Small Group Topics

Booked for Lunch

Bring your lunch and join us the 2nd Thursdays of the month at noon in Room 252 to discuss contemporary books and how the stories connect with faith and spirituality.

Click on the dates/books below for a description.



September, 2018:  Before You Were Ours – Lisa Wingate

Inspired by firsthand accounts of the stories behind a notoriously corrupt adoption agency, the Tennessee Children’s Home Society, this riveting novel describes a woman investigating her parent’s hidden secrets and discovering the family’s tragic, scandalous past. Memphis, Tennessee, 1936. The five Foss children find their lives changed forever when their parents leave them alone on the family shanty boat one stormy night. Rill Foss, just twelve years old, must protect her four younger siblings as they are wrenched from their home on the Mississippi and thrown into the care of the infamous Georgia Tann, director of the Tennessee Children’s Home Society.

October, 2018:  The Great Alone -  Kristin Hannah

Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: he will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier. Thirteen-year-old Leni, a girl coming of age in a tumultuous time, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, dares to hope that a new land will lead to a better future for her family. She is desperate for a place to belong. Her mother, Cora, will do anything and go anywhere for the man she loves, even if means following him into the unknown. At first, Alaska seems to be the answer to their prayers. In a wild, remote corner of the state, they find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women. The long, sunlit days and the generosity of the locals make up for the Allbrights’ lack of preparation and dwindling resources. But as winter approaches and darkness descends on Alaska, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates and the family begins to fracture. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: they are on their own. In the wild, there is no one to save them but themselves. In this unforgettable portrait of human frailty and resilience, Kristin Hannah reveals the indomitable character of the modern American pioneer and the spirit of a vanishing Alaska—a place of incomparable beauty and danger. The Great Alone is a daring, beautiful, stay-up-all night story about love and loss, the fight for survival, and the wildness that lives in both man and nature.

November, 2018: Small Great Things – Jodi Picoult

Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years’ experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene? Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy’s counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family—especially her teenage son—as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other’s trust, and come to see that what they’ve been taught their whole lives about others—and themselves—might be wrong.

December, 2018:  Christmas Bells – Jennifer Chiaverini

In 1860, the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow family celebrated Christmas at Craigie House, their home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The publication of Longfellow’s classic Revolutionary War poem, “Paul Revere’s Ride,” was less than a month hence, and the country’s grave political unrest weighed heavily on his mind. Yet with his beloved wife, Fanny, and their five adored children at his side, the delights of the season prevailed. In present-day Boston, a dedicated teacher in the Watertown public school system is stunned by somber holiday tidings. Sophia’s music program has been sacrificed to budget cuts, and she worries not only about her impending unemployment but also about the consequences to her underprivileged students. At the church where she volunteers as music director, Sophia tries to forget her cares as she leads the children’s choir in rehearsal for a Christmas Eve concert. Inspired to honor a local artist, Sophia has chosen a carol set to a poem by Longfellow, moved by the glorious words he penned one Christmas Day long ago, even as he suffered great loss. Christmas Bells chronicles the events of 1863, when the peace and contentment of Longfellow’s family circle was suddenly, tragically broken, cutting even deeper than the privations of wartime. Through the pain of profound loss and hardship, Longfellow’s patriotism never failed, nor did the power of his language. “Christmas Bells,” the poem he wrote that holiday, lives on, spoken as verse and sung as a hymn. 


Terrific Tuesday Bible Study Gal

Beginning September 11 - Hebrews, The Nearness of King Jesus

This seven week study by Lisa Harper concludes on October 30.

Beginning November 6 - Love Does

This five week study by Bob Goff concludes December 11. We will not meet the week of Thanksgiving.

Beginning January 15 - God of Creation

This 10 session study of Genesis 1-11 is by Jen Wilken and concludes March 19.

Beginning March 26 - Experiencing God

This eight week study by Henry and Richard Blackaby concludes on May 21.

Beginning May 28 - What's Your Story? Seeing Your Life Through God's Eyes

This four session study by Sarah Heath concludes on June 18.


Soul Sisters

Click on the dates/books below for a description.

Beginning October 10 | The Jesus I never Knew by Phillip Yancey

In The Jesus I Never Knew, Philip Yancey reveals the real Jesus beyond the stereotypes, offering a new and different perspective on the life of Christ and his work---his teaching, his miracles, his death and resurrection---and ultimately, who he was and why he came. From the manger in Bethlehem to the cross in Jerusalem, Yancey presents a complex character who generates questions as well as answers; a disturbing and exhilarating Jesus who wants to radically transform your life and stretch your faith; and a Jesus who is brilliant, creative, challenging, fearless, compassionate, unpredictable, and ultimately satisfying.

Beginning January 23 | Children of the Day by Beth Moore (A study of Thessalonians)

During this nine week study, you'll learn how to let go of past mistakes and discover your circumstances are not coincidental; God's timing is impeccable! Whether you're facing family crises, medical diagnoses, relationship troubles, doubts, or fears, you'll come away encouraged that even though it may not feel that way, you are exactly where Christ wants you to be!