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One Region One Book

One Region One Book

Two years ago, the Pro-reconciliation AntiRacism Team encouraged us to read and discuss John Howard Griffin’s Black Like Me. In this American classic, Howard, a privilege what Southern man, came to understand what it was like to be a black man in the 1950s in New Orleans. Last year, the Team asked us to look at the contributions of persons of color as we read The Beatitudes: From Slavery to Civil Rights by Carole Boston Weatherford. This year, the team has picked an equally challenging and provocative book by encouraging everyone to read and each congregation to read Ernest J. Gaines A Lesson Before Dying: A Novel.

Set in a small Cajun community in the late 1940s this novel asks us to consider what it means to be human, to live and to die with dignity. It explores the consequences of important life choices as Grant struggles with what it means to stay or escape his surroundings by moving to another state. While set in the 1940s, Gaines understanding of the human psyche asks us to engage with universally relevant questions. At the same time it gives us insights into the struggles of persons of color both historically and in our society today.

The Pro-Reconciliation Anti-Racism Team invites you to read A Lesson Before Dying and then join us at the Regional Assembly in October as we share our insights and lessons learned in reading this book at a Regional Book Club Discussion on Friday, October 10 in Washington, IL. The team will provide refreshments and leadership for a vigorous discussion of what are vital lessons to be learned before dying.


NBS Questions A list of questions.

Study Guide A study guide with questions.