What we're reading
Summer book recommendation: Life After Life
As we have done for the past several years, we invite you to read along with other parishioners and friends of St. Stephen's Church. This summer's recommendation is Life After Life.
Award-winning author Jill McCorkle takes us on a splendid journey through time and memory in this, her tenth work of fiction. Life After Life is filled with a sense of wonder at our capacity for self-discovery at any age. And the residents, staff, and neighbors of the Pine Haven retirement community (from twelve-year-old Abby to eighty-five-year-old Sadie) share some of life’s most profound discoveries and are some of the most true-to-life characters that you are ever likely to meet in fiction. Delivered with her trademark wit, Jill McCorkle’s constantly surprising novel illuminates the possibilities of second chances, hope, and rediscovering life right up to the very end. She has conjured an entire community that reminds us that grace and magic can—and do—appear when we least expect it.
Come fall, you will have the opportunity to meet the author when she speaks in the Rector's Forum at St. Stephen's, Sunday, September 22!
Life After Life is available in the bookshop @ St. Stephen's.
Stop by the bookstore located in St. Stephen's parish office. This store is a natural outgrowth of the growing demand by our parishioners and visitors for books, from originally stocking works by visiting authors, to offering books recommended by clergy and staff, to Advent and Lenten selections and books for various groups and classes. In addition to a wonderful selection of books, the store offers St. Stephen’s Blend coffee, olive oil from the Middle East, candles, notecards and prayer beads. Staff members in the office can help you with your purchases during regular office hours, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, but the shop is open anytime the church is open. In addition, a selection of items from the bookstore is available in the Large Fellowship Hall on Sundays.
St. Stephen's has been blessed by the presence of wonderful guest speakers, including clergy, theologians, writers and monks. We have copies of books for sale in the parish office, most below retail.
In addition to books by St. Stephen's speakers, we offer a broad selection of other books as well, many of which have been read and recommended by our clergy and staff.
Two St. Stephen's CD's are available in the bookshop, both for $15 per copy (or buy a set for $25). "An Unexpected Christmas" is the 2010 release by the Virginia Girls Choir and Ana Hernandez. "Sanctuary" is the 2012 CD by St. Stephen's Compline choir; read more here.
For more information about the bookshop, call Gene LeCouteur or Martha-Lynn Corner at 804.288.2867.
What's new in the Bookshop? What was that book Gary mentioned in Rector's Forum? What to read next? Check out our Bookshop Blog for the answers to these questions, and more. The web address is http://saintstephensbooks.blogspot.com/, or you can access it by clicking here.
New Arrivals @ The Bookshop
Rob Bell, What We Talk About When We Talk About God
There is an obvious disconnect between notions of God as a backward, vengeful, tribal artifact and the fact that so many are continually drawn towards faith and reverence. Can there be a new conversation about God? Might it be large enough to not just hold science and modernity but encompass God's role in shaping our future? Bell's newest offering explores these questions and more in his typically thought-provoking, conversational style.
Jerusalem: A Cookbook
Any and all work towards healing the divisions and conflicts in Israel is cause for rejoicing. In this cookbook, one Jewish and one Arab chef explore a cuisine that is both uniquely Jerusalem and equally enriched by both traditions. Visually stunning food photography accompanies the reviews. This is a book as pleasing to hold and flip through as the dishes are to recreate, as several staff can attest.
Marianne Williamson, Illuminata: A Return to Prayer
This is a collection of prayers intended to shape daily living. Introduced with reflections on the place of spiritual energy and drive in reshaping both ourselves and society, these prayers-- which are for indiviuals, couples, parents, and children-- are lyrical and poetic. Also included is a section on blessing rites of passage such as the birth of a child, the marriage or divorce of a couple, and the memorial of a loved one.
The Rector Recommends
Gary Jones offers the following book recommendations for reading and gift giving:
Sam Keen, In the Absence of God: Dwelling in the Presence of the Sacred
Sherry Turkle, Alone Together
Adam Gopnik, The Table Comes First: Family, France, and the Meaning of Food
Will Schwalbe, The End of Your Life Book Club
Sara Maitland, A Book of Silence
George Prochnik, In Pursuit of Silence: Listening for Meaning in a World of Noise
Books used in the Inquirers Class
Gary Jones recommends several books each time he teaches an Inquirers Class for those who are new to the Episcopal Church, or those who are interested in learning more about it. These include the "beach books" mentioned above, as well as the following:
Those Episkopols by Dennis Maynard
The Episcopal Handbook
A People Called Episcopalians: A Brief Introduction to Our Peculiar Way of Life by the Rev. Dr. John Westerhoff
A Dictionary for Episcopalians by John N. Wall
Praying Our Days: A Guide and Companion by Frank Griswold
This is just a partial list of what's available in the bookshop! We're open year-round, whenever the church is open.