General News · May 19, 2020

We’re Launching a Summer Book Group

An American classic. A children's fantasy. A spiritual bestseller. There's something for everyone in our Summer Book Group.

Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church announces a new Summer Book Group that’s as much about community as it is about reading.

“We really want the focus to be on fellowship,” says Morgan Valencia King, director of engagement, who created the group with Christian Education director Jaime Staehle. “There won’t be lectures or anything class-like. Just good conversations about books that speak to us. We wanted make space for spending time together, exploring new worlds and ideas as a church family.”

The group will meet on Zoom every Tuesday at 5:30 pm, starting June 2 and ending Aug. 25. Read on for the reading schedule. If you want to participate, drop a line to Morgan ([email protected]) for the URL and password!

Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston
Led by Tim Palmer Curl
June 2, 9, 16 & 23

I had first selected F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. But at this moment in our history, that selection didn’t feel right. So we are switching to another classic American novel, also set in the 1920s, but one that speaks directly to our enduring legacy of racial inequality. This one also is available online for free.

The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog, by Adam Gidwitz
Led by Jaime Staehle
July 7, 14, 21 & 28

The Inquisitor’s Tale is a young adult novel, an exciting and hilarious adventure told in the style of the Canterbury Tales. We will follow Jeanne, Jacob and William as they traverse medieval France on a quest that will have them asking “Who is God?” and “Why is this dragon farting?”

The Universal Christ: How a Forgotten Reality Can Change Everything We See, Hope For and Believe, by Richard Rohr
Led by Morgan Valencia King
Aug. 4, 11, 18 & 25

I should admit up front that I haven’t yet read this book. But look at that title! It’s quite literally promising us the (theological) world. I don’t see any way that one book about Jesus could offer that much. But if there’s even a small chance this book can help us connect with God in a new way this summer, I think it’s more than worth it.