Otira Book Club

Books to borrow, share and discuss

The Otira Theological Book Club, situated at the Centre for Theology & Ministry, has available for loan a wide range of books that have been chosen to create fascinating discussions, offer another perspective, enable an opportunity for adult Christian education, and provide a good reason to get together and share in community. The Club acts as a resource for any group that wants to get together and discuss theological books. It costs nothing to join, other than postage to return borrowed books.

Things to note:

So how does the borrowing system work??
One person acts as contact person and accepts the responsibility to:

Does it cost anything to borrow the books??
It does not cost your group anything except for the postage to return the books back to the CTM. Donations are certainly welcome to enable us to continue supplying new titles regularly.
How long do we have the books for??
Normal borrowing time is about 6-8 weeks.
How do we get the books??
Either via mail (Australia Post) or by personal pick up at the CTM. Normally the books will be available to be handed out at the previous meeting, to be read, then discussed & collected at the next meeting.
My group is interested how do I get more information??

Contact us on 03 9340 8800 or info@ctm.uca.edu.au

To reserve multiple titles download this form: 2017-contact-details-fill-in-form (once filled in you will need to save the form and email to info@ctm.uca.edu.au).
To reserve a single title please send an email using the borrow button.

A download of the list is available here.

 

A
Albom, Mitch Tuesdays with Morrie
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 192
Printed 1998
 
Synopsis

"The last class of my old professor's life took place once a week in his house, by a window in the study on Tuesdays. The subject was The Meaning of Life. It was taught from experience" 'A beautifully written book of great clarity and wisdom that lovingly captures the simplicity beyond life's complexities’.

Book Group Comments

• We have enjoyed studying this book and reading it produced some interesting and valuable discussions. It was also easy to read and read by a wide group of people with pleasure
• You have to read this book. Morrie was a wise wonderful man, full of love and warmth – a true story

Anderson, Bernhard The Living Word of the Bible
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 109
Printed 1979
 
Synopsis

The Bible is approached by way of four perspectives: imagination, narration, liberation and obligation. The implications of biblical criticism for the life and worship of the church are discussed and clearly and simply provides a survey of more recent developments in biblical study, being particularly concerned to show their positive value rather than the negative effect.

Anderson, Robert, Harry Wardlaw, Nigel Watson The Way We See Things Now
Book Club Copies 13
Pages 54
Printed 1993
 
Synopsis

Three eminent professors comment on significant changes that have occurred during their time as members of staff at the UC's Theological Hall and UFT in Melbourne.

Ariarajah, Wesley The Bible And People Of Other Faiths
Book Club Copies 16
Pages 71
Printed 1985
 
Synopsis

Most Christians in the modern world live in situations of religious pluralism. They are constantly challenged at many levels, to relate to people of other living faiths. But is the Bible supportive of a life in dialogue? That is the question the author seeks to answer.

Ariarajah, Wesley Not Without My Neighbour
Book Club Copies 17
Pages 130
Printed 1999
 
Synopsis

Although interfaith dialogue has established itself as a key concern for churches and the ecumenical movement, it continues to raise spiritual, social, political, practical and theological concerns. An excellent discussion book.

B
Bailey, Ivor The Ten Commandments
Book Club Copies 20
Pages 80
Printed 1992
 
Synopsis

Jesus' advice to the rich young man is meant for everyone who tries to live the way God wants. But what have these commandments to say about life today?

Bandy, Thomas Kicking Habits
Book Club Copies 17
Pages 261
Printed 2001
 
Synopsis

Upgrade Edition. This groundbreaking book on systemic change that has literally birthed new congregations, rejuvenated tired leaders, and transformed declining churches. It provides the big picture of thriving church life in the postmodern world.

Book Group Comments

• This book created a lot of discussion. Thanks
• Book stimulated a great deal of thought and discussion

Barber, Bruce The Lord’s Prayer
Book Club Copies 19
Pages 57
Printed 1993
 
Synopsis

An exposition of the prayer of the Christian church. Each phrase is introduced by a biblical text and taken in association with those readings. By the Forum on Faith and Society.

Barr, Liz and Andrew Jobs For The Boys
Book Club Copies 17
Pages 249
Printed 1998
 
Synopsis

In 1992 women won the right to be ordained as priests in the Church of England after a long struggle against what had sometimes seemed to be overwhelming opposition. This book is not about the struggle to be ordained but the story of changes these exceptional women are making, often against all the odds.

Barraclough, Ray Why?
Book Club Copies 20
Pages 326
Printed 2010
Synopsis

This book seeks to take readers on a journey through history. It is not a detailed journey. Rather it gathers examples of explanations that have been advanced down the ages to the present time for various tragedies in people’s experience of life. It does this through a basic but distinctive grid. It examines explanations into two simple categories – who and what explanations. To put it simply, such explanations reflect the pre-modern and modern terms of reference by which we seek to understand why events have occurred.

Book Group Comments

• Fascinating treatment of the theme in desperate need of a good editor
• An interesting read. In this age and time it was useful to look at how differently natural disasters were viewed in days of yore
• This book is useful in part – but there’s a lot I read but can’t remember
• The problem of suffering is and will always be an enormous one to challenge our faith
• I expected to find this book more interesting and useful than it was. I am not sure it was worth reading
• We found this book very dissapointing. It is for people who are studying not for lay people
• Interesting book - good discussion

Bass, Dorothy Practising Our Faith
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 231
Printed 1997
 
Synopsis

The gap between theory and practice in religion is one of growing consternation for people. Aside from going to church on Sunday, how does a Christian manifest the power of this religion in his or her own life? Instead of just being a Christian, how can one bring the meaningfulness of Christianity into one's life? Dorothy C. Bass and 12 other Christian leaders offer concrete practices such as hospitality, simplicity, and community gathering that serve to enrich our lives and the lives of others while reinforcing faith in God. Although presented from a Christian point of view, the practices themselves are universally applicable.

Book Group Comments

• We all found this a very helpful book and easy to read
• The group really valued this insightful book
• Many helpful passages
• This book had a wide variety of opinions – some chapters more of interest than others. The chapter on Death was for me, really great.
• Mixed comments about the contents – some actively disliked the booked but all participated in discussion
• It made us think about our own church and the practices that we are not doing as well.
• Slight American bias - a middle class perspective but that's ok because we're middle class I guess!

Beare, Hedley and Lyn Praying In Secret
Book Club Copies 19
Pages 80
Printed 1988
 
Synopsis

Look at how meditative prayer can be an important part of your day and how daily devotions can be a source of spiritual energy. Follow the pattern of a service of worship, drawing on insights from a wide range of devotional traditions

Bereford, Quentin Rob Riley, An Aboriginal Leader’s Quest For Justice
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 336
Printed 2006
 
Synopsis

A biography of triumph and tragedy. Much of Rob’s life was a triumph of the human spirit against great adversity and this legacy remains. All who care about reconciliation should read this book.

Book Group Comments

• Distressing but compelling reading. Deserves to be widely read
• Was very well researched and distressing reading

Bird, Carmel The Stolen Children
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 185
Printed 1998
 
Synopsis

Stories out of the pain, separation and displacement of the stolen children. Acknowledging the human tragedy created during a misunderstood and shameful part of our history.

Blanksby, Arthur Some Of My Lives Back There
Book Club Copies 11
Pages 394
Printed 1995
 
Synopsis

Arthur was Principal of Otira College from 1968-1979. This book is written by one who is both preacher and poet: a man committed to spreading the gospel of Christ, a man with an eye for detail and a concern for truth.

Book Group Comments

• We all enjoyed this book for those of us who were Methodists, it brought back memories

Bodycomb, John The One With Many Names
Book Club Copies 16
Pages 72
Printed 1993
 
Synopsis

The author explores the many titles given to God, not to discover what these names tell us about God, but rather to discover what they say about us. Explore the ways we talk about God to deepen our understanding of personal wholeness, human relations and life today.

Bodycomb, John No Fixed Address
Book Club Copies 13
Pages 271
Printed 2010
 
Synopsis

Fifty four years ordained, with nothing to prove or to fear, Bodycomb answers questions many have been afraid to ask. Acknowledging that everyone is the product of a story, he sets his idea of faith as journey firmly within his own experience, dealing with who or what we mean by G-O-D, who Jesus is, and religious pluralism. Written in the avuncular style that marks his preaching and teaching this book will appeal to both scholar and lay reader.

Book Group Comments

• What a wonderful book to inspire us to look at the bible with a sense of expectation of seeing things in new ways. All members present thought it challenged them.
• All agreed that this was the best book we had studied Words like “Liberating” and exhilarating” were expressed
• We had a really good discussion after reading this book
• Wow! lots of discussion and a variety of views on thie book
• Great, makes us all think!

Bolz-Weber, Nadia Pastrix
Book Club Copies 20
Pages 206
Printed 2013
 
Synopsis

Foul-mouthed and heavily tattooed, former standup comic-turned-Lutheran pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber weaves hilarious rants and stunning theological insight into her personal narrative of a flawed, beautiful, and unlikely life of faith. Bizarre, rich, and remarkable, PASTRIX turns spiritual memoir on its ear in a sardonically irreverent and beautifully honest page-turner that readers will never forget. Nadia Bolz-Weber takes no prisoners as she reclaims the term pastrix (a negative term used by some Christians who refuse to recognize women as pastors) in this wildly entertaining and deeply resonant memoir about an outrageous, unlikely life of faith. From a commune of haggard-but-hopeful slackers to the wobbly chairs and war stories of Alcoholic Anonymous, from a funeral in a smoky downtown comedy club to an unexpected revelation during the Haitian stations of the cross, PASTRIX is a journey of cranky spirituality that intersects religion with real life, weaving incredible narrative, hilarious rants, and poignant honesty to portray a life deeply flawed and deeply faithful - giving hope to the rest of us. This book contains coarse language as well as Nadia’s story as founding pastor to House for All Sinners and Saints, Colorado.

Book Group Comments

• Easy to read, stimulating, honest
• Nadia's thoughts about devil/demons/darkness invoked much discussion for and against
• We all thought this a great message about inclusiveness
• Much stimulating discussion not just on the book but leading on from it related to our own church and its activities with the marginalised of own community
• Great personal story with strong theology & gave us new perspectives to consider
• What a great book! Nadia challenged us with her stories - she has a great ability to present an extra dimension to some well-known stories
• Some people found her language a challenge, but they kept reading anyway
• We really enjoyed this book. It was so easy to read and to relate to
• Has been a good wake up call for putting inclusiveness into practise and recognising difficulties
• The book is written in a readible style - a touch American.
• The author is willing to reveal herself but shows a keen awareness of the continual presence of God.

Borg, Marcus And Crossnan, John Dominic The Last Week
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 238
Printed 2007
 
Synopsis

Two top Jesus experts offer what they believe is the real story of Jesus’ final week in Jerusalem. ‘Holy Week’ the most sacred time of the Christian year with its climax on Good Friday and Easter. Includes a Reader’s Guide for individual and group use.

Book Group Comments

• Tremendous book! Several of our members plan to buy copies
• Gave us many valuable insights and much discussion
• Excellent discussion from a book that required concentrated reading
• Very well received by group members who found the book revealing and thought provoking
• Found this book helpful becaus eit pointed out that there is more than one way to interpret very well known readings, more than one messgae, perhaps quite different to what we have been taught traditionally
• These two writers never disappoint. Their day to day treatment of Holy Week was most informative, setting the scenes so vividly and delving into Mark's understanding of the person of Jese and 'the way'
• We had a very lively and interesting discussion. One of our favourite books
• We all found the book challenging and complex but a really good reference
• It unwrapped interpreted many of the events of the last week and helped make sense of why and what happened

Borg, Marcus And Wright, N.T. The Meaning Of Jesus – Two Visions
Book Club Copies 17
Pages 250
Printed 2000
 
Synopsis

Two leading Jesus scholars with widely divergent views go to the heart of these questions presenting opposing visions of Jesus that shape our faith today. Candid, spirited, and thoughtfully debated.

Book Group Comments

Book Group Comments
• Excellent Book! Promoted discussion. We will probably have to have it back again next year
• We felt this book was too difficult for a book club. Not many could finish the book and still felt confused by it•

Borg, Marcus J. Reading The Bible Again For The First Time
Book Club Copies 17
Pages 302
Printed 2002
 
Synopsis

Many inside and outside organised religions are searching for an enlightened, contemporary way to be believers and to appreciate the profound richness of the Bible. Borg offers a bold new understanding of scripture that respects both tradition and reality, blending the best of biblical scholarship with concern for authentic faith and how it is lived today.

Book Group Comments

• Tremendous book, very well received
• What a great book, we all found it enlightening
• We would highly recomment this book

Borg, Marcus J. The God We Never Knew
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 178
Printed 1997
 
Synopsis

From the distant, authoritative God of our childhood to an equally powerful, dynamic adult understanding of God we trace the author’s own spiritual journey as he reveals how to embrace a fresh, authentic view of God that is fully compatible with good science, critical thinking and religious pluralism - a view that promotes a much healthier and more vital life of faith today.

Book Group Comments

• This book is highly recommended by our group. Comments were: refreshing, liberating, articulate, accessible, enlightening. We felt Borg fully achieved his aims
• Had a very good discussion – I personally enjoyed it and found it a very rewarding book
• A very interesting and thought provoking book

Borg, Marcus J. Meeting Jesus For The First Time
Book Club Copies 15
Pages 140
Printed 1995
 
Synopsis

We have all met Jesus before. We received some impression, some image of him, however vague or specific. Here is an account of contemporary Jesus scholarship, (told in simple language), and of his personal struggle to find authentic faith.

Borg, Marcus J. The Heart Of Christianity
Book Club Copies 25
Pages 226
Printed 2004
 
Synopsis

What is the heart of Christianity? What does it mean to be Christian today? Here are two quite different answers. An earlier vision of Christianity then an emerging vision. We live in a time of conflict and change in the church.

Book Group Comments

• Enjoyed the book very much. Answered a few questions on our own faith and understanding.
• Great book! Several of our members intend to buy a copy as an ongoing resource
• Thought provoking book we had a great discussion

Bowker, John Beliefs That Changed The World
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 205
Printed 2007
 
Synopsis

The History and Ideas of the Great Religions. From the Jewish exodus over 3,000 years ago to the importance of Shinto in modern Japan, the histories of the world's prominent religions are brought to light and the central tenets behind each are revealed. A timely reflection on the way religious beliefs continue to shape our world.

Book Group Comments

• We all thought this a good reference book about the basics of the faiths presented
• Excellent
• Found it very interesting, it created a great deal of discussion
• Very very interesting and enlightening book. There are so many similarities among all the religions and beliefs

Boyd-Macrae, Clare Three Gates To Paradise
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 242
Printed 2006
 
Synopsis

The shops and streets of Brunswick, family, friends, birth and death, walking the dog, demolishing a house or standing up for refugees, Clare writes about her life and faith with breathtaking frankness, inviting us into an intimate space. Clare's articles and reflections appear regularly in The Age.

Book Group Comments

• Fantastic – we could all relate with it, positive, and prophetic

Boyd-Macrae, Clare The Whole Shebang
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 235
Printed 2008
 
Synopsis

Clare shares her doubts, her dark as well as luminous moments with simplicity and sincerity in her latest book of articles and reflections. As Olga Lorenzo writes in the introduction she offers something of immeasurable generosity in this collection of stories about her life.

Book Group Comments

• Some thought the early chapters were a bit lightweight. But the later chapters showed Clare’s openness in looking at problems of depression and her struggle to deal with it. A very honest book, also an amusing one.
• A delight to read and much wide ranging discussion
• A great book with plenty to discuss

Breward, Ian Australia: The Most Godless Place Under Heaven?
Book Club Copies 12
Pages 110
Printed 1988
 
Synopsis

The Melbourne College of Divinity Bicentennial lectures form the content of this book. Five very readable chapters trace our history, look at implications for our style of Christianity and then look towards the future.

Brown, Barry William Witton
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 164
Printed 2006
 
Synopsis

This small volume tells the story of Mr William Witton, a pioneer lay leader of the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Victoria. William Witton was an early ‘land owner’ in Melbourne and had a deep anguish concerning the impact of white settlement upon the indigenous Australian peoples. Read his story, this research manuscript, relating to the life and lay ministry of Mr William Witton (1811 – 1886)

Book Group Comments

• Although the style of writing including many dates, people, places, some thought made a rather boring reading. One member was inspired by the vigour and commitment of early Methodism in Victoria.

Brown, Cavan Pilgrim Through This Barren Land
Book Club Copies 15
Pages 225
Printed 1991
 
Synopsis

Explore the desert in our history and literature, link this with the role of the desert in biblical witness and look at ways in which contemporary Australians can encounter God in the barrenness of much of modern life.

Book Group Comments

• The title of Pilgrimage was queried by some who thought it was more a series of connected stories. Others saw Brown s a pilgrim seeking more than just a tour through history, but seeing a spiritual context and an analysis of people's dependance on God

Brueggemann, Walter The Bible Makes Sense
Book Club Copies 14
Pages 115
Printed 1977
 
Synopsis

A book which helps the Bible to come alive as it explores the world view of the Bible. It calls on us to nurture an historical imagination, to see it as 'insiders' and find energy and illumination.

Budden, Chris Following Jesus In Invaded Space
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 179
Printed 2009
 
Synopsis

This book asks whose interest’s theology protects when it is part of a community that invaded the land of Indigenous peoples. Developing a theological method and position that self-consciously acknowledges the church’s role in occupying Aboriginal land in Australia, it dares to speak of God, church and justice in the context of past history and continuing dispossession.

Book Group Comments

• This book was a very challenging read. The theology was too deep for some of us. However we were challenged to be reminded of our sometimes racist and paternalistic attitudes and to question what is normal

Butler Bass, Diana Christianity After Religion
Book Club Copies 20
Pages 294
Printed 2013
 
Synopsis

Diana Butler Bass offers a fresh interpretation of the "spiritual but not religious" trend and shares a hope-filled vision for a renewed faith that stays true to the real message of Jesus.

Book Group Comments

• We did not find this one a satisfying read. Comments included ‘hard to get into’, ‘couldn’t see where the author was going. However some good discussion on some points eg the value of creeds; the need for change; why we go to church.
• A very thought provoking book – we had extensive discussion on many point and ran out of time to discuss all of them.

Butler Bass, Diana Christianity For The Rest Of Us
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 321
Printed 2006
 
Synopsis

How the Neighbourhood Church is Transforming the Faith. Church renewal isn’t only about the dramatic and large-scale but about transformations in local communities nourished by the readiness to learn from a wide spectrum of Christian wisdom. The author is a popular speaker at retreats and workshops and made a visit to Australia mid-year 2009. You can visit her online at www.dianabutlerbass.com

Book Group Comments

• This was a great book with many aspects relevant to our congregation

Byrne, Brendan SJ Inheriting The Earth: The Pauline Basis Of A Spirituality For Our Time
Book Club Copies 11
Pages 110
Printed 1990
 
Synopsis

A teacher of New Testament at the United Faculty and a Jesuit priest, Brendan traces in the writings of St Paul, God's concern for relationship with individual Christians, our life together and the world. Explores the two poles of freedom and responsibility.

C
Campbell, Wes Towards a Theology of Peace **NEW**
Book Club Copies 20
Pages 50
Printed 2015
Synopsis

As the centennial remembrances of ‘the Great War’ draw attention to a century of global warfare, the importance of peace and peacemaking in an age of terrorism becomes ever more stark. Wes provides three studies towards a theology of peace, exploring the impacts of war, the Church’s vocation of peace, and the challenge to live without the protection of weapons.

Rev Dr Wes Campbell is a retired Minister of the Word in the Uniting Church with experience in parish ministry, university chaplaincy, UCA synod and assembly roles, and a sustained commitment to peace, justice and social responsibility.

Campbell, Wes Christian Faith in the 21st Century **NEW**
Book Club Copies 20
Pages 50
Printed 2015
 
Synopsis

“The Christian message is always spoken in a particular time and place. It is an embodied word. It is always contextual (Lesslie Newbigin). These studies take
seriously that we are living in the twenty-first century.” Wes provides studies on becoming human in a global age, new beginnings, living towards the one future in Jesus Christ, being the Church in Australia and receiving the gift of First Peoples, and living toward a future made whole.
Rev Dr Wes Campbell is a retired Minister of the Word in the Uniting Church with experience in parish ministry, university chaplaincy, UCA synod and assembly roles, and a sustained commitment to peace, justice and social responsibility.

Cannold, Leslie The Book of Rachael
Book Club Copies 20
Pages 328
Printed 2011
 
Synopsis

It is the women of Nazareth who takes the centre stage: the rebellious, gifted Rachael, consigned by her sex to a life of drudgery; Bindy, the crone who teaches her the skills of the healer; Shona her sister, the victim of a harsh social code; and their mother Miriame, a woman seemingly unable to love. When Rachael falls in love with her brother's dearest friend, the rebel Judah of Iscariot, it seems that at least one of the women of Nazareth may find happiness. Then a message comes from her brother in Jerusalem. And the events begin to unfold that will change not just Rachael's life, but the world-forever.

Book Group Comments

• Probably pitched at younger people. Maybe whetting the appetite for faith and finding out more from the biblical record
• Enjoyed the early parts of the novel. Thought it lost its way, or perhaps changed direction and the ending seemed rather contrived
• Very good discussion from this book. First section more convincing showing conditions for women in this era and village life. Relevant to conditions in many countries today
• We enjoyed this book - rather surprised at having a novel for a change. We had a stimulating discussion which led to us into the discussion on how women are treated around the world to day

Capon, Robert Farrar The Supper Of The Lamb
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 270
Printed 2000
Synopsis

The gap between theory and practice in religion is one of growing consternation for people. Aside from going to church on Sunday, how does a Christian manifest the power of this religion in his or her own life? Instead of just being a Christian, how can one bring the meaningfulness of Christianity into one's life? Dorothy C. Bass and 12 other Christian leaders offer concrete practices such as hospitality, simplicity, and community gathering that serve to enrich our lives and the lives of others while reinforcing faith in God. Although presented from a Christian point of view, the practices themselves are universally applicable.

Book Group Comments

We all found this a very helpful book and easy to read
The group really valued this insightful book
Many helpful passages
This book had a wide variety of opinions – some chapters more of interest than others. The chapter on Death was for me, really great.
Mixed comments about the contents – some actively disliked the booked but all participated in discussion

Catterton Allen, Holly & Lawton Ross, Christine Intergenerational Christian Formation
Book Club Copies 16
Pages 330
Printed 2012
Synopsis

Most churches and faith communities segment their ministries by age and generation. The kids go to children's church, the teens go to youth group. Worship services are geared toward different generational preferences, and small groups gather people at the same life stage, whether singles, young marrieds, parents or empty nesters. In some congregations, people may never interact with those of other ages. But it was not always so. Throughout biblical tradition and the majority of history, communities of faith included people of all ages together in corporate worship, education and ministry. The church was not just multigenerational; it was intergenerational, with the whole church together as one family and people of all ages learning from one another in common life. In this comprehensive text, Holly Allen and Christine Ross offer a complete framework for intentional intergenerational Christian formation. They provide the theoretical foundations for intergenerationality, showing how learning and spiritual formation are better accomplished through intergenerational contexts.

Book Group Comments

• Not well received. It was considered to be "too American" "not relevant to our situation" "very academic" "it reads like a sociology thesis". However we had a worthwhile discussion on our own parish situation where we have lost younger generations.
• Very American

Chacour, Elias Blood Brothers
Book Club Copies 20
Pages 238
Printed 2003
 
Synopsis

As a child Elias lived in a small Palestinian village. People were proud of their Christian heritage and lived peacefully with their Jewish neighbours. Early in 1947 their idyllic lifestyle was swept away as thousands of Palestinians were killed and many were forced into refugee camps. As an exile in his native land he began a year long struggle with his love for the Jewish people and the world's misunderstanding of Palestinians. How was he to respond?

Book Group Comments

• We all enjoyed reading this book very much, and the discussion was animated and long
• The book challenged our preconceptions – helped us rethink and be aware of how easy it is to build enmity and prejudice and how hard it is to break these down
• Very informative as not many in the group knew what happened to the Palestinians
• Inspiring to know what one man has done and is still doing - reaching out for reconciliation
• It brought out alot of discussion
• Found this book easy to read. Amazing ministry in an area of great conflict

Chacour, Elias And Mary E. Jensen We Belong To The Land
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 205
Printed 2007
 
Synopsis

The story of a Palestinian Israeli, Elias Chacour, the Archbishop of Galilee of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, who lives for Peace and Reconciliation.

Book Group Comments

• We found this book a real inspiration. Father Chacour is an example to us all of how to persist for our rights without resorting to violence
• One of the best if not the best book we have had for interest and stimulating thought and discussion
• A book we all found inspirational and thought provoking
• Provided lively discussion. Generally considered a recap/update on the ‘Blood Brothers’ story.
• Once again we have been inspired by the story of Elias Chacour and his non-violent struggle to bring education to his Palestinian people.

Claiborne, Shane The Irresistible Revolution
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 367
Printed 2006
 
Synopsis

We enter into a movement of the Spirit that begins in the heart and extends through our hands into a broken world. The author stirs up questions about the Church and the world and challenges you to live out an authentic Christian faith. This book will comfort the disturbed, disturb the comfortable and invite believers to change the world with Christ’s radical love.

Book Group Comments

• We found the book very readable and very challenging. Not a comfortable read. It made us look honestly at what following Jesus really means

Clendinnen, Inga True Stories
Book Club Copies 17
Pages 118
Printed 1998
 
Synopsis

We have seen nations destroyed by false and fatally divisive histories. The author believes that democratic peoples need true stories about their past so argues forcefully for the rejection of any single, simple account of the Australian past and urges responsiveness to a multiplicity of stories catching different experiences and situations.

Book Group Comments

• Group really appreciated this book and it led to discussion of what has happened since and matters not yet considered.

Cloud, Henry and John Townsend Boundaries
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 296
Printed 1997
 
Synopsis

Having clear boundaries is essential to a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Often, Christians focus so much on being loving and unselfish that they forget their own limits and limitations. Boundaries define who we are and who we are not.

Collins, Francis S. The Language Of God
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 305
Printed 2007
 
Synopsis

Dr Collins is the head of the Human Genome Project and one of the world’s leading scientists. He works at the cutting edge of the study of DNA, the code of life, and has an unshakable faith in God and scripture. He believes that faith in God and in science can coexist harmoniously within a person. In this book he makes his case for God and for science. Essential reading for anyone who wonders about the deepest questions of faith: Why are we here? How did we get here? What does life mean?

Book Group Comments

• Found this book really exciting. Although the science was beyond us. Collins statements of beliefs are very inspiring
• An excellent book. We all enjoyed it even though the technical data was a bit daunting in places.
• Great Book. A scientist who can explain the science in words we could understand and relate the wonders known and unknown to God
• This book engendered good discussion. Some of us found the scientific detail a bit challenging but overall everyone enjoyed reading it
• Excellent book! Most of us really enjoyed it. Very understandable explanation of scientific concepts
• Parts of this book were too hard for our group, but otherwise an interesting argument
• Well liked, good discussion

Costello, Tim Streets Of Hope
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 235
Printed 1998
 
Synopsis

A warm, personal story of the author's first ministry in St Kilda: the encounters, characters and challenges to his skills as a lawyer, his convictions as a churchman, his ideas and values. About family, sex, spirituality, caring, charity, law, the powerless and the need for community in an age of insecurity.

Costello, Tim and Royce Millar Wanna Bet?
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 246
Printed 2000
 
Synopsis

Australians have long been told that they 'love to gamble'. This book challenges the myth, its origins and the way it has been exploited by the gambling industry.

Book Group Comments

• A great book - lots of discussion on issues raised

Craven, Margaret I Heard The Owl Call My Name
Book Club Copies 28
Pages 131
Printed 1974
 
Synopsis

A young Anglican priest who has not long to live, is sent to the Indian village in the wilds of British Columbia. While sharing the hunting and fishing, the festivals and funerals, the joys and sorrows of a once proud tribe, he learns enough of life to be ready to die. This very readable novel, speaks of incarnation, identification with people and what it is to minister.

Book Group Comments

• A book that was much appreciated by all members and which led to a full evenings discussion
• We all loved this book – poignant, inspiring, a celebration of human spirit. The writer said succinctly what she wanted to convey while allowing the reader’s emotions to be felt

Crichett, Jan Untold Stories
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 273
Printed 1998
 
Synopsis

A series of Aboriginal biographies from the Western District of Victoria, drawing on the oral tradition of local Koorie Elders and on official records. This book opens our eyes to a number of remarkable individuals who managed to make a life in the interstices of the society that had dispossessed them.

Book Group Comments

• Much of this book was quite a revelation to some members of our group
• A great book – challenge to our thinking – much discussion
• Had a really interesting discussion about this book, even though some of us didn’t like it very much – the repetition of the basic story and the way the stories were arranged

Crossan, John Dominic The Greatest Prayer
Book Club Copies 20
Pages 200
Printed 2010
Synopsis

It is Christianity’s greatest prayer. It is also Christianity’s strangest prayer. It is prayed by all Christians but it never mentions Christ. It is prayed in all churches but it never mentions Church. It is prayed on all Sundays but it never mentions Sunday. It is also called the “Lord’s Prayer” but it never mentions “Lord.” It is prayed by fundamentalist Christians but it never mentions the inspired inerrancy of the Bible, the virgin birth, the miracles, the atoning death, and bodily resurrection of Christ. It is prayed by evangelical Christians but it never mentions the evangelium or gospel…

Book Group Comments

• Members of our group equally divided in this book. Some thought it great, others were overwhelmed and found it too dense
• We really enjoyed studying this book over 3 months, it gave us time to concentrate and focus on the chapters in greater depth and the overall feeling is that this a very helpful book and to appreciate that one short prayer can encompass such a great model for living
• We found this book "heavy going", very scholarly, albeit interesting, appreciated assistance in appreciating Crossan's work from our two retired ministers in the group. Has it changes out view of the Lord's Prayer - yes!

D
Delphin-Stanford, Delphine And Brown John Committed To Change
Book Club Copies 21
Pages 106
Printed 1994
 
Synopsis

Written long before the Apology to the Stolen Generations in 2008 by the then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, this book recognises the vision of Rev Charles Harris, National President of the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress in 1988 when the covenanting vision was brought to the national Uniting Church Assembly. The book briefly recalls the history and struggle for justice and peace, and outlines a process and the experiences of covenanting groups. Does covenanting still have a place in post-Apology Australia?

Department Of Employment, Education & Training (Deet) Stories From Home
Book Club Copies 16
Pages 53
Printed 2004
 
Synopsis

Stories of traumatic experiences, great loss and hardship, by new settlers, some migrants, some refugees or asylum seekers who have settled in the Goulburn Valley.

Dethlefs, Noriko In His Strength
Book Club Copies 20
Pages 110
Printed 2009
Synopsis

Noriko is one of the most remarkable women you could ever meet. In 2005 she made the huge decision to give up her academic work to accompany her husband Roger with CBM in Afghanistan. Over the next four years her life was completely turned upside down. Aided by her strong and vibrant faith, love for people and ever present sense of humour, Noriko faithfully recorded her experiences through regular emails to her friends. They will make you laugh. They will make you cry. They will definitely inspire you. Be prepared for your faith to be challenged and strengthened as you share Noriko’s journey

Book Group Comments

• Liked this book for its easy conversational style. The author gives moving glipmses of everyday life in Afghanistan among ordinary people without tryint to analyse or giving too much detail. The book also demonstrated that practical help, teaching and just accepting them is a good way of helping and loving.
• The book is very readable. It is refreshing, moving, at times humours and very challenging, It is encouraging to read of a woman who is motivated by her beliefs in God and humanity in everything she does.
• This is a great book. All enjoyed reading and discussing it

Diamant, Anita The Red Tent
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 395
Printed 1998
 
Synopsis

The story of Dinah, Jacob's only daughter in the Book of Genesis. Moving panoramically from Mesopotamia to Canaan to Egypt and narrated by Dinah, of her upbringing by the four wives of Jacob to her growth into one of the most influential women of her time.

Book Group Comments

• We suggest that people need to read the biblical Genesis version as well as the book
• The book was generally well accepted. Some male members returned it after only reading the fairly explicit early chapters – this could indicate that it would be more acceptable for an all female group. Members found the depiction of the lives of women in that culture informative and fascinating. It is a beautifully written book.
• Members agreed this book was an interesting and worthwhile read, raising awareness, encouraging us to carefully read and consider the facts behind particularly the Old Testament writing.
• We all enjoyed this book, felt it made us look at the bible stories to see and understand the culture of the times

Dicker, Gordon The bible With Understanding
Book Club Copies 13
Pages 128
Printed 1988
 
Synopsis

The writer's aim is to help readers understand and use the Bible more effectively for everyday living. He shows how differing views of the authority and interpretation of Scripture have caused unresolved arguments in the Church about beliefs and ethics.

Dicker, Gordon Faith With Understanding
Book Club Copies 16
Pages 207
Printed 1981
 
Synopsis

This book attempts to open up theology for the ordinary person, free from jargon or needless complexity. The author seeks to have the reader discover the joy of understanding what they believe and how their faith influences life.

Book Group Comments

• Good solid read

Dillard, Annie Pilgrim At Tinker Creek
Book Club Copies 20
Pages 271
Printed 1975
 
Synopsis

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek is a series of essays that combines scientific observation, philosophy, daily thoughts, and deeper introspection with glorious prose. On the surface, Annie Dillard is simply exploring a place called Tinker Creek and its inhabitants: But as her observations range well beyond the landscape into worlds of esoteric fact and metaphysical insight, each paragraph becomes suffused with images and ideas. Annie Dillard offers up her own knowledge with reverence for her material and respect for her reader. She observes her surroundings faithfully, intimately, sharing what can be shared with anyone willing to wait and watch with her.

Book Group Comments

• What an interesting book, we wondered did Annie ever have time to do anything other than search out facts and observe nature? Some people loved it others didn’t like it at all.
• Found this book not at all enjoyable or meaningful. Only one member finished reading, the rest gave up after two chapters.
• There were mixed receptions for this book. Some members felt it wasn’t for them and read no further than the first chapter. Others decided to persevere and gained more from reading on. Others really loved it – especially the women in the group. We all gained a lot from the discussion
• This is an amazing book – very dense and inspired a lively discussion. It was agreed that the ‘afterward’ should be read first

Dingo, Sally The Story Of Our Mob
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 312
Printed 1998
 
Synopsis

This uplifting story spans three generations of an Aboriginal family's long struggle to find dignity and worth in a culture not their own.

Book Group Comments

• All enjoyed this book for its detail of Aboriginal life and culture and the historical and social references made
• All agreed it was one of the most interesting books we have enjoyed. Discussion was stimulating and wide reaching. A book to really make you think and learn a lot about aboriginal culture and life and the effects of white settlement

Donaghy, Bronwyn Anna’s Story
Book Club Copies 10
Pages 254
Printed 1996
 
Synopsis

Just fifteen she was leaving school to start the job of her dreams. Beautiful, with a loving family and many friends, on October 21 1995, she took an ecstasy tablet and died three days later. A family devastated, a community in shock.

Douglass, Jane Dempsey Reform And Renewal
Book Club Copies 20
Pages 32
Printed 1995
 
Synopsis

The author draws on her extensive knowledge of the sixteenth century reformation to recall the struggles and tensions of the time and to reflect on some lessons to be learned for the church today.

Dutney, Andrew Food, Sex And Death
Book Club Copies 15
Pages 175
Printed 1993
 
Synopsis

The writer shares with his readers his struggle to find meaning after his baby son died within days of birth. The reader joins him in a search for something meaningful to say about God in the light of human suffering.

Dutney, Andrew Playing God – Ethics And Faith
Book Club Copies 17
Pages 178
Printed 2001
 
Synopsis

The author believes that bioethics has been left to experts for too long. This sensitive area of decision making should belong to those who wrestle personally with the hard decisions - the sick and those who care for them.

Book Group Comments

• Found this book very helpful
• Positive comments on the ‘what kind of God’ section and on the God and the problem of suffering. Too much spent on the concept of play
• We all thoroughly enjyoed this book, plenty to discuss

Dutney, Andrew Where Did The Joy Come From?
Book Club Copies 20
Pages 56
Printed 2001
 
Synopsis

A voyage of rediscovery. Andrew revisits the Basis of Union and uncovers the joy and excitement of the early days of the Uniting Church. Share his passion for the deep wisdom and sound teaching that are the marks of this foundation document of the church

Book Group Comments

• We had a very stimulating conversation because of the challenging questions
• It was surprisingly interesting to read
• It is hopeful and joyful

Dutney, Andrew Introducing The Uniting Church In Australia
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 39
Printed 2008
 
Synopsis

Andrew is one of the leading interpreters of the history and theology of the Uniting Church. Through books, essays, lectures, seminars and academic courses on the Uniting Church he has helped a generation to share the vision of the UCA’s founders.

Book Group Comments

• A useful little book. We all felt we needed to look again at the Basis of Union

Dutney, Andrew (Ed.) From Here To Where?
Book Club Copies 19
Pages 153
Printed 1988
 
Synopsis

We are encouraged to think about the way ahead. Issues are discussed: land rights, white Aboriginal relationships, prejudice, wealth and poverty and the church's role.

E
Ed Doug Pagitt and Tony Jones An Emergent Manifesto of Hope
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 321
Printed 2006
 
Synopsis

Many have heard of the emerging church, but few people feel like they have a handle on what the emerging church believes and represents. Is it a passing fad led by disenfranchised neo-evangelicals? Or is it the future of the church at large? Now available in trade paper, An Emergent Manifesto of Hope represents a coming together of divergent voices into a conversation that pastors, students, and thoughtful Christians can now learn from and engage in. This unprecedented collection of writings includes articles by some of the most important voices in the emergent conversation, including Brian McLaren, Dan Kimball, and Sally Morgenthaler. It also introduces some lesser known but integral players representing "who's next" within the emerging church. The articles cover a broad range of topics, such as spirituality, theology, multiculturalism, postcolonialism, sex, evangelism, and many others. Anyone who wants to know what the emerging church is all about needs to start here.

Book Group Comments

• Wordy, too much jargon but in each of the sections incidents or observations that were very relevant to our own congregation
• A hard book to get into. We felt that the ‘manifesto’ was not well explained. Many didn’t finish the book, but those who did felt that they were glad they had persevered

Edwards, Tilden Living Simply Through The Day – Spiritual Survival In A Complex Age
Book Club Copies 15
Pages 255
Printed 1977
 
Synopsis

The author takes us through the 'basic windows of the day', eating, sleeping, relating and praying and offers suggestions from his own experience on prayer.

Evans, Alwyn Walk In My Shoes
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 346
Printed 2004
 
Synopsis

After a perilous and terrifying escape from war-torn Afghanistan a family find themselves in Australia, a place they know nothing about. They are exhausted and traumatised, but so full of hope. But their struggle isn't over yet. An inspiring novel for all Australians.

F
Fisher, Judi and Wood, Janet (Ed.) A Place At The Table – Women At The Last Supper
Book Club Copies 20
Pages 89
Printed 1993
 
Synopsis

This book attempts to answer the questions "Why were no women present?" 'If in fact they were present, why were they omitted from the story?' It reconsiders the New Testament accounts of the Last Supper and considers the contribution art makes to our theological and biblical understanding.

Book Group Comments

• Good discussion. Brought home to some members just how far they have come

Ford, David Theology – A Very Short Introduction
Book Club Copies 17
Pages 191
Printed 1999
 
Synopsis

This book provides believers and non-believers with a balanced survey of the central questions of contemporary theology. The author's interrogative approach draws the reader into considering the principles underlying religious belief.

Forest, Jim Praying With Icons
Book Club Copies 9
Pages 162
Printed 1997
 
Synopsis

Fascinating and beautiful, this book offers a simple introduction to the tradition of icons with special emphasis on their function in the spiritual life. Forest provides a personal and practical guide to how one prays with icons.

Foster, Richard Celebration Of Discipline – The Path To Spiritual Growth
Book Club Copies 25
Pages 179
Printed 1978
 
Synopsis

An American Quaker writes simply and encouragingly about the ways to a spiritual life. Classical spiritual disciplines are described with present day illustrations and helps the inner journey. Plus study guides.

Fraser, Ian M. Living A Countersign: From Iona To Basic Christian Communities
Book Club Copies 19
Pages 126
Printed 1990
 
Synopsis

In a day of increasing anonymity, the place of community and especially Christian community is increasingly being recognised. Ian Fraser gives many examples of Christian communities from Iona, Scotland to many other parts of the world.

Fung, Raymond The Isaiah Vision
Book Club Copies 16
Pages 55
Printed 1991
 
Synopsis

An "ecumenical strategy for congregation-based evangelism", based upon a belief that mission and witness belongs with local congregations and communities - the restored community where old and young find their place and fulfilment.

G
Galbraith, Douglas (Ed.) Worship In The Wide Red Land
Book Club Copies 20
Pages 106
Printed 1985
 
Synopsis

One feature of the church at worship is the increasing participation by lay people in the leading of services. Fifteen authors, all recognized for their contribution to the development of worship in the UCA, explore the meaning and practice of worship and preaching today.

Book Group Comments

• A very helpful book for lay preachers

Gallagher, Nora Things Seen And Unseen
Book Club Copies 20
Pages 241
Printed 1998
 
Synopsis

This is a book for those who doubt their faith, resist the institutional church, and yet are drawn to both. The author offers her insight into faith in artfully written chapters sprinkled with the wisdom of an array of writers from C.S. Lewis to medieval mystic Mechthild of Magdeburg. This is not, however, a collection of platitudes but a story of faith practiced in understanding and supporting a gay priest and in helping the homeless, hungry, sick, and dying, primarily through the Episcopal church to which she belongs.

Gallagher, Nora The Sacred Meal
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 321
Printed 2006
 
Synopsis

In her inimitable style of memoir and personal reflection, Nora Gallagher explores the beauty and mystery of this most fascinating of topics. Whether exploring the history of Christian communion, taking us inside the workings of a soup kitchen, or sharing times of joy and sadness with friends, she reminds us what it means to partake of, and be part of, the body of Christ.

Book Group Comments

• This book engendered great discussion and made us aware of the different ways the members of our group regard communion

Gill, Athol The Fringes Of Freedom
Book Club Copies 14
Pages 267
Printed 1990
 
Synopsis

Despite being published in 1990, The Fringes of Freedom continues to resonate with anyone who seriously contemplates the call to radical discipleship. Under headings of Following Jesus, Living Together and Working for Justice, Gill offers a skilful analysis of the call to Christian community, messianic mission, evangelism, peace and social justice, among others, from an informed faith perspective.

Glynn, Paul A Song For Nagasaki
Book Club Copies 10
Pages 168
Printed 1988
 
Synopsis

The story of a Japanese atheist, born into a medical family where the ancient Shinto faith was the mainstay and who became a Christian. A M.D. pioneer professor of radiology at the University of Nagasaki who exemplified the characteristic of Japanese Christian history, total commitment and even martyrdom and who died of atomic disease.

Book Group Comments

• Taught us a great deal about Japan’s history, but most of it showed how positives can be found in the most horrendous circumstances by a person of faith
• All agreed that this is one of the best books we had to read and discuss. AN amazing story of a great Christian

Gondarra, Djiniyini Let My People Go
Book Club Copies 15
Pages 35
Printed 1986
 
Synopsis

By a noted church leader in the Northern Synod on Church renewal, Christian Theology of the Land Contextualization and Unity. Gondarra writes as an Aboriginal Christian and visionary leader of his people.

Graham, Duncan (Ed.) Being Whitefella
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 189
Printed 1994
 
Synopsis

Sixteen 'whitefellas' explore their relationship with Aboriginal Australia, looking at events which shaped their understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal culture and history. In their lively, highly readable and personal stories these writers share experiences and wrestle with the issues of today.

Book Group Comments

• Excellent – reminded us what has happened since 1994 and also what has not happened. Most found it compulsive reading and excellent discussion resulted.
• We thought this book quite interesting, if a bit old
• This book created lots of discussion and made us think more deeply about how we could relate in a more positive way with our fellow Australians.

Grant, Arch Aliens In Arnhem Land
Book Club Copies 14
Pages 71
Printed 1995
 
Synopsis

The Methodist Church had been active in Darwin from the beginning in 1873. Church ministry had been to Europeans, then the Chinese when they were brought to the area. Work among the aborigines was sporadic and mainly limited to those in prison. In 1914 discussions took place with the Government and new ministry began in 1916.

Grant, Stan The Tears Of Strangers – A Memoir
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 259
Printed 2002
 
Synopsis

"My father's name is Stan and I am named after him. Strangely, or maybe not, I've never felt comfortable with that name - Dad calls me Dylan while others call me Guy." In a career in journalism, Stan's own story is the most difficult and powerful that he could ever tell - a journey of coming to terms with his aboriginality and identity.

Book Group Comments

• Group found the book riveting, promoted great discussion

Grierson, Denham Conversations At The Edges Of The Raft
Book Club Copies 16
Pages 63
Printed 1993
 
Synopsis

Where should Christians place themselves? At the centre or at the edge of social experience? This writer argues that Christians should place themselves at the edge of social experience, so they can critique and evaluate current social practice and trends.

Book Group Comments

• Stimulated considerable discussion, both on and off the topic
• We all thought this a most helpful and challenging book – a real gem

Guinness, Michele Tapestry Of Voices
Book Club Copies 17
Pages 250
Printed 1993
 
Synopsis

The original idea was to compile a book of meditations specifically for women, but the author didn't really believe the sexes differ very greatly in the needs of their spiritual diet. A book about women for women and the men who like them.

Book Group Comments

• We found this book a treasure. The experiences of women, both everyday and in difficult, poignant and even dangerous situations, made fascinating reading. Even the guys like it!
• What a wonderful book, we all enjoyed it and were encouraged by it
• Very much appreciated the sharing of these men and women
• We had a really wonderful discussion of this lovely book. All greed it was an ideal book for our group.
• The blokes enjoyed it as much as the women. Unfortunately, we felt not alot has changed in the 22years since Michelle put the collection together, with respect to women's place in the church and world

H
Habel, Norman Reconciliation Searching For Australia’s Soul
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 188
Printed 1999
 
Synopsis

Reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians continues to tear at the heart of Australia, exposing our struggle or soul. In the deepest sense, this is not just political and social, but also spiritual and human.

Hansen, Ian The Naked Fish
Book Club Copies 15
Pages 225
Printed 2002
 
Synopsis

A memoir that arises out of an overlooked strata of Australian society: the Christian middle-class family, where faith and feeling run deep. Not often is a book a life story and also a faith journey. Ian Hansen tells his story of growing up in the 1930s and 1940s in a suburban, church-going family. A moving story of a man's continuity of faith.

Book Group Comments

• Thoroughly enjoyed the discussion with several different points of view about the author and the progression (to some regression) of his theology.
• Everyone enjoyed this book and felt that they had travelled a similar life journey in their search for understanding
• Group really appreciated this book. Promoted much discussion as well as some nostalgia trips
• We liked this book and felt affinity with Hansen in a lot of ways
• We all thoroughly enjoyed this book - very easy to read

Held Evans, Rachel Searching for Sunday **NEW**
Book Club Copies 20
Pages 268
Printed 2015
Synopsis

For a generation that has largely said "count me out", church represents a complicated relationship of both longing and apathy. There's a history there - a past full of confusion and hurt, but a past that often is impossible to abandon. In Searching for Sunday, Rachel Held Evans exposes her own thorny relationship with church, articulating the concerns, frustrations, and hopes of many of her peers. Through a series of stories told around the church's sacraments - baptism, confession and communion, among others - Evans offers the beginnings of a road map back to church and the resurrection that awaits when we are willing to give up and begin again

Book Group Comments

• We enjoyed the book - she asks the questions so many of us ask and a fobbed off with evasive answers.

Holloway, Richard Doubts And Loves
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 251
Printed 2001
 
Synopsis

Prepare to be challenged by this inspiring book by the former Bishop of Edinburgh. He is disturbed about the Institutional church and its emphasis upon preserving tradition and methods. Easy to read but difficult to forget are the concepts of what part Christianity plays in today's world. This is a sensitive, brave, inspiring book.

Book Group Comments

• Lots of discussion

Horsfield, Rodney Baptism An Evangelical Sacrament
Book Club Copies 16
Pages 51
Printed 1984
 
Synopsis

Six studies on the various aspects of baptism. Theological argument and examples of pastoral situations with questions for discussion are included in each chapter.

Hotham Mission Finding Shelter
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 139
Printed 2009
 
Synopsis

Through the stories of asylum seekers, staff and volunteers, this book describes the experiences of those with whom the Hotham Mission Asylum Seeker Project has worked and the ways in which the agency has developed in response to their needs.

Book Group Comments

• This was a very enlightening book, it made us aware of a whole group of people who are suffering injustices right here and we all wanted to do what we could to alleviate in any small way.
• We felt that the book was rather repetitious, but worthy if abit out of date

J
Johnston, Robert Useless Beauty
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 321
Printed 2006
 
Synopsis

How should Christians relate to the difficult and contradictory messages of modern movies? In Useless Beauty, Robert K. Johnston presents the bold position that films can be our "eyeglasses and hearing aids" in understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes. Taking up movies such as American Beauty, Magnolia, and About Schmidt, he addresses such biblical issues as life and death, chance and choice, loneliness and connection, and God's presence and absence to deepen our understanding of life's beauty amid its confusion and pain. Christian filmgoers, pastors, and youth leaders will find Johnston's book a valuable source of insight into the relationship between Christianity and popular culture. This book predominately refers to movies released between 1990-2002.

Book Group Comments

• We foudn that we couldn't get into this book. Everyone gave up after the first few chapters as we had not seen the movies it was difficult to see where the author was going.

K
Keck, Leander The Church Confident
Book Club Copies 20
Pages 128
Printed 1993
 
Synopsis

The author examines four central aspects of the church's life - worship, theology, ethos, and communication. A call to restore the praise of God to the centre of worship.

Kirk, J. R. Daniel Jesus Have I Loved, But Paul?
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 224
Printed 2012
Synopsis

Readers of the Bible are often drawn to Jesus's message and ministry, but they are not as positively inclined toward Paul. What should people who love Jesus do with Paul? Here Pauline scholar J. R. Daniel Kirk offers a fresh and timely engagement of the debated relationship between Paul's writings and the portrait of Jesus contained in the Gospels. He integrates the messages of Jesus and Paul both with one another and with the Old Testament, demonstrating the continuity that exists between these two foundational figures. After laying out the narrative contours of the Christian life, Kirk provides fresh perspective on challenging issues facing today's world, from environmental concerns to social justice to homosexuality.

Book Group Comments

• Found this book quite difficult, confusing, left us with no answers but interesting discussion.
• All agreed that it was a 'hard read' but it opened up to a good discussion.
• One remark was that the writer had a tendency to be as 'long winded' as Paul himself.
• Not a book for reading in bed (unless you wanted to be put sleep)
• Most of the book was puzzling to our members he often made statements which semes to contradict things he'd said before. Good discussion because it made us search to find why we diasgreed

Kushner, Harold S. When All You’ve Ever Wanted Isn’t Enough
Book Club Copies 19
Pages 191
Printed 1987
 
Synopsis

Rabbi Kushner applies his compassionate mind to a problem, one more delicate than that of sudden tragedy but just as dangerous - the feeling that life is utterly meaningless. A deeply moving and compassionate book which brings us renewed faith, comfort and inspiration.

Kushner, Harold S. When Bad Things Happen To Good People
Book Club Copies 39
Pages 155
Printed 1992
 
Synopsis

The author and his wife were confronted with the knowledge their son had an incurable terminal disease which would take him in childhood. He wrestles with the conflict between the goodness of God and the bitterness of suffering.

Book Group Comments

• Was enjoyed by most, and promoted good discussion.

L
Law, Eric The Wolf Shall Dwell With The Lamb
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 321
Printed 2006
 
Synopsis

In the book Eric Law delivers a passionate plea for Isaiah’s vision of the peaceable realm to be lived out in multicultural community. He writes, “If cultures are analogous to animals then Isaiah 11 becomes a vision of cultures living together in harmony and peace.”
Law does an exceptional job unpacking ideas of internal and external culture. External cultural differences are easy to change or coexist with, however, internal differences are like the iceberg under water–daunting, mysterious, and seemingly impossible to challenge. Using a colour-blind test as an example of internal culture, Law illustrates how people see things differently. To successfully take our faith across culture, he argues, we must empower, franchise, and equally value the different perceptions. The beginning of the journey across cultures is about listening and paying attention to both answers!

Book Group Comments

• We found this book very relevant to our multicultural Melbourne
• At first we had thought that this book with the emphasis on the American mulitcultural settings seend inappropriate to us with our limited multicultural makeup. However we relaised that the themes discussed were applicable in many of our situations

Le Griffon, Heather Campfires At The Cross
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 316
Printed 2006
 
Synopsis

When the Bunting Dale Mission at Birregurra near Colac, was threatened with closure, it’s aboriginal inhabitants displayed admirable self-determination and local settlers rallied around them until political circumstances changed. This story of the life and work of its founder Francis Tuckfield is an important contribution to our understanding of colonial history.

Book Group Comments

• Some of us thought this writer had chosen a position and collected material with only that point of view. Nevertheless we enjoyed the book

Levine, Amy-Jill The Misunderstood Jew
Book Club Copies 17
Pages 240
Printed 2006
 
Synopsis

After two thousand years of ignorance, the time has come for church and synagogue, Jews and Christians to understand our intertwined histories, to see Jesus as a Jew who made sense to other Jews in a Jewish context, to learn how our two traditions came to a parting of the ways. Explore how the gains in interfaith relations can be nurtured and expanded.

Book Group Comments

• Stimulated much discussion, but found this book quite difficult, at some stage quite annoying
• Thanks, interesting discussion
• We found this book rather heavy going, but it led to a good discussion

Lewis, Peter Acting In Solidarity
Book Club Copies 12
Pages 279
Printed 2011
 
Synopsis

This book traces the history, with a particular focus on the Uniting Church whose former constituents (Presbyterian, Methodist and Congregational Churches) has a considerable presence among the Aboriginal peoples. It examines the Uniting Church's serious efforts to come to terms with its colonial past, seeking to understand previous failures, trying to find ways of being a church truly reconciled to its Indigenous members.

Book Group Comments

• Solid going particularly the introduction and early chapters but excellent coverage of all the happenings in the field. The last chapter and conclusion very helpful

Linn, Dennis, Sheila and Matthew Don’t Forgive Too Soon
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 184
Printed 1997
 
Synopsis

Most of us know that we should forgive those who hurt us. But how can we forgive when we have tried everything we can think of, including prayer, yet we still feel stuck in a hurt? This book tries to untangle a complex issue for many Christians.

Loader, William The Christmas Stories
Book Club Copies 16
Pages 72
Printed 1986
 
Synopsis

Many Christians, uneasy about how we celebrate Christmas, which has become so commercialised and trivialised, are looking for ways of rediscovering the real significance of this special time.

Book Group Comments

• This was the second time we have studied this book. It was well worthwhile exercise although a little dated

Loader, William The New Testament With Imagination
Book Club Copies 17
Pages 150
Printed 1998
 
Synopsis

This book offers a new way of reading the New Testament and many different ways of introducing it through imagination and sampling key passages. There are no wild flights of imagination, no making up stories, just reflections of what we already know but from a likely perspective within the scene. Each of the five chapters begins with an exercise in imagination followed by four sets of passages from the N.T. each with a reflective comment.

Book Group Comments

• This book is magnificent, our group found it truly inspiring with a vision for the 21century

Loader, William Jesus And The Fundamentalism Of His Day
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 150
Printed 1998
 
Synopsis

This book is about how we read the Bible, handle the religious tradition we have received and sort out what matters most from what matters little or not at all. For those who accept the Bible as God's Word yet struggle to understand its teaching for our lives.

M
Mackay, Hugh Beyond Belief **NEW**
Book Club Copies 20
Pages 280
Printed 2016
Synopsis

Around two-thirds of us say we believe in God or some 'higher power', but fewer than one in ten Australians attend church weekly. In Beyond Belief, Hugh Mackay presents this discrepancy as one of the great unexamined topics of our time. He argues that while our attachment to a traditional idea of God may be waning, our desire for a life of meaning remains as strong as ever.

Mackay interviews dozens of Australians representing many different points on the spectrum of faith, including some who are part of the emerging 'spiritual but not religious' movement. He exposes the deep vein of ambivalence about religion that runs through our society: we may not actively worship, but we still like to see local churches operating in our midst, and we use 'our' church to marry, christen our babies, educate our children and commemorate our dead. He points out some uncomfortable truths, such as our tendency to call on God only in a crisis, and unpacks our human need for 'answers', even when science can't find them. He endorses the Christian ideal of the good life - a life lived for others - but acknowledges that there are many pathways to that same goal, not all of them religious.

Written with all the insight and compassion we have come to expect of our leading chronicler of Australian life, Beyond Belief is an engrossing exploration of the ways

Mackay, Hugh Right & Wrong
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 236
Printed 2004
 
Synopsis

As our lives become more complicated, we face a growing number of moral choices. Happiness and peace of mind depend upon knowing we have made the right choices – but how can we decide what is right or wrong, especially when there is no one to guide us?

Book Group Comments

• This book generated a good discussion and an appreciation of the author's intent but very disappointed that there was no Biblical input.

Mackay, Hugh Generations – Baby Boomers, Their Parents And Their Children
Book Club Copies 17
Pages 207
Printed 1997
 
Synopsis

Hugh, a distinguished social researcher and novelist, devotes his analytical skills to the task of exploring the attitudes, values and outlook of three generations of contemporary Australians. His analysis will change the way you think about inter-generational differences and conflicts.

Maddox, Marion God Under Howard
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 319
Printed 2005
 
Synopsis

In the 2004 federal election campaign religion seemed to spring out of nowhere to take centre stage. Assiduously cultivated by John Howard, an extreme form of conservative Christianity now has real influence on our politicians and their policies.

Main, John Christian Meditation
Book Club Copies 22
Pages 60
Printed 1977
 
Synopsis

Until his death in 1982, John Main was Prior of a Benedictine Community in Montreal. This book is a brief introduction to meditative prayer by use of a prayer word or 'mantra'.

Mallouhi, Christine Waging Peace On Islam
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 343
Printed 2000
 
Synopsis

Relations between Islam and the West grow more polarised. At a personal level, many Christians are scared of meeting Muslims. Christine, who has married into a Muslim family and lived much of her life in the Middle East, suggests we should start seeing Muslims as people. "Muslims need to see Jesus, and the only way most of them will see him is in us.

Book Group Comments

• Useful information and insights into Islamic belief and practice as well as a profile of the variety of people among the Muslims. The book is valuable also for what is said about how Muslims view Christian and Christian practices

Masters, Gwenyth Reclaiming an Ancient Heritage **NEW**
Book Club Copies 20
Pages 184
Printed 2014
Synopsis

Gwen Masters offers a thoughtful, careful, solid and thorough exploration of Celtic Christianity, with a care to warn against misty-eyed appeals to resuscitating former glory days, or a retreat to tribalism or anarchy. Building on advanced tertiary studies in this field, Gwen’s summary introduction to Celtic spirituality offers a rich web of alternatives to a dominant and dualistic Western Christianity centred in Rome. Celtic Christianity brings to focus a discipleship incarnated in the culture, history and geography of everyday life. Imitating Jesus, ‘becoming more Christ-like’, transcends every cultural context but is also only ever expressed within particular contexts of culture and community. Way beyond merely a spirituality for white Anglo-Celtic Australians, this careful exploration of the heart-felt commitments of a Celtic worldview will resonate with the deeply-held values of creation, community and everyday life of the many other cultural groups in the Uniting Church, and beyond.

From the book’s blurb: If history is what legitimises Christian traditions, then Celtic Christian spirituality has much to offer today’s world, bequeathing alternatives to enrich and challenge our lives. The ancient Celts perceived that all creation and the everyday were sacred; that wrongdoing was a weakness that could be healed; that justice should be transforming and reconciling; that anam chara (soul friends) were companions on life’s journey; that hospitality was a requirement for community health; that laws were necessary to protect the innocents in times of war. This great wisdom provided a beacon on light during the European dark ages. Reclaiming an ancient Celtic heritage can transform our lives – regardless of time and place differences. Today the Celtic story invites our attention and careful consideration, proposing options that have long been forgotten – or maybe even deliberately cast aside.

Mavor, John (ed.) Growing As Disciples
Book Club Copies 14
Pages 250
Printed 1995
 
Synopsis

This book draws on the collective wisdom of many Christians in Australia. The stories are simple, moving and effective. They reveal how people deepened their spirituality & rediscovered for themselves the importance of prayer, community and service.

Mayfield, Paul Soul Cry
Book Club Copies 17
Pages 67
Printed 2004
 
Synopsis

"This book began as a collection of poetry written over 10 years. At the suggestion of friends, I filled out the particular experience from which such verse emerged. This exercise bought prayer to the fore as a determinant in my journey."

Book Group Comments

• There was a lot of discussion about the author and his feeling of grief and depression. Because we are a very close and trusting group members were able to share some of their experiences of loss and grief, but this would not always be so and so the book needs to be approached with caution. Some of the poetry was beautiful, but some were very dark and obscure in meaning

McGinlay, Hugh (ed.) Joy Pain
Book Club Copies 22
Pages 96
Printed 2000
 
Synopsis

The debate on sexuality at the U.C.A.'s 1997 Assembly was followed by a report as to how the church should continue to address the unresolved issues. The Assembly published a 'resource to assist the church in its continuing dialogue on the matters as yet unresolved in relation to sexuality'. Joy Pain is that resource.

McGrath, Alistair A Cloud Of Witnesses Ten Great Christian Thinkers
Book Club Copies 23
Pages 140
Printed 1997
 
Synopsis

Key ideas and some biographical details are presented by ten leading Christian thinkers. The contributions of Athanasius, Luther, Barth, C.S. Lewis and others to Christian thought, will stimulate and inform your own thinking on the meaning of grace, God in Scripture and nature and the human longing for God.

Book Group Comments

• A great book, lots of discussion

McLaren, Brian A Generous Orthodoxy
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 348
Printed 2004
 
Synopsis

In a sweeping exploration of belief, author Brian McLaren takes us across the landscape of faith, envisioning an orthodoxy that aims for Jesus, is driven by love, and is defined by missional intent. A Generous Orthodoxy rediscovers the mysterious and compelling ways that Jesus can be embraced across the entire Christian horizon. Rather than establishing what is and is not “orthodox,” McLaren walks through the many traditions of faith, bringing to the centre a way of life that draws us closer to Christ and to each other. Whether you find yourself inside, outside, or somewhere on the fringe of Christianity, A Generous Orthodoxy draws you toward a way of living that looks beyond the “us/them” paradigm to the blessed and ancient paradox of “we.”

Book Group Comments

• This book was generally well received. Good discussions
• This book provided great material for discussion.
• There was a wide range of opinions about this book. A few of us found it very readable, funny and sensible.

Mcbride, James The Color Of Water
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 291
Printed 2000
 
Synopsis

The author grew up one of twelve in the all black housing projects of Brooklyn, the son of a black minister and a woman who would not admit she was white. McBride was an adult before he discovered the truth about his mother: the daughter of a failed Orthodox rabbi, she had run away to Harlem, married a black man and founded an all-black Baptist church in her living room.

Book Group Comments

• Amazing
• Everyone enjoyed this book. Stimulating discussion included themes of race, religion, culture, identity, discrimination, mixed marriages, parenting, family and more

Mcdonagh, Sean To Care For The Earth – A Call To A New Theology
Book Club Copies 14
Pages 214
Printed 1986
 
Synopsis

In a passionate appeal for a new theology the author looks for a new story of creation. He is led to take a fresh look at the Bible and the Christian tradition, to highlight the richness of the Benedictine and Franciscan spirituality as a response to the gift of creation, offering new insights into sacramental practice, Christian prayer and missionary practice.

Book Group Comments

• Very interesting, but a little out of date. There are new circumstances so since 1986

Mcrae-McMahon, Dorothy Memoirs Of Moving On A Life Of Faith, Passion And Resilience
Book Club Copies 12
Pages 277
Printed 2004
 
Synopsis

Dorothy, a retired UCA minister, has held many local and international positions in the church and been an activist in community affairs for almost 50 years. She is the recipient of a Jubilee Medal from the Queen for work with women in NSW, an Australian Government Peace Award and the Australian Human Rights Medal.

Mead, Loren Five Challenges For The Once And Future Church
Book Club Copies 15
Pages 100
Printed 1996
 
Synopsis

Mead presents five key challenges facing today's church and how they represent opportunities for the evolutionary, transformative changes which must take place if the Church is to remain a viable institution. It is an excellent resource for small groups and elders councils.

Mead, Loren The Once And Future Church
Book Club Copies 19
Pages 92
Printed 1991
 
Synopsis

A challenging and thought-provoking discussion on the changing face of the church and the world. Suggestions and implications offer stimulating and fresh approaches for transforming congregations. A list of study questions is also available.

Metaxas, Eric Bonhoeffer
Book Club Copies 20
Pages 608
Printed 2010
 
Synopsis

‘Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy’ has been named a ground-breaking biography of the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, one of the most fascinating, complex figures of the 20th century. A definitive, deeply moving narrative, Bonhoeffer delves into a story of great moral courage shown in the face of the monstrous evil that was Nazism.
** Due to the length of this title, allocation length is over two months (Based on book groups meeting monthly)

Book Group Comments

• What a fantastic book – not everyone finished it but we who did found it helpful historically as well as enlightening and broadening our thinking through the development of Dietrich’s theology

Miles, Sara Take This Bread
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 283
Printed 2007
 
Synopsis

A self-proclaimed blue-state, secular-intellectual, lesbian, left-wing journalist with a strong sceptical streak, Miles was hardly a candidate for Christian conversion. Yet convert she did, wholeheartedly at age 46. The journey from sceptical secularist to devout Christian was long, complicated, and often convoluted, but the story she makes of it is engaging, funny, and highly entertaining.

Book Group Comments

• What a challenging book! We all felt we learned much and also have new ways to look at things which puzzle us.
• Our group enjoyed reading this book. The book showed a very different role of the church. It highlighted many differences in the traditional way of doing things
• Very interesting – inspiring but very challenging. Promoted widespread discussion

Miller, Doug The Dead Sea Scrolls And Jesus Christ
Book Club Copies 16
Pages 23
Printed 1992
 
Synopsis

A discussion of the views of Dr Barbara Thiering, written at the request of the Synod of Victoria in 1993.

Moore, Thomas Care Of The Soul
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 309
Printed 1992
 
Synopsis

The author draws on his own life as a therapist practising 'care of the soul', his studies of world religions, teaching of Jungian psychology and art therapy, music and art, to provide this inspirational guide to examine the connections between spirituality and the problems of individuals and society.

Book Group Comments

• Found this book rather difficult, final chapters were more readable. Many members gave up on the book half way.

Morgan, Sally My Place
Book Club Copies 17
Pages 358
Printed 1987
 
Synopsis

An autobiography of an Australian aboriginal woman, who travelled back to her grandmother's birthplace, allowing us to hear the stories of three generations, in a search for truth. Sally Morgan and her family are confronted with their own suppressed history and fundamental questions about their identity.

Mortenson, Greg and Oliver Relin, David. Three Cups Of Tea
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 349
Printed 2006
 
Synopsis

After a terrifying and disastrous attempt to climb K2 in northern Pakistan, a mountaineer called Greg Mortenson drifted, cold and dehydrated into an impoverished village. Moved by the inhabitants’ kindness he promised to return and build a school. This is the story of that promise and its extraordinary outcome as over the next decade he built not just one but fifty five schools in remote villages across the forbidding and breathtaking landscape of Pakistan and Afghanistan, just as the Taliban rose to power.

Book Group Comments

• Found this book to be one of the most inspiring books we have read. Highly recommended.
• Wonderful book – some members recommending it to friends or planning to give it as a gift

N
Negus, George The World From Islam
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 286
Printed 2003
 
Synopsis

In the author's inimitable no-nonsense style, this journey is hell-bent on demystifying the issues, misconceptions and prejudice that have set the Islamic and non-Islamic worlds against each other. Explore the questions pre-occupying non-Muslims in our post-September 11, post-Bali, post-Saddam World: Should we fear Islam?

Newbegin, Leslie Truth To Tell The Gospel As Public Truth
Book Club Copies 13
Pages 90
Printed 1991
 
Synopsis

The author affirms the gospel as the truth for both personal life and life at the public level, thus running counter to much contemporary thinking about the impossibility of knowing ultimate truth. He argues that other modes of thought are to be evaluated in the light of the gospel

Newell, Christopher and Calder, Andy Voices In Disability And Spirituality From The Land Down Under
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 170
Printed 2004
 
Synopsis

In recent years disability theology has emerged alongside Black theology and women’s theology as a new genre seeking to express the concerns of people whose experience has often been marginalized. This is a thoughtful book, placing criticism where it is due, telling how it is for excluded people. The editors have brought together a collection of authors, expert in a variety of fields to comment on spirituality and the world of disability. They raise issues of importance to everyone – the person next door as well as health professionals and religious workers.

Book Group Comments

• Most members of the group found the early chapters too academic for lay people, but we all agreed that it was a very worthwhile read and helped us to examine our attitudes to disability
• Difficult read, particularly the early articles. However worthwhile as it raised awareness of group to some shortcoming in our local environment

Nichols, Alan On The Path To Mutual Respect
Book Club Copies 17
Pages 81
Printed 2007
 
Synopsis

A small handbook with questions for discussion, by the Victorian Council of Churches and part of a project designed to help congregations and their leaders understand the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act and see the values of tolerance, respect and harmony in a mixed society.

Book Group Comments

• Glad to have a book with questions after chapter reading

Nicoll, Mac (ed.) Some Of My Friends Are Poets
Book Club Copies 20
Pages 71
Printed 2009
 
Synopsis

Upon discovering a number of gifted poets among ministers and congregations in his role as a Presbytery Minister, Mac Nicoll was stirred to compile a volume of works in celebration of their art. The result is ‘Some of my friends are poets’, an evocative anthology of 52 poems which seeks to see readers encountered by reflections on ‘parents, pain, death, hope, surprise, guilt, grace, joy, sadness’, and allowed a space for their own identification with the works.

Book Group Comments

• How well these poems express things which touch writers deeply and encourage us to think deeply also
• Very positive reactions to this collection. Each member had their favourite and enjoyed reading aloud and sharing the ways in which the poems moved them
• Our group enjoyed this book.

Nicoll, Mac (ed.) Inklings **NEW**
Book Club Copies 20
Pages 125
Printed 2014
Synopsis

Mac Nicoll compiles a third volume of Australian poets, writers and artists at work. As expressed my Nicoll, you will meet writers and authors who are "dealing with life in all its diversity. The title of this volume conveys a sense of a "hint, a sneaking suspicion, a glimpse, a touching of the depths, a pointing to a deeper significance, an experience of transcendence, and a sense that 'there is more'". 35 artists have offered their works to this volume including Clare Boyd Macrae, Gail Pritchard, Jeff Shrowder and Rod Horsfield.

Book Group Comments

• We have been encouraged to read more poetry
• Had an excellent discussion

Nicoll, Mac (ed.) Let Their Voices Be Heard
Book Club Copies 20
Pages 101
Printed 2012
 
Synopsis

‘Let their voices be heard’ vibrantly brings together poetry, prose and painting as Mac Nicoll draws again upon a wide circle to produce a second anthology, demonstrative of the significant richness of spirituality within the arts.

Book Group Comments

• Many of these works were very much appreciated. We enjoyed them so much more as we shared our reactions in the group.

Nolan, Albert Jesus Before Christianity
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 185
Printed 2000
 
Synopsis

Nolan's portrait of Jesus introduces us to the man as he was before he became enshrined in doctrine, dogma and ritual, a man deeply involved with the real problems of his time - the real problems of our time as well.

Book Group Comments

• Mixed reception – some found the book excellent, others more theologically aware had reservations

Nouwen, Henri In The Name Of Jesus
Book Club Copies 20
Pages 81
Printed 1989
 
Synopsis

Here is a powerful vision of leadership for now and the future, especially in the church. Nouwen is strongly influenced by his experience as a priest with the handicapped people of l'Arche Community in Toronto.

Book Group Comments

• A very readable and inspiring book. Looking forward to reading more of Henri Nouwen

Nouwen, Henri Reaching Out
Book Club Copies 31
Pages 150
Printed 1976
 
Synopsis

The three movements of spiritual life examined are Loneliness to Solitude, Hostility to Hospitality and Illusion to Prayer.

Nouwen, Henri The Wounded Healer
Book Club Copies 15
Pages 100
Printed 1972
 
Synopsis

This is a positive and hope-filled book that speaks directly to those men and women who want to be of service in the Church but find the familiar ways crumbling.

Book Group Comments

• Half our group though this hard to read and some didn’t finish it – the rest of us loved and couldn’t understand why they found it difficult

Nouwen, Henri Beyond The Mirror
Book Club Copies 9
Pages 71
Printed 1990
 
Synopsis

Henri Nouwen describes a serious accident which led to a deepening of his spiritual understanding of life.

Book Group Comments

• Our group divided in their opinion of this book – half loved Henri’s honesty. We all found the book very easy to read

Nouwin, Henri Love In A Fearful Land
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 116
Printed 1985
 
Synopsis

The author, a teacher at an American Theological Seminary, decided to spend some time in the third world. As a result he has produced this book: a story of love, ministry, martyrdom, prayer and friendship in Guatemala. In notebook style and well illustrated with photographs this book on being Christian in trying situations, speaks powerfully to us.

Book Group Comments

• Our discussion of this book was much enjoyed by the group. Its study encouraged a number of us to find out more about Guatemala, its history and troubles

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Pak Poy, Patricia A Path Is Made By Walking It
Book Club Copies 19
Pages 159
Printed 2006
 
Synopsis

‘A path is made by walking it’ is an ancient Chinese saying which affirms the process of change in society. It states the need for individual purpose and collective action in bringing about political and social change – in this case for a mine-free world. A collection of essays by people who have taken steps on that path and colleagues who have worked with them.

Book Group Comments

• This book gives us hope that other problems can be tackled when groups of various persuasions concentrate on the prime aim and persist despite the various ‘regulations of governments.

Parker, Julianne Pondering Pieces of the Puzzle **NEW**
Book Club Copies 23
Pages 216
Printed 2015
Synopsis

Pondering the divine can seem like trying to do an enormous 3D jigsaw puzzle when the pieces have been spread around the world. You pick up the pieces from expected and unlikely places. The light you are working in changes, altering the appearance of pieces. You can have a good run when a few pieces go together easily. Sometimes you can look at a piece for ages before you see where and how it fits. Sometimes you ignore a piece, failing to recognise its significance. This series of sermons offers some of the authors knowledge and experiences. They are not to be read consecutively, some experiences have been used multiples times in different contexts. It is suggested to flick through and decide which ones to read and discuss as a group

Book Group Comments

• Wonderful discussion
• Mixed reception - most liked many of the pieces. One member is planning to buy her own copy

Pattel-Gray, Anne and Brown, John Indigenous Australia
Book Club Copies 16
Pages 64
Printed 1997
 
Synopsis

The British justified the occupation of Australia a little over 200 years ago on the ground that it was terra nulius - no one's land. This booklet engages in a lively and thought-provoking dialogue on the experiences and the continuing search for how the Word can become flesh in aboriginal culture.

Book Group Comments

• This was a very interesting book – denominational differences seem to be even more a stumbling block than we experience

Pearson, Keith D. Praying The Bible
Book Club Copies 38
Pages 16
Printed 1982
 
Synopsis

Ways of using the Bible as a starting point for prayer. The methods of St Benedict and Ignatius of Loyola are outlined and suggestions given for their use. Prayers from the New Testament Letters are also included. This is not a study but an aid to prayer.

Book Group Comments

• We found this book more suitable for private devotions rather than one for discussion

Pieters-Hawke, Sue and Flynn Hazel Hazel’s Journey A Personal Experience Of Alzheimer’s
Book Club Copies 14
Pages 306
Printed 2004
 
Synopsis

This is an intensely moving story of Hazel Hawke – an intelligent, independent woman struggling with the disease that is affecting an ever increasing number of Australians. From early denial to the awful anger that came after diagnosis and the acceptance that has developed since. Inspiring, revealing and insightful.

Book Group Comments

• Excellent – informative and sparked excellent discussion
• We had a very interesting discussion about Hazel and Alzheimers - alot of questions about ourselves! We admires how Hazel's family coped with her decline

Pilkington, Doris Rabbit-Proof Fence
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 133
Printed 2002
 
Synopsis

A true account of Doris Pilkington Garimara's mother Molly, made legendary by the film 'Rabbit-Proof Fence'. Aged 8, 11 and 14, Molly led her two sisters on an extraordinary walk of 1,600 kilometres after their escape from a government institution for Aboriginal children removed from their families.

Book Group Comments

• We appreciated this book on two levels – as an amazing adventure story and also as a revelation of appalling attitudes to the stolen generation by the bureaucrats of the period. We also watched the movie but felt that the book was more authentic

Pinsky, Mark Amazing Gifts
Book Club Copies 20
Pages 312
Printed 2012
 
Synopsis

‘Amazing Gifts: Stories of Faith, Disability, and Inclusion’ is a unique and touching collection of personal stories of inclusion, both practical and inspirational. The concrete examples will encourage and challenge, and serve to demonstrate the many ways in which we benefit from inclusive communities.

Book Group Comments

• We all enjoyed this book, come found it alittle too repetitive. We noted that in the majority of storied it was a feeling of exclusion or lack of awareness of the difficulty experienced that prompted the carer to start advocating for appropriate measures
• The main questioning of the book was that is very related to the American situation, Felt it was valuable to have sit down before us the value of inclusion of disabled
• For the first time in many years we found this book very repetitive and therefore rather boring – however it has had the result of realising how many books we have enjoyed reading!
• Amazing book, much discussion
• Found it to be a very readable and affirming book
• Worthwhile resource for churches that are working with disadvantaged groups

Porter, Muriel Land Of The Spirit?
Book Club Copies 25
Pages 102
Printed 1990
 
Synopsis

The aim of this book is to provide a general picture of the place of religion in Australian life and to examine what it means for the nation as a whole. Beginning with the Dreaming of Aboriginal spirituality to the present reality of Australia, a multicultural society with its own ethos.

Potter, Ron God’s Powerful Gospel
Book Club Copies 15
Pages 55
Printed 1987
 
Synopsis

Twenty-five sessions raise practical questions and rich opportunities for prayer, worship and sharing experiences. Ideal at any time, they are especially appropriate when Mark is used in the lectionary (Year B).

Potter, Ron Let’s Tackle The Book Of Revelation
Book Club Copies 11
Pages 32
Printed 1993
 
Synopsis

The Book of Revelation was written to bring hope and encouragement to persecuted Christians. The author wanted to shore up their faithfulness; he wanted to move them emotionally with images of heaven, the coming downfall of Rome, the judgment of God on all wickedness and the salvation awaiting believers.

Prior, Randall (ed.) The Gospel And Cultures
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 147
Printed 1997
 
Synopsis

Following the 1991 World Council of Churches Assembly the Victorian Council of Churches (VCC) based in Melbourne established a Commission on the Gospel and Cultures.

Pryor, Robin (ed.) Open To God
Book Club Copies 14
Pages 120
Printed 1991
 
Synopsis

Several Uniting Church writers discuss contemporary issues related to praying, and then ten writers, drawing on various Christian traditions, offer practical suggestions about new ways to pray that have worked for them.

Purnell, Douglas Conversations As Ministry
Book Club Copies 17
Pages 154
Printed 2003
Synopsis

This book is one half of a conversation with a wise friend: you will have to imagine our side. The author provides a structure for thinking about the ‘where, when, and who’ of a conversation and suggestions for how to begin and end a conversation.

Book Group Comments

• We thought this book so good that we have recommended it to our church council to buy.
• Excellent book. Should be a standard self learning book for all Ministers and Theology students

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Ramsland, John and Christopher Mooney Remembering Aboriginal Heroes
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 373
Printed 2006
Synopsis

This book offers an unparalleled biographical exploration of various Aboriginal people such as Albert Namatjira, Harold Blair, Harry Penrith lives, offering an understanding of the resilient Aboriginal culture and its vital place in Australian society.

Book Group Comments

• A very interesting book introducing us to many Aboriginal Heroes we had not learnt of in the past
• Promoted very interesting discussion

Ray, Colin A Guide For Elders
Book Club Copies 20
Pages 320
Printed 1994
 
Synopsis

Elders have the responsibility and privilege of sharing with the minister in the spiritual oversight of the congregation. This book shows how the gifts of elders have been used in congregations all over Australia and how elders can fulfil their mission in the church. It includes practical and proven advice for this calling.

Reynolds, Henry Black Pioneers
Book Club Copies 17
Pages 293
Printed 2000
Synopsis

The author debunks the notion that indigenous peoples have contributed nothing towards the creation of a prosperous modern society. Black Pioneers pays tribute to the labour and skill of thousands of black men, women and children who worked for the Europeans in a wide range of occupations. Their intriguing stories are revealed.

Book Group Comments

• A very well received book
• We all thoroughly enjoyed this book.
• Great discussion ensued
• A lively discussion provoked by this book
• We were impressed at the huge volume of research Reynold's carried out to prove his point about the role of the Aborigines in the 'settlement' of thier country

Reynolds, Henry Why Weren’t We Told?
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 259
Printed 1990
Synopsis

This book is a frank account of the author’s personal journey towards the realisation that he grew up with a distorted and idealised version of the past - a vision of peaceful settlement. Why were we denied the truth?

Book Group Comments

• This is a great book, deserves to be more widely known. Unflinching truth telling. Reynolds own journey reflects how far he has come and is a challenge to us all to acknowledge our own ignorance and search for the truth. Highly recommended
• Group found this book very topical in 2016 though it dates from 1999

Robinson, Anthony Changing The Conversation
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 199
Printed 2008
Synopsis

Robinson invites church leaders and members into ten crucial conversations that will change their congregation’s culture and help them respond with greater vitality, effectiveness, and faithfulness to our postmodern culture and its challenges.

Book Group Comments

• Raised important ideas and described the current situation of ‘the church’ well.
• Very American centred – very few of our churches are as big as even the small ones he mentioned. Most of the points he makes are valid and worthy of consideration
• Appreciated his plea to get away from traditional questions and answers and talk more about more fundamental issues.
• Valuable reading for church leaders and exit students from Theological College

Root, Andrew Relationships Unfiltered
Book Club Copies 15
Pages 148
Printed 2009
Synopsis

In this thoughtful and insightful book, Andrew Root challenges us to reconsider our motives and begin to consider simply being with and doing life alongside teenagers with no agenda other than to love them right where they are, by place-sharing. As Root, shares his stories (and others’) of success and failures in relational youth ministry, you’ll find practical ideas to help you recreate the role of relationships in your youth ministry

Rowe, Keith Living With The Neighbour Who Is Different
Book Club Copies 15
Pages 61
Printed 1994
 
Synopsis

The story of a faith tradition and culture that is not Christian. For some in the churches this presence is welcomed as an enrichment of our Australian society; others see it as threatening our way of life and sense of community.

Book Group Comments

• The book/report published in 2000, so most of our discussion was about the differences in attitudes of Australian's then and now
• It was worthwhile having a second look at this book. We could compare what was happening in 2000 with today's advancement in multifaith activity

Rutherford, Graeme Watchers in The Morning
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 137
Printed 1994
Synopsis

Spirituality for contemporary Christians. The author shares his profound vision of what other traditions have to offer the lives of modern Christians, presenting a passionate case for a renewed spirituality that is faithful to the Word of God.

Book Group Comments

• Members found the books were mostly as enjoyable as others we've had

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Sacks, Jonathan The Dignity of Difference
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 209
Printed 2006
Synopsis

Philosopher, theologian, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth since 1991, Jonathan is well known outside the Jewish community as a writer and broadcaster. He writes with a plea for tolerance in an age of extremism, ethnic tensions, civilization clashes and the use of religious justification for acts of terror, a clear and present danger to humanity.

Book Group Comments

• Quite a difficult book. Those of us who managed to read it found it excellent and challenging
• Members of the group were impressed by this book - it is uncanny how relevant it is today, almost everyday some item(s) in the news relates

Sayers, Mark The Vertical Self
Book Club Copies 14
Pages 196
Printed 2010
Synopsis

This book is about laying down the burden of creating your own identity. It is a call to rediscover the one thing that can really fulfil: radical holiness. We are drawn, cajoled, and beckoned by God to our true selves, Sayers says. Yet this desire is derailed and sabotages by our culture, which offers cheap imitations of our true identities instead of the image of God. By stepping into this journey of discovering what God truly desires for our lives, we won't just discover a new way if living out our faith – we will discover a liberating, revolutionary, life embracing way of being truly human.

Book Group Comments

• This book generated some good discussion but was felt to be mainly about a younger generation that our book club covers.
• The early chapters on what is vertical and horizontal growth held the most interest

Sibley, Brian Shadowland
Book Club Copies 12
Pages 176
Printed 2000
Synopsis

We look at the childhood and literary legacy of C.S. Lewis to see how despite grief and painful doubts his faith shone through.

Smith, Durham Search For Understanding Is There A Problem With Traditional Theology
Book Club Copies 20
Pages 158
Printed 2006
 
Synopsis

Traditional theology evolved in a world-view of two millennia ago; it is rightly regarded as inspirational in that context. We now live in a vastly different world, so different that the ancient doctrines seem to many as inadequate, unconvincing, if not irrelevant.

Book Group Comments

• Excellent promoted good discussion
• All enjoyed the book and provoked good discussion
• We found this book quite inspiring, some looking to buy a copy themselves

Smith-Christopher, Daniel Jonah, Jesus And Other Good Coyotes
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 194
Printed 2007
Synopsis

Smith-Christopher shows us that biblical peacemaking recognizes and then crosses - or "runs" - borders. All too often, borders and other imaginary lines drawn between groups of people have a way of becoming the basis for conflict, bigotry, and ultimately, war. Danger signs are evident when people use "borders" to talk about the goodness of everyone within "our" border, and the evil of everyone "over there." Modern social commentators use the phrase "the other" to refer to the tendency of human groups to develop a positive image of them by contrasting it with negative images of others.

Book Group Comments

• Mixed reactions to this book. Some found it a worthwhile biblical study. Some thought Smith-Christopher sometimes stretched the material to fit his thesis. Others found it too difficult
• Mixed reaction – promoted good discussion and provided some new insights

Song, Choan-Seng The Stranger On The Shore
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 44
Printed 1992
 
Synopsis

How do you communicate the Christian gospel in a world of many cultures? Often, the gospel message has been used to destroy these cultures and life-styles of people who have been urged to abandon their traditions and customs. We are asked not to ignore these traditions but to make theological sense of them.

Spong, John Selby Rescuing The Bible From Fundamentalism
Book Club Copies 17
Pages 249
Printed 1992
Synopsis

In this provocative book, the outspoken and controversial Bishop Spong reveals how literal interpretations of Scripture have been used to *justify slavery * ban textbooks *deny the rights of gays and lesbians *subordinate women and *justify war and revenge. * Spong liberates the Bible's message of hope for all people.

Book Group Comments

• Good reading, lots of discussion

Spong, John Selby Why Christianity Must Change Or Die
Book Club Copies 17
Pages 257
Printed 1999
Synopsis

The author challenges, provokes, amuses and inspires in good measure which will bring many to re-think their attitudes to Christian believing.

Book Group Comments

• It was a great book

Steinke, Peter A Door Set Open
Book Club Copies 20
Pages 141
Printed 2010
Synopsis

We resist change less when we associate it with mission and fortify it with hope. So argues long-time congregational consultant Peter Steinke in his fourth book, A Door Set Open, as he explores the relationship between the challenges of change and our own responses to new ideas and experiences. The door is set open for exploration and new creation.

Book Group Comments

• A challenging book – not an easy read. Good discussion about change and our resistance to it; emotional aspects; the mission (God’s mission) and our part in it through small acts for others
• Hard to get into, but did stimulate good discussion

Strout, Elizabeth Abide With Me
Book Club Copies 17
Pages 294
Printed 2006
 
Synopsis

Abide with me, by Elizabeth Strout, the story of a young congregational minister stunned by and struggling with the death of wife and life as a single father, is beautiful, compassionate and thoughtful. Set in 1950?s New England we meet Tyler Easkey a man whose beautiful wife has just died. Much loved by his parishioners he appears to be a model of a successful young pastor. But all is not as it seems. Beneath the veneer of a happy marriage we realise his wife might not have liked life as a poor clergy wife as much as it first appears. His young daughter’s grief expresses itself in behaviour her teachers and the parishioners find hard to understand or sympathise with. Soon they start to gossip. Tyler fails to see what is staring him in the face, turning to Dietrich Bonheoffer instead of attending to the various tensions between his daughter and her teacher, his housekeeper, his parishioners and within himself.

Book Group Comments

• Mixed reactions to this one. On writing style it was felt that too many ‘issues’ were crammed into one narrative resulting in a not totally believable scenario. However the description of small country churches and the expectations of the minister and his/her family stimulated interesting discussion. Overall not a recommended read.
• We were rather dissapointed with this book, not quite sure what messages it contained for us

T
Tacey, David The Spiritual Revolution
Book Club Copies 17
Pages 228
Printed 2003
Synopsis

We are in the midst of a spiritual revolution. Churches are emptying and traditional forms of faith are being abandoned. Meanwhile, interest in a more personal spiritual experience has never been greater. What is happening to our society?

Book Group Comments

• This book required real concentration but provided fantastic quotes and discussion

Tanner, Ian and Merritt, David (eds.) What Does Our Church Say?
Book Club Copies 16
Pages 134
Printed 1989
 
Synopsis

Questions people in the UCA across Australia are asking with responses from church leaders in key areas of responsibility. Do you have to go to Church to be a Christian? Is sex before marriage sinful?

Taylor, John Kingdom Come
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 110
Printed 1989
Synopsis

Explore what might happen in our generation if the gospel of Jesus could be proclaimed in a manner more closely related to the original inspiration and authentic message of Jesus: would it fire people's imaginations and bring about a radical change of direction in their lives?

Theissen, Gerd The Shadow Of The Galilean
Book Club Copies 20
Pages 205
Printed 1984
Synopsis

Here in narrative form is an account of the activity of Jesus of Nazareth, scrupulously constructed so that it does not deny or go against the insights of even quite radical New Testament scholarship. What makes it different from other such attempts is that Jesus never actually appears. What we find everywhere is his shadow, his effect.

Book Group Comments

• Three of us enjoyed this book with its usual format and two of us were not so keen.

Thompson, Geoff Disturbing Much, Disturbing Many **NEW**
Book Club Copies 20
Pages 282
Printed 2017
Synopsis

The first report of the Joint Commission on Church Union that led to the formation of the Uniting Church in Australia warned: “If we go forward into a union on the basis of a fresh confession of the faith of the Church, we shall disturb much and disturb many”. This book assumes that the posture of ‘disturbance’ runs through the Basis of Union, exploring its theological background – particularly its emphasis on core Christological claims – as well as bringing several of the Basis’ key claims into conversation with some of the UCA’s current theological debates.

Toibin, Colm The Blackwater Lightship
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 273
Printed 1999
 
Synopsis

It is Ireland in the early 1990s. Three women, Dora Devereux, her daughter Lily and granddaughter Helen have arrived after years of strife, at an uneasy pace. Helen’s adored brother is dying, so they join him and two of his friends. These six, from different generations and beliefs are forced to listen to each other and come to terms with each other.

Book Group Comments

• Excellent discussion starter. Although most members of our group did not enjoy the book, they related to many aspects and readily expressed ideas, misconceptions, experiences etc.
• This fascinating story provided stimulus to some of the best discussion ever

Tonkin, Daryl and Landon, Carolyn Jackson’s Track
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 297
Printed 1999
 
Synopsis

Daryl Tonkin is white and his wife Euphie is black - neither of them is prepared for the conflict their forbidden love ignites. This book tells of one man's courage and determination to pursue what he knows is right. An unforgettable true story of joy, tragedy and hope.

Trainor, Michael (with stories by Michael Brady) Voices From The Edge
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 92
Printed 1991
Synopsis

A refreshing approach for reflecting from the lives of a struggling people in the light of the Gospel of Luke. The book provides us with a starting point for our own theological reflection.

Trudgen, Richard Why Warriors Lay Down And Die
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 269
Printed 2000
Synopsis

Essential reading for anyone interested in indigenous peoples. It provides hope and new direction for those simply searching for answers as to why "the problems" seem to persist in Aboriginal communities. It also offers insights for those who want a greater understanding of the issues involved in achieving true reconciliation.

Turley, Bruce Being There For Others
Book Club Copies 10
Pages 136
Printed 1979
Synopsis

A resource to offer an informed basis for thought about and involvement in pastoral ministry. It is beamed at lay people in the church. The first section seeks to sketch a broad framework for action and reflection and in part two applying the broad principles to specific situations.

Tutu, Desmond God Has A Dream – A Vision Of Hope For Our Time
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 148
Printed 2005
Synopsis

Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu has been admired throughout the world for his heroism and grace in human rights struggles. In this book he shares the spiritual message that guided him through many troubled times.

Book Group Comments

• Good lively discussion. Q&A at the end of the book very helpful for bringing out preacher detail and reflection
• Everyone enjoyed this book, some are looking to buy a copy to read when feeling down
• A terrific book – much thought and discussion

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Volf, Miroslav Free Of Charge
Book Club Copies 20
Pages 256
Printed 2006
Synopsis

Volf contends with serious and significant issues of giving and forgiving, generosity and sacrifice through personal story, popular culture, the blending of theology and spirituality and rich examinations of Paul’s vision of God’s grace.

Book Group Comments

• Terrific discussion – all agreed it is a great book – very insightful
• Over emphasis on pointe which made the book too long and repetitive
• Great illustrations from scripture, literature, mythology as well as true stories
• The book was intellectually and ethically challenging
• Everyone enjoyed the book. It was like a self learning tool

W
Wallis, Jim The Call To Conversion
Book Club Copies 15
Pages 179
Printed 1982
Synopsis

A book which brings together the concern for renewal in the life of prayer and spirituality and at the same time takes seriously the concern for social justice. Hailed as one of the challenging calls to the Church today.

Watson, Nigel Easter Faith And Witness
Book Club Copies 29
Pages 106
Printed 1990
Synopsis

This book is for ordinary Christians who want to know what the Bible says about the resurrection of Jesus and the essentials of the Christian faith.

Book Group Comments

• Excellent book for Easter/Lenten studies rather scholarly and meant for theological students.

Watson, Nigel Where Are You God?
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 47
Printed 1994
Synopsis

Explore some of the experiences of God's presence and absence found in the Bible. See how these became opportunities to discover what God really wanted of the people. We can learn about God even at times when God seems absent. A series of six studies with discussion questions.

Watson, Nigel Striking Home
Book Club Copies 15
Pages 191
Printed 1987
Synopsis

This book is about current interpretation of the New Testament and preaching from it. It rewards those who are willing to struggle with the meaning of the text and provides some sermons to illustrate the methods being offered.

Book Group Comments

• We found this book rather heavy going – maybe more suited to those who wish to preach. Enjoyed the sermons at the end

Webb, Val Testing Tradition and Liberating Theology **NEW**
Book Club Copies 11
Pages 285
Printed 2015
Synopsis

There has never been one truth, despite what people claim. Theological ideas have waxed and waned through history, taking conflicting turns with changing leaders, worldwide vies and political forces. This fast paced, lay friendly book, backed by serious, inquisitive scholarship, follows this maze, shining a spotlight into dark corners and dusty shelves to observe ideas silenced and others declared eternal. As many people walk away from churches that are unwilling to face the big questions, this book offers readers permission to think for themselves.

Weber, Hans-Ruedi Living In The Image Of Christ
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 75
Printed 1991
Synopsis

This book on the ministry of the laity takes up an ever-recurring theme in the life of the Church. In the past Christ has been spoken of as prophet, priest and king. The author introduces 3 new roles for us to look at.

West, Janet Daughters Of Freedom
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 434
Printed 1997
Synopsis

The History of Women in the Australian Church. Spanning over 200 hundred years, a stirring story of nuns, clergy wives, missionaries, laywomen, eminent citizens, relative unknowns, Aboriginal and European women leaders who have all helped shape the Australia we know.

Book Group Comments

• Excellent, depressing, relevant… group really appreciated this book

Williams, Rowan Being Christian **NEW**
Book Club Copies 20
Pages 96
Printed 2014
Synopsis

Full of sensitive pastoral advice and shot through with arresting and illuminating theological insights, Rowan Williams' new book explores the meaning and practice of four essential components of the Christian life: baptism, Bible, Eucharist and prayer. This book is an invitation to everyone to think through the essentials of the faith and how to live it, making it an ideal gift for anyone at the start of their spiritual journey or thinking about confirmation.

Book Group Comments

• Fabulous discussion wonderfully concisive. Lots of discussion

Wilson, Bruce Reasons Of The Heart
Book Club Copies 16
Pages 231
Printed 1998
Synopsis

The author explores ways of knowing to secular rationalism - ways which create wholeness and purpose, open up other worlds of reality and put us in touch with ourselves and with God. A central theme is the concept of 'theophany' - a manifestation or appearance of God to a human being.

Wilson, Bruce Can God Survive In Australia?
Book Club Copies 15
Pages 224
Printed 1984
Synopsis

Rather than being an abstract discussion of God's existence, probe the social changes which have made God appear to most Australians as irrelevant as ice-chests in a world that has invented the refrigerator. Seeks to identify the new gods of post-Christian Australians and to explain where we are going spiritually.

Book Group Comments

• We had rather negative feelings approaching this book. As it was published in 1983 we doubted its relevance. However the book led to a worthwhile discussion about whether Wilson’s predictions for the church were accurate and where the church is today

Wright, Edie Full Circle – From Mission To Community
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 314
Printed 2002
Synopsis

The remarkable and moving story of three generations of Edie Wright's family. Through its captivating description of life for an Aboriginal family Full Circle emerges with hope, that despite decades of government policy and action which worked to assimilate, fragment and disperse indigenous families, the circle of kinship, land and culture need not be broken.

Y
Yancey, Philip Where Is God When it hurts?
Book Club Copies 17
Pages 298
Printed 1997
Synopsis

Sensitive and caring, this unique book discusses pain - physical, emotional, and spiritual - and helps us understand why we suffer from it and how to cope with our own and that of others. Using examples from the Bible this book speaks to everyone for whom life sometimes doesn't make sense. The author puts our questions into perspective, helping us find out exactly where God really is when we hurt.

Book Group Comments

• All found the book challenging and informative
• Most of our group struggled to finish this book. We don't recommend this book. Some felt his conclusions were simplistic

Yancey, Philip What’s So Amazing About Grace?
Book Club Copies 16
Pages 293
Printed 2000
Synopsis

We speak of grace often. But do we understand it or do we truly believe in it . . . and do our lives proclaim it as powerfully as our words? "There is nothing we can do to make God love us more. There is nothing we can do to make God love us less." Yancey, a courageous writer who challenges our misconceptions about Christianity.

Book Group Comments

• All agreed a wonderful book

Yancey, Philip Reaching For The Invisible God – What Can We Expect To Find?
Book Club Copies 18
Pages 301
Printed 2000
Synopsis

This relationship with God we can’t see, hear, or touch – how does it really work? This book offers deep, satisfying insights that affirm and dignify the questions we are sometimes afraid to ask. Yancey explores six foundational areas: our thirst for God; faith during times when God seems unavailable; the nature of God himself; our personal relationship with God; stages along the way; and the end of spiritual transformation.

Book Group Comments

• We were very moved by the author’s honesty and insights and the God he discovered through his search