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Facilitator: Cheryl Jurrus
Staff Liaison: Sherry Grindeland, Fellowship Coordinator
Normal meeting time: Wednesdays, 322/Conference Room
All women are welcome to W.E.B.S. (Women’s Evening 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!
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.
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.
Spring 2021: April 7 – May 19, 2021 | 11:00 am | via Zoom
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.
Winter 2021: January 6 – February 10, 2021, 11:00 am, via Zoom
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”.
“#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • With richly layered characters and a gripping moral dilemma that will lead readers to question everything they know about privilege, power, and race, Small Great Things is the stunning new page-turner from Jodi Picoult.” (Amazon 2016)
Email Cheryl Jurrus for a reading schedule and an invitation for Zoom.
Fall 2020: October 7 – November 18, 2020, 11:00 am, via Zoom
Our 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.”
Amazon describes Educated:
● #1 New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Boston Globe Bestseller • Named one of the ten best books of the year by the New York Times Book Review
● “Westover has somehow managed not only to capture her unsurpassably exceptional upbringing, but to make her current situation seem not so exceptional at all, and resonant for many others.”—The New York Times Book Review
Our 2019-2020 theme is “The Common Good”. We will focus 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.
Summer 2020: Weekly on Wednesdays, July 15 – September 9, 2020, 11:00 am, via Zoom
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 Session: January 8 – February 19, 2020; 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
We read and discussed The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World by Melinda Gates.
“For the last twenty years, Melinda Gates has been on a mission to find solutions for people with the most urgent needs, wherever they live. Throughout this journey, one thing has become increasingly clear to her: If you want to lift a society up, you need to stop keeping women down.
In this moving and compelling book, Melinda shares lessons she’s learned from the inspiring people she’s met during her work and travels around the world. As she writes in the introduction, “That is why I had to write this book―to share the stories of people who have given focus and urgency to my life. I want all of us to see ways we can lift women up where we live” (Amazon)
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Fall 2019 Session: 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.
Our 2018-2019 theme was “Remarkable Women”
Spring 2019 Session: 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.
“Over and over, Elizabeth is asked the same question: How do you find the hope to go on? In this book, Elizabeth returns to the horrific experiences she endured, and the hard-won lessons she learned, to provide answers. She also calls upon others who have dealt with adversity―victims of violence, disease, war, and loss―to explore the pathways toward hope. Through conversations with such well-known voices as Anne Romney, Diane von Furstenburg, and Mandy Patinkin to spiritual leaders Archbishop John C. Wester and Elder Richard Hinckley to her own parents, Elizabeth uncovers an even greater sense of solace and understanding. Where There’s Hope is the result of Elizabeth’s mission: It is both an up-close-and-personal glimpse into her healing process and a heartfelt how-to guide for readers to make peace with the past and embrace the future.” (Amazon’s website)
Winter 2019 Session: 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 Session: 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.
Spring 2018 Session: 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 Session: 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 Session: 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.