Pastor Joel’s Summer Book Suggestions

From the Pastor’s Pen – June, 2021

Feed your spirit with some Summer reading. Some of my suggestions are churchy, some are not, but I’ve found inspiration and nurture from all of them.

Freeing Jesus: Rediscovering Jesus as Friend, Teacher, Savior, Lord, Way and Presence by Diana Butler Bass. There are so many ways to think of Jesus, but most of us don’t think of him in ways outside of the one or two modes we default to. This exploration will help you see Jesus more deeply.

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir. This science fiction novel is about a brilliant scientist slowly understanding his role in saving Earth through an audacious project to solve a disaster destroying the sun. I don’t want to spoil the book, but this book makes you look at ethics and assumptions about the universe in new ways.

Just Ask by Sonia Sotomayor. This book, written for children ages 4-8, was my favorite book this year. It is not at all political. Justice Sotomayor gives children simple tips about interacting with people who are different from us in various ways. Her strategy is encouraging us to ask questions instead of trying to pretend differences don’t exist.

The Story: The Bible as One Continuing Story of God and His People. This is an interesting way to encounter scripture that is accessible. Many times, reading the Bible can be difficult to get into. We don’t always know how to get swept up into it like a page-turner. The Story makes scripture feel like a “beach read” in the best possible way. If you’ve struggled to really get engrossed with the Bible in the past, this book can be a great entry point.

Children of God Storybook Bible by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. There are so many storybook Bibles out there for children; some are fantastic, others not so much. This was an instant favorite of mine. The art is gorgeous and invites children into the stories. The way Tutu tells the stories is timeless, fresh, and inventive.