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Facilitator: Cheryl Jurrus

Staff Liaison: Sherry Grindeland, Fellowship Coordinator

Meeting time:  Wednesdays | 10:00 am – 11:30 am | Room 212 (Library) AND via Zoom

All women are welcome to W.E.B.S. (Women’s Early Book Study)!

W.E.B.S. is centered on Christian Fellowship: Christ-centered devotions and prayer, sharing our experiences and ideas, learning about our world and ourselves, exploring our faith, and having fun together.

All participants are encouraged to present devotions and lead the discussions. We study books by examining the author’s background, locale of the book (maps), historical and political context, and statements about faith. We relate what we read to our own experiences and look for God’s work in our world and our lives. We invite guest speakers and go on trips to see some places first-hand. We pray, discuss, share, laugh, and have fun together!
Join in person or on Zoom. Contact Cheryl Jurrus or the church office to send the Zoom link.

We also have fellowship at picnics, dinners, lunches, garden tours, concerts, attend plays, and participate in service projects.

We typically have three book study/discussion sessions: fall, winter, and spring.

Contact Cheryl Jurrus for more information.

  • 2024-2025

    2024-2025 Books:

    “Overcoming prejudice” is our theme for our 2024-2025 sessions (Fall, Winter, Spring). The books we selected deal with prejudice against Blacks, Muslims, “lower class”, and immigrants. Plan to join us for discussions on racism, prejudice, tolerance, history, and how our Christian faith guides us. All women are welcome. Come and share your stories.

    Fall 2024: beginning September 2024 | 10:00 am | Room 212 (Library) and via Zoom

    The First Ladies by  Marie Benedict and Victoria Murray
    This book is by the same authors as The Personal Librarian. It tells the story of Eleanor Roosevelt and her friend who was “colored” and influential in the NAACP.

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    Winter 2025: January – February 2025

    The Faith Club by Suzanne Oliver, Priscilla Warner, Ranya Tabari Idliby
    We have read this before, but we felt it is worth reading again “with new eyes”. Three women (Muslim, Christian, Jew) work together to write a children’s book about faith/tolerance. This was right after 9/11 when prejudice against Muslims was rampant.

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    Spring 2025: dates to be determined

    A Wild and Heavenly Place by Robin Oliveira
    It is about a family from Scotland who settled in the Newcastle area (south of Bellevue) when it was “wild and heavenly.” It is also about prejudice against “lower class” and immigrants.

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  • 2023-2024

    2023-2024 Books:

    Spring 2024: April 10 – May 22, 2024

    We read and discussed the book They Were Christians – The Inspiring Faith of Men and Women Who Changed the World– by Cristobal Krusen.
    We learned how their Christian faith guided them and what they accomplished. We ended our session talking to the author, Cristobal Krusen, on Zoom. We had a list of questions and the discussion was lively. He seemed to appreciate that we found so much to study and discuss in his book.
    “They Were Christians reveals the faith-filled motivations behind some of the most outstanding political, scientific, and humanitarian contributions of history. From the founding of the Red Cross to the family crisis that drove America’s favorite president to his knees and cracked his religious skepticism, the fascinating stories of these faithful history-makers will inspire, encourage, and entertain readers of history and biography.” (Amazon)

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    Winter 2024: January 3 – February 7, 2024

    Our book selection was Michelle Obama’s bestseller, The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times.
    “In an inspiring follow-up to her acclaimed memoir Becoming, former First Lady Michelle Obama shares practical wisdom and powerful strategies for staying hopeful and balanced in today’s highly uncertain world.” (Amazon)

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    Fall 2023: October 4 – November 15, 2023

    We read and discussed the best-seller novel, The Personal Librarian, by Marie Benedict and Victoria Murray.

    “A remarkable novel about J. P. Morgan’s personal librarian, Belle da Costa Greene, the Black American woman who was forced to hide her true identity and pass as white in order to leave a lasting legacy that enriched our nation, from New York Times bestselling authors Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray.” (Amazon)

    Our discussion explored the historical time period in the early 1900’s, the ethical questions, racism, and women’s roles.

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  • 2022-2023

    2022-2023 Books:

    Spring 2023: April 19 – May 24, 2023

    Book Cover - Lineage of GraceOur book for this session continued to be Lineage of Grace by Francine Rivers.
    The author takes the stories from the Bible about women in the lineage of Jesus and adds details about the culture, time periods, and their personal lives and feelings. The questions in the book provide more insight and ask us to apply what we learn to our own lives.
    From Amazon: “The Bible is filled with inspiring stories of unlikely candidates God chose to change eternity. This bestselling compilation in one volume contains five novellas about such people―women in the family tree of Jesus Christ. – Tamar. Rahab. Ruth. Bathsheba. Mary. Each was faced with extraordinary―even scandalous―challenges. But they had courage. They lived daring lives. Sometimes they made mistakes―big mistakes. And yet God, in His infinite mercy, used them to bring forth the Christ, the Savior of the world. Their stories still hold great meaning and inspiration for us today.” 

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    Winter 2023: January 11 – February 15, 2023

    Our book for this session was Lineage of Grace by Francine Rivers.

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    Fall 2022: October 5 – November 16, 2022

    Our Fall Book for discussion was The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu.
    “In April 2015, Archbishop Tutu traveled to the Dalai Lama’s home in Dharamsala, India, to celebrate His Holiness’s eightieth birthday and to create  what they hoped would be a gift for others. They looked back on their long lives to answer a single burning question: How do we find joy in the face of life’s inevitable suffering? They traded intimate stories, teased each other continually, and shared their spiritual practices. By the end of a week filled  with laughter and punctuated with tears, these two global heroes had stared into the abyss and despair of our time and revealed how to live a life  brimming with joy. This book offers us a rare opportunity to experience their astonishing and unprecendented week together, from the first embrace to the final good-bye.” (Amazon)

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  • 2021-2022

    Our 2021-2022 theme was “Looking to the Future“.

    Email Cheryl Jurrus to get the schedule for reading and the invitation for Zoom.
    We meet together to discuss books that are challenging and inspirational. Our group  meets to encourage one another, share our stories, and nurture our faith through devotions, prayer, and service.
    We start at 10:00 am with devotions and a prayer and end on time at 11:30 am.

    2021-2022 Books:

    Spring 2022: April 27 – June 1, 2022

    Our Spring Book for discussion was Born a Crime by Trevor Noah. We discussed the time period (1984-2009), apartheid, South Africa, poverty, racism, personalities, and events.
    From Amazon:
    “Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison.
    Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother—his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.”

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    Winter 2022: January 12 – February 23, 2022

    Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to SurviveOur Winter Book Selection was Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive by Stephanie Land. This is a true story of Stephanie’s own life and it is also a Netflix series. Amazon describes the book:
    “A single mother’s personal, unflinching look at America’s class divide, a description of the tightrope many families walk just to get by, and a reminder of the dignity of all work.”

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    Fall 2021: October 6 – November 17, 2021

    Our Fall Book Selection was The Gift of Years by Joan Chittister.
    “Not only accepting, but celebrating getting old, this inspirational and illuminating work looks at the many facets of the aging process, from purposes and challenges to struggles and surprises.” (Amazon)

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  • 2020-2021

    Our 2020-2021 themes are “Resilience – the capacity to recover from difficulty with God’s help” and
    Looking Forward” as we get ready for the new normal and a reset in our lives in the future.

    Email Cheryl Jurrus to get the schedule for reading and the invitation for Zoom.  We meet together to support each other, study books from a Christian perspective, pray together, encourage service projects, and of course, to laugh!  Members take turns leading the discussion with several different formats and also providing devotions for each meeting.
    We start at 11:00 am with devotions and a prayer and end on time at 12:30 pm.

    2020-2021 Books:

    Spring 2021: April 7 – May 19, 2021

    Our spring book study was One Coin Found: How God’s Love Stretches to the Margins by Emily Kegler.

    The W.E.B.S. group recommends this book to the members of Saint Andrew’s because the author’s retelling of familiar Bible stories and what they mean to her  were very inspiring. Participants in the group were interested in Emily’s story of how she was raised by Catholic parents, brought up in the Episcopal Church, and ended up  attending seminary and becoming a pastor in the Lutheran Church. She shared her faith journey as a lesbian who felt cast aside by the church and was  “found” by God similar to the story of how the woman found her lost coin in Luke 15:8-10. Her advice (p. 182) to churches like ours is to be “responsible to hear when others speak, to ask.

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    Winter 2021: January 6 – February 10, 2021

    We discussed the book Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult, and shared our experiences, impressions, and questions about the topics in this novel based on an actual incident.
    The title comes from a quote by Martin Luther King: “If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way”.

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    Fall 2020: October 7 – November 18, 2020
    webs-educated-book-coverOur book selection was Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover.
    “An unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University.”

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  • 2019-2020

    Our 2019-2020 theme was “The Common Good”. We focused on what makes us care about others and what is good for society as a whole, instead of focusing only on our own profit and well-being.

    2019-2020 Books:

    Summer 2020: Weekly on Wednesdays, July 15 – September 9, 2020
    We are meeting via Zoom.
    We finished our study of  How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X Kendi. We enjoyed the leadership of Manda Schoen and learned a great deal about racism..

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    Winter 2020: January 8 – February 19, 2020
    We read and discussed The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World by Melinda Gates.

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    Fall 2019: October 2 – November 13, 2019
    Our book selection for fall was Michelle Obama’s memoir Becoming.
    “Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations— and whose story inspires us to do the same.” (Amazon)

    On Wednesday, November 13, W.E.B.S. welcomed Pastor Mary-Alyce Burleigh who shared ideas and ongoing activities related to the common good on the Eastside and especially Kirkland.  Pastor Mary-Alyce is an Associate Pastor at Holy Spirit Lutheran Church in Kirkland and active with an interfaith group including Muslims, Jews, and Latter Day Saints.  She is also involved with a plan to build tiny homes for affordable housing in Kirkland.
    Pastor Mary-Alyce did her pastoral internship here at Saint Andrew’s a few years ago and she is looking forward to seeing us again.

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  • 2018-2019

    Our 2018-2019 theme was “Remarkable Women”

    2018-2019 Books:

    Spring 2019: April 24 – May 29, 2019
    Our Spring selection is Where There’s Hope: Healing, Moving Forward, and Never Giving Up by Elizabeth Smart.
    Author. Activist. Victim―no more. Elizabeth was kidnapped by a religious fanatic and held prisoner for over a year in Utah. Since her rescue she’s married, become a mother, and travelled the world as president of the Elizabeth Smart Foundation, sharing her story to help others who are have been victims. She also advocates for women and girls to be strong and speak out against brutality.

    Winter 2019: January 16 – February 27, 2019
    Our book was The Girl Who Wrote in Silk by Kelli Estes.
    Inspired by true events, Kelli Estes’s brilliant and atmospheric debut serves as a poignant tale of two women determined to do the right thing, and the power of our own stories. The story takes place in Seattle and the San Juan Islands and is written as a mystery to be solved about the silk embroidery that tells a story.

    Fall 2018: October 3 – November 14, 2018
    We will be reading and discussing the book Everything Happens for a Reason (and Other Lies I’ve Loved) by Kate Bowler.
    Recommended by Pastor James McEachran, it was a great book for discussion about the Prosperity Gospel and facing death. Kate is a courageous, remarkable woman who is also a theologian. Bill Gates had it on his “Top Five Books for Summer Reading” in 2018.

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  • 2017-2018

    2017-2018 Books:

    Spring 2018: April 11 – May 23, 2018
    W.E.B.S. read another book about India! Join us for lively discussion, prayer, laughter, and inspirational readings. Our book choice: Secret Daughter by Gowda.
    “Asha , adopted out of a Mumbai orphanage, is the child that binds the destinies of two women. We follow both families, invisibly connected until Asha’s journey of self-discovery leads her back to India.”

    Winter 2018: January 3 – February 7, 2018
    We learned about India, and discussed marriage, society, women’s roles, cuisine, and other issues depicted by the author in the book The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar.

    Fall 2017: October 4 – November 15, 2017
    We read Katharina Luther: Nun, Rebel, Wife by Anne Boileau, and learned about Luther’s wife: her childhood, time at the convent, life as an ex-nun, and wife. It is based on historical facts and was timed to help us commemorate the 2017 Reformation Anniversary.

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