Opportunities to Affect Reading Guides
Each month the Opportunities to Affect in fellowship! magazine offers a book related to the topic being studied. Reading group study guides are available each month to help lead group discussions about the book and its relationship to the missional topic of the month.
- The International Bank of Bob is the true story of a man named Bob Harris who invested his wealth in micro-loans for people in poverty. After making hundreds of loans, Bob wants to see his investments in person, so he travels around the world to see where his money is going. This book is about his journey and what he learned along the way.
- Download a copy of the Reading Group Study Guide for May.
- The people who brought us “Food, Inc.” have created another book and film, A Place at the Table. This book and film not only talk about our broken food system but also talk about hunger in the US and how deeply this hurts children in our country.
- Download a copy of the Reading Group Study Guide for April.
- In Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, in the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation, Eboo Patel tells his story of growing up Muslim in America as well as his own journey toward embracing religious pluralism. Founder of Interfaith Youth Corps, Patel shares stories from his work and suggests that when we come together to serve together, we can become agents for change in our society.
- Download a copy of the Reading Group Study Guide for March.
- Risky Marriage: Reflections from Tanzania on HIV and Intimate Relationships allows readers to overhear the stories of women living with HIV and AIDS in Tanzania. Melissa Browning begins by looking at data that shows that for many women in East Africa, marriage has become a risk factor for HIV rather than a means to protect them from the disease. Through a year of fieldwork in Tanzania, she listens to the stories of women, many of whom contracted HIV during their marriage, and offers some solutions to HIV prevention in sub-Saharan Africa.
- Download a copy of the Reading Group Study Guide for February.
- The Virgin Cure by Ami McKay is about a young girl named Moth who lives in post-Civil War New York City. She is abandoned by her father and then raised by her mother who is a fortune-teller in the city. When Moth is 12, she is sold as a servant and she is determined to escape. But when she does escape, she cannot find her mother and ends up trying to survive on her own in the city.
- Download a copy of the Reading Group Study Guide for January.
- In Community, Peter Block takes on an issue important to us all – belonging. He explores why some communities thrive and other communities are fragmented. In doing this, he encourages his readers to build community not from the top-down but from the bottom-up. He emphasizes the importance of small-groups and gathering as not a means to an end, but a means in itself. This book is inspiring and motivating. A must read for people and churches who want to do the hard work of community building and transformation.
- Download a copy of the Reading Group Study Guide for December.
- In the preface to Still, Lauren Winner says, “Some days I am not sure if my faith is riddled with doubt or whether, graciously, my doubt is riddled with faith.” In this book Winner explores both doubt and faith through sharing her own experience of what she calls a mid-faith crisis. Winner gives her readers a beautifully written book – one that will be sure to challenge deep thinking about their own faith and life experiences.
- Download a copy of the Reading Group Study Guide for November.
- In her most recent book on faith, Anne Lamott talks about three prayers, which she names as “help,” “thanks,” and “wow.” But this isn’t a typical book on prayer. Both inspirational and humorous, in this book Lamott invites her readers to ponder spiritual practices in a new and fresh. Throughout Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers, Lamott shares her own experiences of faith in a way that allows readers to learn through her own experiences of “trial-and-error.”
- Download a copy of the Reading Group study guide for October.
- Tracy Kidder tells the true story of Deo, a refugee from Burundi who moves to the US in search of a new life in her book, Strength in What Remains. When he arrives in the U.S. he has only $100 in his pocket and he relies on the kindness of strangers to survive. In the end, his life takes a remarkable turn as he attends medical school and devotes his life to helping others.
- Download a copy of the Reading Group Study Guide for September.
- Set in the mid-1800’s, the main character in A Different Sun, Emma Davis, is in college when she hears the call to become a missionary. When she responds to this call, she and her husband become the first Baptist missionaries in Nigeria. But Emma is the daughter of a prosperous slave owner and has lived a sheltered life. This change of direction challenges Emma’s faith and revolutionizes her life. home.
- Download a copy of the Reading Group Study Guide for August.
The reading list for 2014-15 is coming soon. Stay tuned!