We are just about there! The Fall session of Forward begins the week of September 11. Thank you to everyone who donated and helped make it possible to get books into the hands of each person who wanted one. That was fun!
This session will run for eight weeks and take us right up to the November election. When you step into the voting booth on that day, it’s my deepest desire that you’ll be well-informed, confident about your choice, voting for something or someone other than “the lesser evil,” and at peace about whatever may happen when the elections are over. I also hope—more than anything—that we will all be experts at living after, in, and for. I hope we’ll be the kind of people who facilitate peace in the midst of chaos and who help to raise the level of discourse whenever it threatens to lean a bit sideways.
Anything can happen in the political sphere as we read this book together so, even though I’m laying out a reading plan here today, I also want to remain flexible and responsive to the ever-changing nature of this particular election cycle. As always, grace rules in all of our interactions in the comment box. It’s fine to disagree. In fact, I doubt we will all start and end on the same page with regard to everything we read, think, or understand to be true. My primary request and expectation is always the same, and I don’t really even need to say it because you do it so well. For those who may be new, however, I’ll just quickly mention that we always treat one another with respect and are exponentially generous with the administration of grace.
September 11-17: Prelude and Chapter One
September 18-24: Chapter Two
September 25-October 1: Chapter Three
October 2-8: Chapter Four
October 9-15: Chapter Five
October 16-22: Chapter Six
October 23-29: Chapter Seven
October 30-November 5: Chapter Eight
November 8: Election Day(!)
As we read together, I’ll post my thoughts here on the blog each week, on Friday morning. Each reflection will include a question or two to help get the discussion started, but don’t feel tied to those specific questions. If you’ve got something different to discuss, we want to hear about it. Comments will remain open on all of the posts, so you can participate at your leisure. At the end of the session, between November 5 and election day, I will host a live conversation in a closed Facebook group. I will share the link during the week of October 30 and invite each of you to sign up and join in.
If you’ve never participated in an online book club before, have no fear! Just be yourself and have fun. If you’re planning to participate, let us know today in the comments what your greatest hope is, as you read and discuss this book with us. Thank you!
My greatest hope for this book club is expressed in the title of the book -> I find in my own heart a cynicism toward the political process and this election in particular. I know that this is not the way to approach anything, so I’m trusting for healing first in my own attitudes and my approach to democracy.
I have read the first chapter or so of this book and find that for the first time in my life I am excited to read and discuss politics! With this election cycle there is so much fear mongering and apprehension. I am looking for hope in these discussions and faith that God is working in spite of who he may be working through.
I hope to find helpful ways of having political discussions with others who have differing views.
My greatest hope is healing in our land and, yes, we the people of this book club can make a difference. Thanks for helping to bring us together, friend, and for all your hard work on this session of the club. Blessings.
My greatest hope is that we take the discussion out of our homes and families and
into the greater community. And then if the spirit moves you, to begin volunteering in clubs, groups or other meeting places to bring great discussions forward. We need to find ways to see and hear each other. To really listen to opinions different from our own and then to come to a consensous that works better for everyone. Nothing will get done if we sit at home and complain. Be the change you want to see, as someone once said.
Stacey Blaydes Moore
My greatest hope in reading and discussing this book is that I feel a renewed sense of hope about our country and that I discover ways that I can be part of what feels hopeful. I hope to find ways to become a better listener to folks whose political opinions differ from my own (many of whom are members of my own family!)
I’ve just landed here fortuitously. I already have this book in a stack of “someday I’d like to read …” Can I join this project? My greatest hope is that I can better learn the art of turning toward my neighbor.
Of course you can join! Welcome! So glad you’re here, Katherine.
Kendra Elliott Tillman
Looking forward to reading this with you!
I’d like to join.
We’d love to have you! Grab a copy of the book and join in as you can.
Received the book and have just started. My greatest hope: I can learn to listen to and to love those who hold radically different political opinions.
I will be joining…have actually already started the book! I want to be an agent of peace and civility during this season!
Anne Barber Alday
healing for my own heart–I would like to join.
All are welcome. I do hope you’ll join us.
Am currently reading “The Warmth of Other Suns” have you read it? I had NO idea….
Just picked up the book from the library and the first page of the prelude sounded so similar to my thoughts of today. I’m in that season of transformation, confusion and change and question the fate of our country’s future too. I look forward to this study and diving in deeper during the next few weeks
My greatest hope is healing. Healing for myself, for those around me and for our nation. This political season has brought out the worst in many including myself and I do not want to continue to live with the cynicism and anger that are building up within. I know that we are all better than this, but regardless of whether we are or not, I do not want to continue to live with the air of despair this election season is presenting.
Lisa Dye Norris
My greatest hope is to gain an informed awareness and understanding of how we can have truth in transparency and perceived purposeful acknowledgement that we all live in the same space and we all have truth in what we experience based on how we have encountered the world in which we live; to acknowledge the truth that we have and not allow it to be diminished nor heightened because of someone else’s validation or lack there of; that we look at what our truths are and have receptive and expressive conversation without pretense or offense.
I am open to gain an experience that causes me to learn and receive enlightenment.
I have never read a book on politics and have very little to add to any discussion of politics. I am wanting to start somewhere and become more informed instead of just sitting on the sidelines. I am so grateful you are doing this bc I honestly didn’t even know what book to read or how to get informed. I’m excited!
Okay, first, I’d like to thank each and every one of your who donated a book. I was one of the recipients of the generous gift, and to all who donated, you have my deepest gratitude. I have been a gifter before (for Jen Hatmaker, when she (us!) gifted For the Love to thousands of women) and I know just how it feels. But to be on the receiving end, to need to be on the receiving end, is a whole different thing. So, again, to you who gifted, thank you. <3
Now, this is a tough topic for me. I am actually on the end of not voting. I can't choose between the two who are running, both bad in my eyes. So I'm really praying this book and the club with all of you will open my heart a bit and I will be able to see this election with fresh eyes. Thank you Deidra. This is so needed right now. <3
Having now read the Intro and Preface, I would like to take a moment to thank those who helped provide the book by sharing of yourselves. I received my book at a time where I could not have ordered it but desperately needed it. I actually forgot I had requested one until it came in the mail. I would like to “pay it forward” in time for your next book club offering. So far, the reading is healing.
looking forward… thanks for taking the initiative!