Inviting all women! New books, new groups, new discussions! Join the fun!
Sign-ups begin August 1 for new women’s book discussion groups, featuring three new titles to choose from. The 10-week session will begin in September via ZOOM.
All women are invited to join—there will be ample room for all. Come and join the fun with great discussions among new and old women friends, near and far.
Choose one of three groups that will meet weekly:
- Group 1 at 6:30–8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, September 16 through November 18.
- Group 2 at 1:00–3:00 p.m. Fridays, September 18 through November 20.
- Group 3 at 9:00–11:00 a.m. Saturdays, September 19 through November 21.
The selected titles for this fall session are:
- The Book of Joy . The Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, and Douglas Abrams. This book conveys the dialogue between these two spiritual leaders during a week they spent together in the Himalayas. They share their hard-learned lessons on how to live with joy in the midst of life’s sorrows. They explore how to transform joy from an ephemeral state into an enduring trait, from a fleeting feeling into a lasting way of being.
- Men Explain Things to Me . Rebecca Solnit. In this national bestseller of essays, Solnit tackles big themes of gender and power with honesty and wit as she furthers the conversation on feminism and contemporary society. The updated volume includes two new essays, “#YesAllWomen,” written in response to the 2014 Isla Vista killings and the grassroots movement that arose with it to end violence against women and misogyny, and, “Cassandra Syndrome,” concerning women who are disbelieved.
- Letters to My Daughter . Maya Angelou. Dedicated to the daughter she never had but sees all around her, this book transcends genres and categories: guidebook, memoir, poetry, and pure delight. Whether she is recalling such lost friends as Coretta Scott King and Ossie Davis, extolling honesty, decrying vulgarity, explaining why becoming a Christian is a “lifelong endeavor,” or simply singing the praises of a favorite meal, Maya Angelou writes from the heart to millions of women she considers her extended family.
Here’s how it works. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org  listing your full name and your first and second choice for a group: (1) Wednesday 6:30-8:30pm; (2) Friday 1-3pm; (3) Saturday 9-11am. Registration will open August 1 and close on September 1. You will receive an email the first week of September with your assigned group.
A group organizer will be selected for each group from among the registrants. Group organizers handle the logistics: hold the ZOOM account, set up the meetings, send reminders, and so forth. They convene the group, but do not lead every discussion; instead, we have found that shared facilitation works very well.
Group members decide together how to divide their selected book into weekly assignments (such as by chapters or sections), and members rotate the responsibility for facilitating discussions. Those who do not feel comfortable facilitating may decline, but the job is simple, often just a matter of getting the discussion started with an open-ended question or two. A commitment to the group is necessary through faithful attendance, reading the content, joining in the discussion, and respecting others’ opinions and their privacy.
At your first meeting in September, your group organizer will facilitate members to introduce themselves and get acquainted. Then you can reach a consensus on which of the three selected titles your group would like to read and discuss. You will also decide how to assign the weekly facilitation. You are off and running!
During the pandemic shutdown, these discussion groups have become an important spiritual and social bond for IUCC women who have been able to participate. We hope many more of you will join us!
— Lorraine Fox, Laura Long, Marilyn Smith