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The R&R Reading Groups are structured around one of the central themes of the From Every Nation (FEN) document: Reconciliation and Restoration. Via poignant topics of a selected text, participants are given the opportunity to discuss racial justice issues in order to “become active agents of racial reconciliation” (FEN p. 29). Through self-reflection, individuals are empowered to work toward a restored, multicultural community. See the Diversity & Inclusion Events Calendar for information on current reading groups.

2016-2017 Reconciliation and Restoration Reading Group Opportunities

Fall Reading Group

Prophetic Lament: A Call for Justice in Troubled Times
by Soong-Chan Rah

When Soong-Chan Rah planted an urban church in Cambridge, Massachusetts, his first full sermon series was a six-week exposition of the book of Lamentations. Preaching on an obscure, depressing Old Testament book was probably not the most seeker-sensitive way to launch a church. But it shaped their community with a radically countercultural perspective. The American church avoids lament. But lament is a missing, essential component of Christian faith. Lament recognizes struggles and suffering, that the world is not as it ought to be. Lament challenges the status quo and cries out for justice against existing injustices. Soong-Chan Rah’s prophetic exposition of the book of Lamentations provides a biblical and theological lens for examining the church’s relationship with a suffering world. It critiques our success-centered triumphalism and calls us to repent of our hubris. And it opens up new ways to encounter the other. Hear the prophet’s lament as the necessary corrective for Christianity’s future. A Resonate exposition of the book of Lamentations.

Every other Tuesday from 12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
September 13, 27, October 11, 25, November 8
President’s Conference Room
Bring your lunch
RSVP by September 8

Spring Reading Group

America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America
by Jim Wallis

America’s problem with race has deep roots, with the country’s foundation tied to the near extermination of one race of people and the enslavement of another. Racism is truly our nation’s original sin. In America’s Original Sin, Wallis offers a prophetic and deeply personal call to action in overcoming the racism so ingrained in American society. He speaks candidly to Christians--particularly white Christians--urging them to cross a new bridge toward racial justice and healing.

“It’s time we right this unacceptable wrong,” says bestselling author and leading Christian activist Jim Wallis. Fifty years ago, Wallis was driven away from his faith by a white church that considered dealing with racism to be taboo. His participation in the civil rights movement brought him back when he discovered a faith that commands racial justice. Yet as recent tragedies confirm, we continue to suffer from the legacy of racism. The old patterns of white privilege are colliding with the changing demographics of a diverse nation. The church has been slow to respond, and Sunday morning is still the most segregated hour of the week.

Whenever divided cultures and gridlocked power structures fail to end systemic sin, faith communities can help lead the way to grassroots change. Probing yet positive, biblically rooted yet highly practical, this book shows people of faith how they can work together to overcome the embedded racism in America, galvanizing a movement to cross the bridge to a multiracial church and a new America.

Every other Tuesday, 12:30-1:30 pm
February 7, 21, March 7, 21, April 4
President’s Conference Room
12:30 - 1:30 p.m. (Bring your lunch)
RSVP by February 2

Summer Reading Group

Everything I Never Told You
by Celeste Ng

“Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.” So begins this exquisite novel about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee, and her parents are determined that she will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue. But when Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together is destroyed, tumbling them into chaos. A profoundly moving story of family, secrets, and longing, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another.

Wednesday, June 7
President’s Conference Room
12:30 - 2:00 p.m. (Bring your lunch)
Please register by Wednesday, May 31, 2017.