Recommended Reading

Below you’ll find a few recommended books for folks looking to get to know The Episcopal Church, Contemporary Theology, or to go deeper in prayer and reflection. The clergy will be adding to this list as time goes on. You can find many of the titles available to borrow in our “parish library.” You can borrow a book from the big bookcase in the parish lounge, the informal gathering space with big windows facing Delmar. Just sign out the book by leaving your contact information.

Also check our our recommended list for kids and families.

Add to our recommended reading list.

We’ll be adding to this list in the coming months. What are your favorite reads? Get in touch with the clergy.

The CEB Women's Bible

Folks often ask what kind of Bible they should buy (there are a lot of options). This new edition of the Common English Bible is the most recent translation authorized for use in worship by The Episcopal Church. The Women's Bible edition has really helpful commentary addressing issues of justice, particularly around gender.

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Take this Bread by Sara Miles

Sara is a fantastic writer. This book is part memoir, part theology, part manifesto. She talks about encountering Christ in the Eucharist, being converted and then reaching out with her local Episcopal church, St. Gregory of Nyssa in San Francisco.

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Leaving Church by Barbara Brown Taylor

Barbara Brown Taylor is an Episcopal priest and bestselling author. This memoir asks folks to take seriously their sense of calling, their sense of humor, and to ask how they relate to institutional religion. For many in our pews, this book helped reconcile a decision to leave the church in which they were brought up, and to join in the holy mess of Episcopalianism.

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Holy Envy by Barbara Brown Taylor

In her latest memoir, Barbara Brown Taylor tells the story of how her faith became open to the faith of those who don't share her Christian tradition. She writes: "The only clear line I draw these days is this: when my religion tries to come between me and my neighbor, I will choose my neighbor. Jesus never commanded me to love my religion."

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The Episcopal Handbook by Tobias Haller

This little snarky book answers a lot of the common questions about The Episcopal Church. We give it to all participants in our Pilgrimage class for newcomers.

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Disunity in Christ by Christena Cleveland

Cleveland is a social researcher who teaches a Duke Divinity school. An evangelical by background, she asks WHY Christians are so divided, and provides researched answers. She makes a case for building space that is intentionally diverse and open-hearted as followers of Jesus.

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This Is My Body: Embracing the Messiness of Faith and Motherhood by Hannah Shanks

Hannah's book is honest, funny, and profoundly theological. She notes that nothing and no one is born without a breaking, without pain. This is what mothers, and those of any gender expression who practice mothering love know: Mothering requires honesty, openness, and an ability to work through pain. The church will be blessed by Hannah's expansion on the words "This is my Body." These words include all kinds, and shapes, and gender expressions. These words are words for all of us.

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The Cross and the Lynching Tree: James Cone

James Cone is a leading voice in Black Liberation theology. He asks how Jesus' death resonates with the lynching tree. How does a savior executed by a police state speak to the souls of black folk?

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A Theology of Liberation by Gustavo Gutierrez

The seminal work on Latin American Liberation theology by the Peruvian Friar Gustavo Gutierrez, this book introduced the church to God's "option for the poor and marginalized."

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Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening by Cynthia Borgeault

A simple practical introduction to the work of Centering Prayer, with ways to connect inner work to your daily life. Cynthia Borgeault is an Episcopal priest, and a student of the leader of the Centering Prayer movement, Thomas Keating

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The Dream of God by Verna Dozier

Verna Dozier was an Episcopal lay preacher. She had a career as a DC public school teacher. She was a graduate of Howard University two times over, and though she held no theological degrees, she became one of the most influential African American theologians our church has ever known.

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Everything Belongs by Richard Rohr

Richard Rohr is an Franciscan monk and a celebrated teacher. He has become a leading voice for a new vision of Christianity and prayer. This classic of Rohr's introduces his vision of a generous and engaged spiritual life. Our rector re-reads this book at least once every couple years.

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Opening the Prayer Book by Bishop Jeffrey Lee

Now the Bishop of Chicago, Jeff Lee opens up the history of Common Prayer and the theology behind our words. If you're looking for some answers to "Why do Episcopalians pray this way?" this book is a good starting place.

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The Third Reconstruction by William Barber

Our 2017 "One Book One Parish" pick. 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.

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The Road to Emmaus by Spencer Reece

Spencer Reece is an Episcopal priest and celebrated poet. The titular poem in this collection was mentioned in our Rector's Easter sermon. These poems are meditations of love, loss, faith, LGBTQ+ identity, and life.

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