Pastor’s Book Study

Throughout the year our pastors will lead us in studying various books. If you have any recommendations or requests please contact Pastor Max at pastormax@stjohnsberkeley.org or call (510) 845-6830.


Past Book Studies Have Been:

Anne Lamott’s Traveling Mercies

Inspired by the funny and ironically refreshing stories of grace revealed at our church retreat, we will be reading Anne Lamott’s Traveling Mercies, together this summer. Copies of the book will be available on Sunday mornings in June (a  donation of $13 is requested, but not required). We will also be setting up a blog to discuss the book online and will review the book during an Adult Form in September.

“Despite –or because of– her irreverence, faith is a natural subject for Anne Lamott. Since Operating Instructions and Bird by Bird, her fans have been waiting for her to write the book that explained how she came to the big-hearted, grateful, generous faith that she so often alluded to in her two earlier nonfiction books. The people in Anne Lamott’s real life are like beloved characters in a favorite series for her readers–her friend Pammy, her son, Sam, and the many funny and wise folks who attend her church are all familiar. And Traveling Mercies is a welcome return to those lives, as well as an introduction to new companions Lamott treats with the same candor, insight, and tenderness.” – Amazon Book Review

 

Holy Cooperation!: Building Graceful Economies by Andrew McLeod

“This book explores the ways in which the Bible supports efforts to build an economy based on voluntary and democratic sharing of resources. It is a work that will appeal to anyone interested in the theological aspects of the cooperative movement.” Amazon Book Review

 

Barbara Brown Taylor’s An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith

“In her critically acclaimed Leaving Church (“a beautiful, absorbing memoir”—The Dallas Morning News), Barbara Brown Taylor wrote about her experience leaving full-time ministryto become a professor, a decision that stretched the boundaries of her faith. Now, in her stunning follow-up, An Altar in the World, she shares how she learned to encounter God far beyond the walls of the church.

Taylor reveals meaningful ways to discover the sacred in the small things we do and see, from simple practices such as walking, working, and prayer. Something as ordinary as hanging clothes on a clothesline becomes an act of meditation if we pay attention to what we’re doing and take time to notice the sights, smells, and sounds around us. Making eye contact with the cashier at the grocery store becomes a moment of true human connection. Allowing yourself to get lost leads to new discoveries. As we incorporate these practices into our daily lives, we begin to discover altars everywhere we go, in nearly everything we do. Through Taylor’s expert guidance and delicate, thought-provoking prose, we learn to live with purpose, pay attention, slow down, and revere the world we live in.” Amazon Book Review