One Book One Parish: William Barber’s The Third Reconstruction

We’re living in times of moral challenge.

I hesitate around that word, “moral.” “Morality” has often been used in such small ways to describe personal sexual behavior. But we need the language of morality these days. I think our moral challenges are bigger. How do we relate to one another? That question is so basic, and these days so fraught. We have seen a great deal of one response: rage.

Lately it feels like our whole country is playing defense. We’re standing up for some vision of history and country. We’re standing up to defend our neighbors from bias. Standing up is good, but as long as we are only playing defense, I think we’re all losing. Rage doesn’t work as a longterm political strategy. Rage won’t win the day. Rage isn’t enough. We have to get beyond defense mode. We have to start moving forward toward a vision.

This Fall we’re going to try an experiment. We’re calling it “One Book, One Parish.” The assignment is The Rev. Dr. William Barber’s “The Third Reconstruction.” Barber is a Baptist pastor, and the chair of the North Carolina NAACP. He take the long view of history. He argues that we are at a turning point in this country. The First Reconstruction was after the Civil War. America was re-made when slavery was abolished. The Second Reconstruction was the Civil Rights era. Today, Barber says, America is trying to be remade again. We have reached the time for the Third Reconstruction.

We’ll be discussing the book in person on Wednesdays with the Guild,  and through our adult forum.

The first Adult Forum discussing the book is October 8 at 9:15am.

(You’re welcome whether or not you’ve had a chance to pick up the book).

Throughout the discussion, we’ll ask: Can we move past rage? Can we relate to one another with hope?

The project strikes me as a moral challenge.

You can purchase the book for a requested donation of $10 at church, or you can find it at your local bookstore, or online.