Reading Program

2018 Reading Program

The 2018 Reading Program book list is now available.  Go to the Reading Program page and click on the brightly-colored tiles to see the books for the five categories, plus books for children & youth, and books in Spanish and Korean languages.

Most of the books are available as e-books (for Kindle), some are available in braille and audio (see “Special Formats”), and many can be found in your local library. See “Find the Books” for more information.

Books from the 2018 list, as well as 5 previous years (that qualify for this year’s program) can be purchased from United Methodist Women Mission Resources or from your favorite bookseller.


2018 Reading Program Sampler

A House in the SkyA House in the Sky – A Memoir of a Kidnapping that Changed Everything by Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett

At 19, Amanda Lindhout began saving her waitressing tips so she could travel the globe. Aspiring to understand the world and live a significant life, she backpacked through Latin America, Laos and India. She went on to Sudan, Syria and war-torn Afghanistan and Iraq, carving out a fledging career as a television reporter. In August 2008, she traveled to Somalia, “the most dangerous place on earth,” and on her fourth day, she was abducted by a group of masked men and held hostage for 460 days. She survived on memory, strategy, fortitude and hope, and by reaching for a house in the sky when she became most desperate.

(See more selections from Education for Mission.)


The Sacred SecularThe Sacred Secular – How God is Using the World to Shape the Church by Dottie Escobedo-Frank and Rob Rynders

This book examines the cultural spaces where people are experiencing something sacred, places that are not in the church. Dottie Escobedo-Frank and Rob Rynders see lessons for the church in these places. They see new ways we can convey to people that the church is uniquely sacred and significant and that Jesus is for them. These glimpses into the sacred-secular will inspire creative church leaders to set aside assumptions about what church looks like and nurture empowerment, creativity, spiritual movement and the courage to embody the sacredness and substance of faith.

(See more selections from Leadership Development.)


Hospitable PlanetHospitable Planet – Faith, Action, and Climate Change by Stephen A. Jurovics. Bonus Book

Stephen Jurovics’ book is an important work of witness and states that faith and connection to God should lead us to save and heal our planet from a looming environmental catastrophe. Based primarily on the Five Books of Moses, this book speaks to people of faith, offering a handbook on the Bible’s greatest mandate for mortal existence — to choose life for the earth and all its inhabitants. Churches can massively reduce their impact on God’s good earth if they understand the Bible’s mandate and develop practical skills to decrease their energy use.

(See more selections from Social Action.)


Trouble I’ve Seen – Changing the Way the Church Views Racism by Drew G.I. Hart

What if all Christians listened to the stories of those on the racialized margins? How might Church be changed by the trouble they’ve seen? In this provocative book, theologian and blogger Drew G.I. Hart places police brutality, mass
incarceration, anti-black stereotype, poverty and everyday acts of racism within the larger framework of white supremacy. Leading readers toward Jesus, Hart offers concrete practices for churches that seek solidarity with the oppressed and committed to racial justice.

(See more selections from Nurturing for Community.)


Pray and Color by Sybil MacBeth

Thousands are enjoying a new prayer practice called Pray and Color. This new coloring book and guide helps anyone quiet the mind and pray while creating something visual and inspired. Slowing down isn’t easy in our culture where
timulation and constant virtual connection are the norm. If you find the transition from busyness to stillness difficult, follow Sybil MacBeth to a slower, more contemplative pace through coloring as prayer and as spiritual practice.

(See more selections from Spiritual Growth.)


Frequently Asked Questions About the Reading Program

1. How Can I Participate in the Reading Program?
See the full details of the current Reading Program plans on the UMW website Reading Program Page. There are four plans to choose from, and you may choose books from the current year’s list and/or the previous 5 years.

2. What is the timeline for participating in the Reading Program?
The Reading Program year runs from October of one year through early September of the following year.

  • October – The new book list is published in the October issue of “Response”. The new book list brochure is available at the District Annual Celebration (typically the first Saturday of October), and a small supply of the new books is normally also available for purchase. You can also purchase books through United Methodist Women Mission Resources or your favorite bookseller.
  • October through August of the next year – Read! Keep track of the books you have read, their category, and the plan you are working toward.
  • September – Report your participation in the Reading Program to your unit, who will in turn send a report to the District Secretary of Program Resources. (Each unit will receive a request for this report in late August.)
  • 4th Saturday of October – Annual Celebration! Awards for Reading Program participation are given.

3. Who can I contact if I have other questions about the Reading Program?
Please contact your District Secretary of Program Resources.

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