Book Hub is a monthly conversation with your favorite authors on timely themes.

A Spiritual Spa: Cultivating hope in our bodies by connecting with the Divine

This Month's Book Hub

During Advent, everyday activities can be laden with extra pressure, grief, or the weight of tradition in our homes or in the church. 

The December Book Hub is a chance to nurture hope and center your own spiritual well-being in the midst of all the extra expectations of this season. In this time of renewal, we will place our attention on the connection with our bodies, the natural world, and our spiritual ancestors. You are welcome here.

December 8, 2022

1:00 – 2:00 PM CST

FREE Admission

Featured books

Slouching Toward Radiance

Slouching Toward Radiance

Slouching Toward Radiance is a collection of nature poetry, meditations, gentle advice, and nudges toward reflection. It’s the sort of poetry that anyone can read, even people who don’t like poetry— a book that can be picked up and paged through to whatever sections fit for the day or season of life. Heidi Barr's words are worthy companions on the way toward living a life steeped in integrity and compassion for one’s fellow beings—from the human down the street to a deer in the forest. It’s a walk through a metaphorical day, from dawn to dusk, noticing the holy ordinary even through storms, by way of solitude and community. It’s an invitation to start where you are, to find beauty and healing in the everyday stuff of life, and to make the choices that lead to fully living in the ways that work best.

Part invitation, part musing, part blessing, Slouching Toward Radiance is a call to show up to life in the way that works best for you. You get to decide what to do with the words on the pages that follow. Wherever the words land, and however you decide to respond to them, you may just find it’s possible to find renewal in the ordinary dance of living.

Rebels, Despots, & Saints: The Ancestors Who Free Us and The Ancestors We Need to Free

Rebels, Despots, & Saints: The Ancestors Who Free Us and The Ancestors We Need to Free

In decades of community organizing, racial justice, and pastoral work, Sandhya Rani Jha has discovered that communities and individuals who honor and recognize their ancestors tend to thrive and navigate hard seasons with more ease.

People of color and white people alike have a myriad of ancestors (biological, cultural, and movement) who can help us navigate the challenges of today by learning from both the wisdom and follies, the suffering and overcoming, the spiritual practices and the acts of resistance that our ancestors navigated — and sometimes created.

 

With an approachable and conversational tone, Rebels, Despots, & Saints shares case studies of activists and spiritual leaders as well as ways to re-think who our ancestors are and how to relate to them. Writing and discussion prompts and suggestions for personal and community rituals provide readers the tools needed to connect with their own ancestors and find grounding for racial reconciliation and liberation in their own communities. These reflections always connect to the work of dismantling white supremacy as a spiritual practice.

Preorders from Chalice Press will ship January 2023

Telling the Story of Your Body for Healing and Wholeness

Telling the Story of Your Body for Healing and Wholeness

The Embodied Path tells more than twenty body stories, woven together with Ellie Roscher’s own body story and insights, to do the essential work of resistance and repair at the individual and communal level. The book includes the story of a woman who sees her hijab as an extension of her body, a front man in a funk band who views his entire body as his instrument, a quadriplegic woman who became a lawyer to advocate for herself, and a transgender man who underwent a gender transition after birthing two children. It also includes profoundly simple, beautiful stories of broken bones, motherhood, sickness, and healing toward wholeness.

For anyone interested in creating more capacity for compassion for themselves and others by doing the internal work to contend with privilege and trauma, The Embodied Path invites readers to join in the process with discussion questions, writing prompts, and breath and body practices. The work is simple but not easy, yet the benefits are lasting and profound. Our bodies are always talking to us, trying to get our attention. Our work is to unfold, to listen, and to claim the truth about our beautiful, storied bodies.

What You'll Gain

  • A peaceful space to cultivate hope in a stressful season
  • Simple, accessible body and breath practices to implement into your days for increased grounding and calm
  • Tools to inhabit your body and explore your body’s story with curiosity and compassion
  • Awareness of nature’s healing influence and how you can invite it into life, regardless of location
  • Some simple poems to turn to as reminders to pause and be mindful
  • Ideas for how to engage with embodiment practices in your communities

Cultivate Community

It’s good to remember, as Alexus Rhone tells us, that the stories we tell will tell on us. As we shift into the Advent season, it’s easy to be pulled into stories we’d rather avoid. Stress, consumerism, loneliness, and feelings of disconnect can creep in before we know it. 

This is a chance to slow down, expand your imagination for what’s possible, and connect to ourselves in ways that ground us. We hope you’ll join us.

Meet the authors

Heidi Barr

Heidi Barr

Heidi Barr is a writer and wellness coach whose work is founded on a commitment to cultivating ways of being that are life-giving and sustainable for people, communities, and the planet. She is the author of two works of creative nonfiction: Woodland Manitou and What Comes Next; two poetry collections: Slouching Toward Radiance and Cold Spring Hallelujah; and one cookbook: Prairie Grown: Stories and Recipes from a South Dakota Hillside. She is also the co-author of 12 Tiny Things and is the editor of "The Mindful Kitchen," a wellness column in The Wayfarer Magazine.

A graduate of Luther Seminary, she lives with her family in Minnesota, where they tend to a large vegetable garden, explore nature, and do their best to live simply. Her next book, Collisions of Earth and Sky, comes out in January 2023.

Sandhya Jha

Sandhya Jha

Sandhya Jha (they/them) is an anti-oppression consultant who particularly loves helping organizations get Diversity/Equity/Inclusion teams off the ground. Sandhya is the founder and former executive director of the Oakland Peace Center, a collective of 40 organizations working to create equity, access, and dignity as the means of creating peace in the Oakland and Bay Area. 

An ordained pastor with a master’s in public policy, Sandhya is comfortable in the pulpit, on the picket line, or hanging out with friends and friends-to-be over a good cup of tea and a good story. Sandhya’s fifth book with Chalice Press, Rebels, Despots, & Saints, will release on MLK Day 2023.

Ellie Roscher

Ellie Roscher

Ellie Roscher is the author of The Embodied Path, 12 Tiny Things, Play Like a Girl, and How Coffee Saved My Life. Ellie also founded and facilitates Plum, a supportive online community for folks journeying toward deeper embodiment together. She teaches writing and yoga in Minneapolis and holds an MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College and an MA in Theology from Luther Seminary. Follow Ellie at @ellieroscher and find out more at plumwellness.us and ellieroscher.com.

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