of alien robot statues showed up all over the world?


Roseberry Family read aloud Recommendation:  The Promise of Change by Jo Ann Allen Boyce.  This tells the story of Jo Ann Allen, one of 12 students who integrated Clinton Highschool in Tennessee in 1956.  This story is written as a series of poetic journal entries with newspaper clippings throughout.  We were all captivated by the story and at the realities of how difficult school integration really was.

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