Reading Program

Reading Program

Did you participate in the UMW Reading Program this year? Let us know by Sept. 1, 2019.

If you have read at least one book from each of the five UMW Reading Program categories since September, 2018, please submit a list of the books that you read to Carolyn Bircher so you can be recognized at our District UMW Annual Celebration.  You may use the Reading Program Reporting Form found here or just send an email with your name, church name and the list of titles read.

You may count books read between Sept. 2018 and August 31, 2019.  Books read from lists going back to 2014 may be counted as long as they weren’t counted in previous years.  Youth and children’s books may be counted.  Mission u textbooks also may be counted.  The Women United for Change and Practicing Resurrection textbooks count in the Spiritual Growth category.  What About Our Money? counts in the Social Action category.

If you found any of the books to be particularly inspiring, please add a sentence to tell us how it moved you.  I’m looking forward to receiving your book lists.

2019 Reading Program

Go to the UMW 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.

Your District UMW Reading Program Coordinator, Carolyn Bircher, has also prepared a handy one-page printable list of the 2019 books, with tips on how to find the books in local libraries and in special formats, such as Kindle. Get the list here.

Books from the 2019 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.

You can connect with other readers in the “United Methodist Women” group at

2019 Reading Program Sampler

An Insider's Guide to Praying for the WorldAn Insider’s Guide to Praying for the World by Brian C. Stiller

The world is getting smaller. Cutting ourselves off from Christians around the world is not an option. In many countries, the rise of persecution fuels concern over the safety and rights of believers, while other nations that used to be closed to the Gospel are seeing unprecedented numbers of conversions to Christianity. As global ambassador of the World Evangelical Alliance, what Dr. Brian Stiller experiences on the ground in these nations is often counter to our impressions. As he listens to people’s ideas and observes their innovations, he invites you to see and hear what he does.

(See more selections from Education for Mission.)

Eleanor - A Spiritual Biography

Eleanor— A Spiritual Biography:
The Faith of the 20th Century’s Most Influential Woman 
by Harold Ivan Smith

More than fifty years after her death, Eleanor Roosevelt is remembered as a formidable First Lady and tireless social activist. Often overlooked, however, is her deep and inclusive spirituality. Her personal faith was focused on Jesus and fueled her commitment to civil rights, women’s rights and the rights of all people marginalized in American society. Eleanor: A Spiritual Biography provides insight into one of America’s most famous women, particularly the spiritual influences that made her so active in social justice issues.

(See more selections from Leadership Development.)

Love in a Time of Climate ChangeLove in a Time of Climate Change:
Honoring Creation, Establishing Justice
by Sharon Delgado

Love in a Time of Climate Change challenges readers to develop a loving response to climate change, which disproportionately harms the poor, threatens future generations, and damages God’s creation. This book creatively adapts John Wesley’s theological method by using scripture, tradition, reason, and experience to explore the themes of creation and justice in the context of the earth’s changing climate.

(See more selections from Social Action.)

The Same SkyThe Same Sky: A Novel by Amanda Eyre Ward

Alice owns a barbecue restaurant with her husband, Jake, in Austin, Texas. They have a loving marriage and thriving business, but Alice still feels that something is missing. Carla is a strong-willed young girl who’s had to grow up fast, acting as caretaker to her six-year-old brother, Junior, in Honduras. When their grandmother dies and violence in the city escalates, Carla takes fate into her hands and she and Junior join the thousands of children making the perilous trek across Mexico to America. In this elegant and touching novel, the lives of Alice and Carla intersect in a profound and surprising way as they each search for a place to belong.

(See more selections from Nurturing for Community.)

Lessons to Nourish the SoulLessons to Nourish the Soul:
Sermons to Encourage and Challenge You by Rev. Marjorie E. Palmer

Favorite sermons given by the author. This is the 6th book in a series by Rev. Marjorie E. Palmer.

(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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