The 2017 UUA Common Read is The Third Reconstruction by William J. Barber II and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove.
The 2017 UUA General Assembly will focus on solidarity with movements for racial, economic, and environmental justice. When we gather June 21–25, either in person or virtually, we will invite the people, culture, geography, and history of New Orleans to be our teachers. We have almost a whole year to prepare ourselves to learn and to be inspired to action when we return home. A beginning place for that learning is this year’s UUA Common Read, The Third Reconstruction: How a Moral Movement is Overcoming the Politics of Division and Fear, by the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II with Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove. (Read an excerpt in UU World, Winter 2015.)
The Third Reconstruction: How a Moral Movement is Overcoming the Politics of Division and Fear, William J. Barber II and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove (Beacon Press, 2016).
The Common Read program was born to help Unitarian Universalists prepare for the experience of Justice GA 2012 in Phoenix. The program has continued each year, with congregations, groups, and individuals reading a book that speaks to the challenges of our time. Participants use a discussion guide not just to explore what is in the book, but to connect it to their own lives and context. The Common Read is an invitation to read, yes, but also to grow in faith and understanding and to act to bring more love and justice into the world.
The discussion guide [PDF] for The Third Reconstruction is available online at uua.org/commonread. It includes plans for a single session or three more in-depth sessions and encourages us to connect wisdom from the book with the call to work for justice in our own places. The book is available—with a bulk discount—from inSpirit: UU Book and Gift Shop; Beacon Press published an audiobook version this fall.
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Gail Forsyth-Vail was the former adult programs director and interim director of Lifespan Faith Engagement for the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Ministries and Faith Development office. She is a master-level certified religious educator.
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