Monday Evening Book Studies

Mondays, 6:15–7:30pm in the Library Lounge

Read, then join us for one of our three-week book studies. We’ll discuss topics such as mercy, hospitality, compassion, and ways that the modern church is changing. Copies of the books are available for pickup from the church office. Donations to offset the cost of the books are welcome, but not required. We hope to see you there!

  • Waiting for the Last Bus: Reflections on Life and Death by Richard Holloway

    September 16, 23, 30

    with a presentation about end-of-life matters Sunday, Sept. 29, 12:00pm


    Waiting for the Last Bus is a stirring plea to reacquaint ourselves with death. Now in his 80s, Richard Holloway looks back on a lifetime as a “doubting priest” and reflects on what it means to accept death in a world that seems devoted to denying its reality. Holloway writes as a humanist first, though his grounding in the Christian faith shines through. Short and accessibly written, this book offers us an opportunity to engage with life and death in new ways.

         The spectrum of issues which Holloway addresses is virtually all-inclusive: the history of attitudes toward death, heaven and hell, aging, the fight for survival, the imperative of death, religion as the human response to existence, predestination, forgiveness, near-death experiences, reincarnation, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, cryo-preservation, memory and remembrance, the death of a child, the meaning of the universe, obituaries, and grief. Facing and welcoming death gives us the chance to think about the meaning of our own life, indeed of life itself.

  • Neighborhood Church: Transforming Your Congregation into a Powerhouse for Mission by Krin Van Tatenhove and Rob Mueller

    October 21, 28, November 4

    This is the book selection made by the Co-Moderators of the 223rd General Assembly (2018). These selections for church-wide book study provide an opportunity for us to read, reflect, share, and listen.

         The Mid-Kentucky Presbytery’s study of Neighborhood Church before their May presbytery assembly produced a very lively discussion. John Odom, Mid-Kentucky’s Presbyter for Community Life, tells us: “Neighborhood Church gave our congregations stories of hope and real-world examples from churches throughout the U.S. of what embodying the gospel with neighbors can look like. It emboldened congregational leaders to name and claim deep resources for ministry already present, and stirred them to dream of concrete ways that their congregations can become the embodiment of Christ with their communities.”

  • Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others by Barbara Brown Taylor

    January 20, 27, February 3

    In Holy Envy, Barbara Brown Taylor reflects on what she has learned while teaching world religions to undergraduates in rural Georgia. She contemplates the myriad ways other people and traditions encounter the Transcendent, both by digging deeper into those traditions herself and by seeing them through her students’ eyes as she sets off with them on field trips to monasteries, temples, and mosques. She reflects on how the faith of her received tradition (Episcopalian) is both challenged and enriched by other approaches to the Holy, and in the process invites the rest of us to think about our received traditions and our encounters with difference.

  • Entering the Passion of Jesus: A Beginner’s Guide to Holy Week by Amy-Jill Levine

    March 16, 23, 30

    The story of the Passion of Jesus rests at the core of Christianity, yet the story is so familiar that many people never study the texts that tell the story to find its meaning for today. Dr. Levine has written a deep yet easily accessible meditation, useful to Christians and Jews, believers and agnostics alike. Through a dramatic retelling of the death of Jesus that brought new life meaning into the world, the author focuses primarily on risk-taking behavior — that of Jesus — and ultimately our own. She shows us how the text raises ethical and spiritual questions for the reader, and how we all face risk in our Christian experience. For practicing Christians, Dr. Levine de-familiarizes the Passion tale just enough that the story will be considered freshly.

  • Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? by Bill McKibben

    April 20, 27, May 4

    Bill McKibben’s The End of Nature alerted us to global warming. But the danger is broader: even as climate change shrinks the space where our civilization can exist, new technologies like artificial intelligence and robotics threaten to bleach away the variety of human experience. Falter tells the story of these converging trends and of the ideological fervor that keeps us from bringing them under control. And then, drawing on McKibben’s experience in building, it offers some possible ways out of the trap. We’re at a bleak moment in human history — and we’ll either confront that bleakness or watch the civilization our forebears built slip away. Falter is a powerful and sobering call to arms, to save not only our planet but also our humanity.

Sunday Worship @ 10:00am

The United Presbyterian Church

42 Chenango Street

Binghamton, NY 13901

Ph: 607.722.4219