2016 Newman UCC

Book Discussions

Below you will find a variety of books that we will discover together in 2016. Click on each photo to be directed to the book's primary website - to read more about it or to order it. After you have perused the virtual bookshelf, return here and CLICK THIS OPTION to be directed to an online form where you can specify the books in which you have interest. Once this information is gathered, you will be contacted to see when you would be available for a small group discussion on the book (or books) you have marked. If you have any questions, please contact Pastor Timoth via email at THIS LINK.

  • Standing Naked Before God

    ~Molly Phinney Baskette

    Every week, millenials, Gen-Xers, Boomers and even young teens at First Church Somerville UCC, the church Baskette pastors in hipster Boston, take the stand to tell about a time they messed up, broke bad, or made Jesus want to cry. 

    It's a book, in our tell-all culture, that is not about baring our souls to get more likes or pageviews: it's about putting our wounds into the service of others. 

  • Flipped

    ~Doug Paggit

    We all have stories in our heads about God, humanity, life, and the meaning of it all. One of the most common—and misleading—stories is “If I’m faithful in doing this, then God promises to do that.” Jesus didn’t believe it and neither should you. God does not insist that you play by the rules before he will respond to you. A careful reading of the Bible will free all of us from trying to make a deal with God, inviting us instead to live in God. 

  • Blessed Are The Crazy

    ~Sarah Lund

    When do you learn that normal doesn't include lots of yelling, lots of sleep, lots of beating? In Blessed Are the Crazy: Breaking the Silence about Mental Illness, Family, and Church, Sarah Griffith Lund looks back at her father's battle with bipolar disorder, and the helpless sense of déjà vu as her brother and cousin endure mental illness, as well. She seeks answers in her faith communities, from feeling pain in God's presence, through seeing the Holy Spirit on Death Row as she witnesses her cousin's execution.

  • Gifts of the Dark Wood

    ~ Eric Elnes

    In clear and lucid prose that combines the heart of a mystic, the soul of a poet, and the mind of a biblical scholar, Dr. Eric Elnes demystifies the seven gifts bestowed in the Dark Wood: the gifts of uncertainty, emptiness, being thunderstruck, getting lost, temptation, disappearing, and the gift of misfits. 


    This is a book for anyone who feels awkward in their search for God, anyone who seeks to find holiness amid their holy mess, and anyone who prefers practicality to piety when it comes to finding their place in this world. 

  • Wearing God

    ~ Lauren Winner

    There are hundreds of metaphors for God, but the church only uses a few familiar images: creator, judge, savior, father. In Wearing God, Lauren Winner gathers a number of lesser-known tropes, reflecting on how they work biblically and culturally, and reveals how they can deepen our spiritual lives.

  • Accidental Saints

    ~ Nadia Bolz-Weber

    In a time when many have rightly become disillusioned with Christianity, Accidental Saints demonstrates what happens when ordinary people share bread and wine, struggle with scripture together, and tell each other the truth about their real lives. This unforgettable account of their faltering steps toward wholeness will ring true for believer and skeptic alike.

  • Real Good Church

    ~ Molly Phinney Basket

    What makes Real Good Church unique in the field of church growth books? It's practical. It actually tells churches what they can do. . .and how to do it. 


    It has a sense of humor. Baskette's easygoing, often self-deprecating writing style and approachable strategies will empower the reader and their church to revitalize itself. (If her church could do it, we can, too!) 

  • Undiluted

    ~ Benjamin L. Corey

    Benjamin Corey confronts our vision of Jesus head-on, asking the hard question: Is what we see and hear in the modern church all there is to the message of Jesus… or is there a more radical side to Jesus than we have been led to believe?


    Get ready to encounter a Jesus that is determined to turn over the tables of a stale, ineffective and boring gospel that seeks to escape from the world instead of transforming it.