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Books & Groups to Choose From


*Please note that group participants are responsible for purchasing their own books. 

In addition to having paperback editions, all of the books are also available on Kindle. 

If you are interested in participating, please contact the church office

at or 276-669-8191.

On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder – Facilitator: Dr. Mark Clark –

This group will meet on Sunday afternoons via Zoom from 6 PM to 7:30 PM

beginning Sunday, September 12 through Sunday, November 14.


More about On Tyranny: Many of us assume that democracy is a natural and permanent form of government.  Yet history reveals that it came about in the American context—and elsewhere—through a long, arduous process, and that its benefits were only slowly and haltingly extended to all.  Recently, democracy has also seemed more brittle than we imagined, its hold much more tenuous.  In light of current challenges to democracy worldwide, historian Timothy Snyder has drawn from his vast knowledge of twentieth-century European history to offer twenty practical lessons on how to combat tyranny and protect the hard-won gains of democracy.  Dr. Mark Clark, who teaches history at UVA Wise, will facilitate what promises to be a thoughtful and nuanced discussion of Snyder’s lessons and how we might apply them in the current context. 


Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger: Moving from Affluence to Generosity by Ronald J. Sider – Facilitator: Melissa Roberts –

This group will meet on Tuesday evenings via Zoom from 7 PM to 8:30 PM

beginning Tuesday, September 7 through Tuesday, December 14


More about Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger:  Despite a dramatic reduction in both, hunger and abject poverty still remain problems both in the United States and around the world.  In a new look at this age-old problem, Theologian Ron Sider begins with Scripture, gives a detailed explanation of the causes of hunger and poverty, and provides a comprehensive set of practical solutions in the hopes that other Christians will join him in making a difference.  Melissa Roberts, Program Coordinator for Bristol’s Promise, will facilitate what should be a thoughtful and nuanced discussion on how Sider’s lessons might be applied to this congregation and this community.


Spiritual Conversations with Children: Listening to God Together by Lacy Finn Borgo – Facilitator: Rev. Clary Aaron –

This group will meet on Saturday mornings from 10 AM to 11:30 AM

beginning Saturday, September 18 through Saturday, November 6. 

This group will have hybrid meetings in which people can meet in person in Rosser Hall or join via Zoom. 

More about Spiritual Conversations with Children:  Children are naturally inquisitive and when they have someone who hears, acknowledges, and encourages their early experiences with God, it can have a profound, life-changing impact on them.  In this book Theologian Lacy Finn Borgo draws on her own experience of practicing spiritual direction with children, offers an overview of childhood spiritual formation, and introduces key skills for engaging further conversation.  This book provides samples of interactive dialogues with children, ideas for engaging children with play, art, and movement, and offers prayers parents can use with their children.  Rev. Clary Aaron, who has previously served as a Minister to Children and Families at multiple churches and currently works at the District Behavior Intervention Specialist for Bristol Tennessee City Schools, will facilitate what promises to be informative and insightful discussion.


The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander –

Facilitators: Dr. William J. Reid & Dr. Kris Aaron

This group will meet on Thursday evenings from 7 PM to 8:30 PM

beginning Thursday, September 9 through Thursday, November 11. 

This group will meet in person at New Hope Baptist Church and be joined by members of New Hope. 

Masks are required for these meetings.


More about The New Jim Crow:  While many have argued that the election of this country’s first black President ushered in a new age of colorblindness, litigator, professor, and Civil Rights advocate Michelle Alexander forcefully argues otherwise.  In this book she forces her readers to acknowledge the perniciousness of systemic racism and calls them to action to work to create a more just and equitable society.  Drs. William J. Reid and Kris Aaron will facilitate what promises to be a painful, poignant, and powerful conversation on how this connects to our faith and how we might make Bristol an even better place to live for all its citizens.

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