Summer Reading

There is a wonderful tradition of catching up on our reading through the Summer months. This year at St. James, we’re offering an opportunity to join together in a Summer Reading program. Knowing how summer schedules are, each book will only have ONE discussion session. Even if you can’t make the discussion, we would encourage you to pick up a few of these titles!
(click on the book cover to link to Amazon.com to purchase it)
 
Book One
TITLE: American Saint: Francis Asbury & the Methodists
AUTHOR: John Wigger
LENGTH: 419 pages
TYPE: History
DISCUSSION DATE: Wednesday August 15 at 6:30 pm in
Pastor Ben’s office
DISCUSSION LEADER: Ben Alexander
DESCRIPTION: Francis Asbury is credited as the preeminent leader in the formation of the American Methodist Church at the turn of the 19th century.
 
 
Book Two
TITLE: A History of Christian Theology: An Introduction
AUTHOR: William C. Placher
LENGTH: 352 PAGES
TYPE: Theological History
DISCUSSION DATE: Tuesday July 31 at 6:00 pm in
Pastor Ben’s office
DISCUSSION LEADER: Frank Fisher, Ben Alexander
DESCRIPTION: Placher offers an accessible and comprehensive overview of the development of theology over two millennia.
 
 
Book Three
TITLE: Red Bird
AUTHOR: Mary Oliver
LENGTH: 78 pages
TYPE: Poetry
DISCUSSION DATE: Tuesday, July 31 at 6pm in the Conference Room
DISCUSSION LEADER: Mark Woods
DESCRIPTION: Mary Oliver’s twelfth book of poetry.
 
 
 
Book Four
TITLE: Desert Father: A Journey in the Wilderness with Saint Anthony
AUTHOR: James Cowan
LENGTH: ?
TYPE: Spiritual
DISCUSSION DATE: Tuesday August 7 at 6:00 pm in Conference Room
DISCUSSION LEADER: Mark Woods
DESCRIPTION: A journey into the life of Saint Anthony for a modern perspective.
 
 
 
Book Five
TITLE: Golf’s Sacred Journey: Seven days at the links of Utopia
AUTHOR: David L. Cook
LENGTH: 176 pages
TYPE: Sports and outdoors; Personal growth
DISCUSSION DATE: Tuesday, July 10 at 12:00 noon
DISCUSSION LEADER: Allen Guidry
DESCRIPTION: “The story is based on thousands of athletes the author has counseled, and the great mentors and teachers from whom he has learned, told through the lives of two characters―a rancher with a passion for teaching truth and a young golf professional at the end of his rope. They represent each of us in the various stages of growth. In life we must be willing to coach and be coached, for either one alone will leave us empty.” A story told with a subtle underpinning of Christian theology.
 
 
Book Six
TITLE: The Weight of Mercy: A Novice Pastor on the City Streets
AUTHOR: Deb Richardson-Moore
LENGTH: 289 PAGES
TYPE: Biography
DISCUSSION DATE: Monday July 23 at 6:30 pm in Conference Room
DISCUSSION LEADER: Karen Medlin
DESCRIPTION: Ministry can be messy, complicated, and bewildering. Whether responding to the church alarm mysteriously and repeatedly going off in the middle of the night, firing a kitchen assistant with a habit of buying drugs from parishioners, or interacting with the Chicken-Eatin’ Preacher from West Greenville, pastor Deb Richardson-Moore quickly admits that there is a great deal they do not teach you in seminary.
 
 
Book Seven
TITLE: Beyond Colorblind: Redeeming Our Ethnic Journey
AUTHOR: Sarah Shin
LENGTH: 208 PAGES
TYPE: Christian Living
DISCUSSION DATE: Wednesday August 8 at TBD in Conference Room
DISCUSSION LEADER: Nicole Franklin
DESCRIPTION: For a generation or so, society has tried to be colorblind. People say they don’t see race. But this approach has limitations. In our broken world, ethnicity and racial identity are often points of pain and injustice. We can’t ignore that God created us with our ethnic identities. We bring all of who we are, including our ethnicity and cultural background, to our identity and work as God’s ambassadors.
 
 
 
Book Eight
TITLE: The Lion, Witch & Wardrobe
AUTHOR: C.S. Lewis
LENGTH: 80 PAGES
TYPE: Fiction
DISCUSSION DATE: Tuesday July 10 at 3:00pm in the Conference Room
DISCUSSION LEADER: Irene Gerow
DESCRIPTION: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a fantasy novel for children by C. S. Lewis, published by Geoffrey Bles in 1950. It is the first published and best known of seven novels in The Chronicles of Narnia.
 
 
 
Book Nine
TITLE: Crafting Calm: Projects and Practices for Creativity and Contemplation
AUTHOR: Maggie Oman Shannon
LENGTH: 288 pages
TYPE: History
DISCUSSION DATE: Thursday July 26 at 6:00 pm in The Parlor
DISCUSSION LEADER: Tommy Shaw
DESCRIPTION: There is an increasing amount of interest in returning to some of the simpler arts that were neglected or left behind with the onslaught of technology. Artisans and everyday crafters are finding a renewed satisfaction in making something with their own hands; some are even communicating about the inherent physical- and mental-health benefits found in handwork—and, even more than that, they are framing their handwork as meditation or spiritual practice.
 
 
Book Ten
TITLE: The Insanity of God: A True Story of Faith Resurrected
AUTHOR: Nik Ripken
LENGTH: 384 pages
TYPE: Christian Literature
DISCUSSION DATE: Sunday, July 8 at 2:00pm
DISCUSSION LEADER: Emily Westbrook
DESCRIPTION: “The Insanity of God is the journey of an ordinary couple from rural Kentucky who thought they were going on an ordinary missionary pilgrimage. After six hard years doing relief work in Somalia and experiencing life where it looked like God had turned away completely and He was clueless about the tragedies of life, the couple had a crisis of faith and left Africa asking, “Will you follow God even when it doesn’t make sense?”
 
 
 
Book Eleven
TITLE: Wonder
AUTHOR: R.J. Palacio
LENGTH: 316 pages
TYPE: Christian
DISCUSSION DATE: Readers of ALL AGES, please join us Thursday, July 26, at 5:30pm for pizza. Please RSVP to Molly Carpenter by Wednesday, July 25 if you plan to attend.
DISCUSSION LEADER: Molly Carpenter
DESCRIPTION: Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, Auggie wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past his extraordinary face. Wonder begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include the perspectives of his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others.
 
 
Book Twelve
TITLE: Beauty and the Beast
AUTHOR: Gabrielle-Suzanna Barbot de Villenueve
LENGTH: 211 pages
TYPE: Fairy Tale
DISCUSSION DATE: Tuesday, July 10 at 7:00 pm
DISCUSSION LEADER: Timm Hackett
DESCRIPTION: Generations of readers have been bewitched by the epic love story of a beautiful young girl imprisoned in the magical castle of a monstrous beast.
(The story is public domain and can be downloaded by clicking on the book cover to the right.)