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Book Club 2023-2024

Book Club meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. We meet in-person at SPD and via Zoom*.

Sept. 19—Lucy By the Sea, by Elizabeth Strout. A divorced couple finds themselves locked down together during the pandemic. If we hadn’t lived through 2020 ourselves, we might think this book is a work of science fiction. Host: Pastor Cheryl Mathison

Oct. 17Coronation: A History of the British Monarchy, by Roy Strong, explores the history of each coronation in its political, social, religious and cultural context. Musical history, celebratory poetry, art and spectacular engravings are all explored, as is the more recent role of photographers. Host: Pastor Tim Westermeyer

Nov. 21Fostered: One Woman’s Powerful Story of Finding Faith and Family Through Foster Care, by Tori Hope Petersen. Tori grew up in the foster care system living in twelve different foster homes. Her story is one of deep faith, resilience and hope. Tori Hope Petersen is our Faith & Life speaker on Nov. 16, 2023. Host: Pastor Mark Schmid

Jan. 16Fight Back with Joy: Celebrate More. Regret Less. Stare Down Your Greatest Fears, by Margaret Feinberg. When Feinberg learned she had cancer, she knew she would need great strength to overcome it. The weapon she chose to fight it was Joy. Feinberg is our Faith & Life speaker on Feb. 8, 2024. Host: Susan Path

Feb. 20Meditations of the Heart, by Howard Thurman. This is a beautiful collection of poems, prayers and meditations on prayer, community and the joys and rituals of life. Host: Amanda Berger

March 19Prayers of the Cosmos: Reflections on the Original Meaning of Jesus’ Words, by Neil Douglas-Klotz. Reinterpreting the Lord’s Prayer and the Beatitudes from the vantage of Middle Eastern mysticism, Douglas-Klotz, offers a radical translation of the words of Jesus revealing our Lord in a new way. Host: Pastor Valerie Strand Patterson

April 16Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work, by Matthew B. Crawford, became an instant best seller, attracting fans with its radical (and timely) reappraisal of the merits of skilled manual labor. This book brings alive an experience that was once quite common, but now seems to be receding from society—the experience of making and fixing things with our hands. Host: Pastor Mark Schmid


May 21The Greenest Branch: A Novel of Germany’s First Female Physician: Hildegard of Bingen, by P.K. Adams. The Greenest Branch is the first in a two-book series based on the true story of Hildegard of Bingen, Germany’s first female physician and one of the few women to attain that position in medieval Europe. Host: Amanda Berger


*To join the Zoom meeting, go to


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“Without silence words lose their meaning, without listening speaking no longer heals, without distance closeness cannot cure.”

Henri Nouwen