Reading is (in addition to walking) one of my treasured, enduring pastimes. Ever since I was a child, a book has been part of my daily life. These days it’s multiple books at a time, on an electronic device, but the joy is the same. As much as I love good stories, I love learning about real things even better, so non-fiction has always been my first love.
Taking reading into a social practice usually means a book group, reading popular fiction and involving a once-a-month gathering to sip, munch and discuss story and characters. I longed for a non-fiction book group. I belonged to one once at a workplace and loved the topics we chose to read about and the deep discussions we had, but I moved away and lost it. Just about that time, my beloved aunt Diane invited me to join her church’s "Between the Lines" book group. She noted my hesitation and told me it wasn’t really about church so much as social justice. Okay, I thought, I’ll try it.
Thus began my journey with Trinity’s Between the Lines book group. It’s so very different from book discussion groups I’ve experienced in the past.
It’s like a breath of fresh air.
We meet weekly, over Zoom, so no one has to drive, or even put on pants! We spend several weeks on each book, so we can dive deeply into the author’s world and reflect on what their topic means to us and how it calls us to action. We started learning about marginalized people and how white privilege works. We continue to delve deeply into understanding white supremacy and the history of racism in this country and in mainline protestant churches. It’s eye (and soul) opening.
Bias is woven through culture like a silver cord woven through cloth. In some lights, it’s brightly visible. In others, it’s hard to distinguish. And your position relative to that glinting thread determines whether you see it at all.
—Jessica Nordell (The Atlantic - May 7, 2017)
Our next book is The End of Bias: A beginning: The Science and Practice of Overcoming Unconscious Bias, by Jessica Nordell. This book comes to us highly recommended by some of our group who have already read and studied it. We are all looking forward to reading it. We would like you to join us! We meet on Thursdays at 11:00 AM via Zoom, and will be starting to discuss this book (chapters 1 and 2) on 29 September (see the church calendar for the link).
Hope to see you and share this path of exploration!
- Cindy Ann
Previous "Between the Lines" Books include:
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colourblindness by Michelle Alexander
Reading the Bible From the Margins by Miguel A. De La Torre
The Time is Now: A Call to Uncommon Courage by Joan Chittister
White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson
White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity by Robert P. Jones