What is the NEXT Church Reading?

by MaryAnn McKibben Dana

Happy March! This month on the blog we will be featuring reflections from our 2016 National Gathering. Watch this space for thoughts from a wide variety of folks, especially around the question, What “stuck”? What ideas, speakers, workshops or worship services are continuing to work on your heart as you envision “the church that is becoming?” We’ll be hearing from ruling elders, teaching elders, seminarians, and more.

We start with a list of books and blogs collected during our authors’ lunch, in which writers and book-lovers came together on Tuesday to share favorite books, websites, and other resources. What is the NEXT Church reading? What is the NEXT Church writing? Here are a few answers, in the order they were shared. Bold items are books written by NEXT attendees and leaders.

A list like this one is by nature incomplete, even inadequate. What would you add?
  • Aric Clark, et al — Never Pray Again
  • Martha Spong, editor — There’s a Woman in the Pulpit
  • Denise Anderson — Soula Scriptura blog
  • Kathleen O’Toole — Meanwhile (poetry)
  • Andy Weir — The Martian
  • Mark Douglas — Confessing Christ in the 21st Century, Believing Aloud: Reflections on Being Religious in the Public Square
  • Christian Wiman — My Bright Abyss
  • Ta-Nahesi Coates — Between the World and Me
  • Marilynne Robinson — The Givenness of Things
  • @ This Point — journal from Columbia Seminary, theological investigations in church and culture
  • Adam Copeland, editor — Kissing in the Chapel, Praying in the Frat House: Wrestling with Faith and College, Stewardship Made Whole (forthcoming)
  • Jenny Lawson — Let’s Pretend This Never Happened
  • Mark Davis — Left Behind and Loving It
  • MaryAnn McKibben Dana — Sabbath in the Suburbs, Improvising with God (forthcoming), theblueroomblog.org 
  • Theresa Latini —Transforming Church Conflict
  • Jennifer Harvey — Dear White Christians: For Those Still Longing for Racial Reconciliation (Prophetic Christianity Series)
  • Scott Dannemiller — The Year without a Purchase (blog: Accidental Missionary)
  • Fredrik Backman — A Man Called Ove
  • Lynn Miller — The Power of Enough
  • Samuel Wells — Nazareth Manifesto
  • Charles Freeman — blog: Way More Important Than That (A blog on where faith and sports intersect … or don’t …)
  • Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru — League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions, and the Battle for Truth
  • Diane Roberts — Tribal: College Football and the Secret Heart of America
  • Jessica Vazquez-Torres, contributor — Church Responds to Racism 
  • William B. Sweetser Jr. — A Copious Fountain: A History of Union Presbyterian Seminary, 1812-2012
  • Atul Gawande — Being Mortal
  • Diana Butler Bass — Grounded: Finding God in the World-A Spiritual Revolution
  • Ian Haney López— Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class
  • Amanda Palmer — The Art of Asking
  • Stephen King — On Writing

mamd profile picMaryAnn McKibben Dana is a teaching elder in the PC(USA) whose ministry consists of writing, speaking, and freelance writing/consulting with non-profit organizations on their social media needs. She is a member of the NEXT Church Strategy Team. Connect with her at her website, The Blue Room.