You’ll find that Lutheran worship is often very similar to Catholic mass. The Lutheran church is part of the “liturgical tradition.”

Join us for Sundary Worship:
8:00, 9:30, 11:00am

Holy Spirit Lutheran Church is located on the corner of 100th Ave and 124th Street.

For Your Kids

Rainbow Kids (Preschool) available during 9:30am service

K - 5 available during the 9:30am and 11am services

Time 4 Tweens (6th Grade) available during 9:30am service

Breakfast Club (Jr & Sr High) available during 11am service

Monthly Feature


June/July Newsletter

We are so fortunate and thankful to have a braille bible recently donated to our library. Currently, it is located in the library office. Contact the office if you would like to use it or need assistance.

During the warm, sunny, long summer days, your church library offers a wide selection of books, DVDs and other resources. This month we feature dogs!

 “Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend, inside of a dog its too dark to read.”  Graucho Marx



Dog-themed Book Titles


Dog Psalms: Prayers by Dogs Have Taught Me  by Herbert Brokering

Herbert Brokering explores the similarities in the relationship between dogs and owners with the relationship between humans and God. His on-the-mark descriptions of attributes in dogs--trusting, pleading, loving, guarding--are followed with prayers that explore these traits in our relationship with God. Whimsical and insightful, Dog Psalms is for readers seeking creative expressions of their faith.


James Herriot’s Favorite Dog Stories by Alf Wight writing as “James Herriot”

In this very special collection of favorite stories about dogs great and small, James Herriot tells us about his own dogs and all the wonderful people and animals we have come to love so much. Fifty memorable tales move us to both laughter and tears, and Herriot's personal introduction and notes make this tribute by a master storyteller to man's best friend a book to be treasured for many years to come.


The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope--a captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life . . . as only a dog could tell it.


My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman

Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is seventy-seven years old and crazy—as in standing-on-the-balcony-firing-paintball-guns-at-strangers crazy. She is also Elsa’s best, and only, friend. When Elsa’s grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters apologizing to people she has wronged, Elsa’s greatest adventure begins. Her grandmother’s instructions lead her to an apartment building full of drunks, monsters, attack dogs, and old crones but also to the truth about fairy tales and kingdoms and a grandmother like no other.


The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski

Born mute, speaking only in sign, Edgar Sawtelle leads an idyllic life with his parents on their farm in remote northern Wisconsin. For generations, the Sawtelles have raised and trained a fictional breed of dog whose remarkable gift for companionship is epitomized by Almondine, Edgar's lifelong friend and ally. Edgar seems poised to carry on his family's traditions, but when catastrophe strikes, he finds his once-peaceful home engulfed in turmoil.


Merle’s Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog by   Kerasote

This national bestseller explores the relationship between humans and dogs. How would dogs live if they were free? Would they stay with their human friends? Merle and Ted found each other in the Utah desert— Merle was living wild and Ted was looking for a pup to keep him company. As their bond grew, Ted taught Merle how to live around wildlife, and Merle taught Ted about the benefits of letting a dog make his own decisions.



Additional Adult Book Titles


Still Listening: How to Hear God’s Direction at Life’s Crossroads by Susan Vitalis MD

God sets a path for anyone who wants to follow, but it's rarely a singular event. Instead, God nudges almost continuously those who listen. Dr. Susan Vitalis followed His call to put her medical training to use in some of the most poverty-stricken areas of the world–to make her calling her vocation, a supremely satisfying and enlightening time in her life. But, one day, through unimaginable changes, He nudged her another direction. Traversing that wilderness of loneliness and uncertainty was neither simple nor easy, but with God's help she found the wisdom to start again, to turn her new calling into her new vocation. Still Listening is every person’s journey through life’s stages of passion, authenticity, despair and hope. It's an authentic look into what it means to listen to not only the good but the best God has for your life, because He will never nudge you toward a dead end, but simply a crossroad.


Mount Vernon Love Story: A Novel of George and Martha Washington by Mary Higgins Clark 

Always a lover of history, Mary Higgins Clark wrote this extensively researched biographical novel and titled it Aspire to the Heavens, after the motto of George Washington's mother. Published in 1969, the book was more recently discovered by a Washington family descendant and reissued as Mount Vernon Love Story. Dispelling the widespread belief that although George Washington married Martha Dandridge Custis, he reserved his true love for Sally Carey Fairfax, his best friend's wife, Mary Higgins Clark describes the Washington marriage as one full of tenderness and passion, as a bond between two people who shared their lives -- even the bitter hardship of a winter in Valley Forge -- in every way. In this author's skilled hands, the history, the love, and the man come fully and dramatically alive.


Putting Away Childish Things: A Tale of Modern Faith by Marcus J. Borg

Bestselling author, Bible scholar, and theologian Marcus Borg (Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, The Heart of Christianity, The Last Week) uses his core teachings on faith and the Bible to demonstrate their transformative power and potential in Putting Away Childish Things: the moving, inspirational story of a college professor, her students, and a crisis of faith.


Note:  All book descriptions are from Amazon.com unless otherwise noted.


April Newsletter

In the book, WALKING ON WATER, by Madeleine L’Engle she says that angels speak to us no differently today than the angel that spoke to Mary, and what would have happened if Mary had said “no”.  “She was free to do so. But she said yes. She was obedient and the artist, too must be obedient to the command of the work….When the words (or the music created, or the art made) mean more than the writer knew they meant, then the writer has been listening. And sometimes when we listen we are lead into places we do not expect, into adventures we do not always understand.” Creativity demands Listening to the Silence, staying open to the voice of the Spirit and slowing down.

This month we focus on creativity and how we individually find our creative self.

The Library is pleased to feature several books, CD’s and DVD’s created by HSLC members.

CD and DVD Titles – recorded by HSLC members


Small Dancing Light 

A Christmas CD by HSLC musicians


I Sing the Mighty Power of God

An audio CD by Lisa Hedley, flute and Karen Shelton, piano


Book Titles – written by HSLC members

Among Us: Stories of Worship and Faith by Larry P. Morris 

Well aware of the struggles in life, Morris knows life encompasses so much more, and his poems honor God's presence in it. A group of young teens, already familiar with hardships--serious illness, the death of a father, divorced parents--are affirming their faith through the Rite of Confirmation. But he knows many others feel lost and reveals one observer during that ritual admitting to having been lost as a youth and now has returned.


Spirit to Spirit V: Poems and Prose, Prayers and Wisdom, Stories and Thoughts by HSLC authors

A gathering of poetry and prose, stories and thoughts from the writing group at Holy Spirit Lutheran Church, Kirkland WA. Authors include Rev Larry P Morris, Marlene Obie, Otto Brask, Minna Brask, Susan Baird-Joshi, Kim Deskin, Suzanne D Morris.


Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson

For most of her life, sixteen-year-old Hattie Brooks has been shuttled from one distant relative to another. Tired of being Hattie Here-and-There, she summons the courage to leave Iowa and move all by herself to Vida, Montana, to prove up on her late uncle’s homestead claim. This young pioneer's story is lovingly stitched together from Kirby Larson’s own family history and the sights, sounds, and scents of homesteading life. 


Hattie Ever After by Kirby Larson

After leaving Uncle Chester's homestead claim, orphan Hattie Brooks throws a lasso around a new dream, even bigger than the Montana sky. She wants to be a reporter, knowing full well that a few pieces published in the Arlington News will not suffice. Real reporters must go to Grand Places, and do Grand Things. Hattie must dig deep to find her own true place in the world. Kirby Larson once again creates a lovingly written novel about the remarkable and resilient young orphan, Hattie Inez Brooks.


Dear America:  The Fences Between Us by Kirby Larson

With this sweeping tale of life on the World War II homefront, Newbery Honor author Kirby Larson brings her incredible talent to the Dear America series. When Pearl Harbor is attacked, America is finally unable to ignore the wars raging in Europe and Asia any longer. And one girl's entire life is about to change when everything she knows is turned on its head. After the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor, where her brother, a navy sailor, is stationed, Piper Davis begins chronicling her compelling journey through one of history's most tragic and unforgettable eras.


Thin Wood Walls by David Patneaude

Eleven-year-old Joe Hanada likes playing basketball with his best friend, Ray, writing plays and stories, and thinking about the upcoming Christmas holiday. But his world falls apart when Japanese planes bomb Pearl Harbor. His country goes to war. The FBI takes his father away. And neighbors and friends in his hometown near Seattle begin to suspect Joe, his family, and all Japanese Americans of spying for the enemy. When the government orders people of Japanese heritage living on the West Coast to move to internment camps, including Joe and his family, Joe turns to the journal his father gave him to record his thoughts and feelings.


The Last Man’s Reward by David Patneaude

When a chance yard-sale purchase nets five boys a Willie Mays rookie card worth $4,000, their lives seem to narrow and intensify. The boys devise a "last man" contest--the winner gets the Mays card, and the losers get zip.


Someone was Watching by David Patneaude

When his baby sister disappears from the river near their summer home, eighth grader Chris fights the assumption that she has drowned and sets off on a journey to discover the truth.


Additional Adult Book Titles on Creativity


Writing to Wake the Soul: Opening the Sacred Conversation Within by Karen Hering

Whether you approach this book primarily as a reader or a writer, you can open a rich correspondence with yourself and learn what your own heart has to say. Karen Hering offers a path of self-exploration and a contemplative practice of writing that engages memory and imagination, story and poetry, images and the timeless wisdom of world religions and myth-ology. It will open your ear to your own truths while opening your heart to the world around you.

Blending writing prompts, meditations, and stories, this book invites you to begin wherever you are and discover your own unique relationship with language, spirituality, and the world around you. The next chapter is yours to write, and "Writing to Wake the Soul "offers all you need to write it."


Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art by Madeline L’Engle

In this classic book, Madeleine L'Engle addresses the questions, What does it mean to be a Christian artist? and What is the relationship between faith and art? Through L'Engle's beautiful and insightful essay, readers will find themselves called to what the author views as the prime tasks of an artist: to listen, to remain aware, and to respond to creation through one's own art.


Note:  All book descriptions are from Amazon.com unless otherwise noted.


March Newsletter

Change provides the opportunity to ask ourselves questions: How will I access my faith during times of change? How will I center myself? How do I nurture my faith life? How can I use change to grow? How and When do I take action?

Change provides the opportunity to grow and nurture our faith life. Your library provides many resources for introspection on the February faith practice of "change." The following are some suggested titles.

Contemplation in Action by Richard Rohr and friends 

Where else can you find spiritual inspiration from Richard Rohr, Edwina Gateley, Thomas Keating, Basil Pennington, Paula D'Arcy, and others in one accessible volume? This book, designed for bedside devotion, offers the best of Richard Rohr's Radical Grace newsletter, published by Rohr's Center for Action and Contemplation.


Walking a Sacred Path:  Rediscovering the Labyrinth as a Spiritual Pratice by Lauren Artress

'Walking the Labyrinth' has reemerged today as a metaphor for the spiritual journey and a powerful tool for transformation. This walking meditation is an archetype, a mystical ritual found in all religious traditions. It quiets the mind and opens the soul. Walking a Sacred Path explores the historical origins of this divine imprint and shares the discoveries of modern day seekers. It shows us the potential of the Labyrinth to inspire change and renewal, and serves as a guide to help us develop the higher level of human awareness we need to survive in the twenty-first century.


Between the Dark and the Daylight:  Embracing the Contradictions of Life by Joan Chittister 

In words as wise as they are inspiring, Between the Dark and the Daylight explores the concerns of modern life, of the overworked mind and hurting heart. These are the paradoxical—and often frustrating—moments when our lives feel at odds with everything around us. Only by embracing the contradictions, Chittister contends, may we live well amid stress, withstand emotional storms, and satisfy our yearnings for something transcendent and real. By delving into the chaos, this book guides us through the questions that seemed easier to avoid and enlightens what has been out of focus


Let Your Life Speak:  Listening for the Voice of Vocation by Parker J. Palmer

With wisdom, compassion, and gentle humor, Parker J. Palmer invites us to listen to the inner teacher and follow its leadings toward a sense of meaning and purpose. Telling stories from his own life and the lives of others who have made a difference, he shares insights gained from darkness and depression as well as fulfillment and joy, illuminating a pathway toward vocation for all who seek the true calling of their lives.


Freedom of Simplicity:  Finding Harmony in a Complex World by Richard J. Foster 

A manifesto that shows how simplicity is not merely having less stress and more leisure but an essential spiritual discipline for the health of our soul.


Enough:  Discovering Joy Through Simplicity and Generosity by Adam Hamilton

Money has great power in our lives. Used wisely, it is one key to accomplishing our goals, providing for our needs, and fulfilling our life purpose. Enough is an invitation to rediscover the Bible’s wisdom when it comes to prudent financial practices. In these pages are found the keys to experiencing contentment, overcoming fear, and discovering joy through simplicity and generosity. This book could change your life, by changing your relationship with money.


January Newsletter

Justice. Some thought-provoking words have been spoken on this topic in a sonnet, written and delivered by Lin-Manuel Miranda during his 2016 Tony acceptance speech. Here is an excerpt: “…When senseless acts of tragedy remind us that nothing here is promised, not one day. …We live through times when hate and fear seem stronger. We rise and fall and light from dying embers remembrance that hope and love last longer. Love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love cannot be killed or swept aside….”


Your library provides many resources for exploring the January theme of “Justice.” The following are some suggested titles.


Selected Adult Titles

We Are Charleston: Tragedy and Triumph at Mother Emanuel by Herb Frazier, Bernard Edward Powers Jr, and Marjory Wentworth

On June 17, 2015, at 9:05 p.m., a young man with a handgun opened fire on a prayer meeting at the Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Charleston, South Carolina, killing nine members of the congregation. The captured shooter, twenty-one-year-old Dylan Roof, a white supremacist, was charged with their murders. Two days after the shooting, while Roof’s court hearing was held on video conference, some of the families of his nine victims, one by one, appeared on the screen—forgiving the killer. The “Emanuel Nine” set a profound example for their families, their city, their nation, and indeed the world.


The End of White Christian America by Robert P. Jones

Robert P. Jones, CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), challenges us to grasp the profound political and cultural consequences of a new reality—that America is no longer a majority white Christian nation.
For most of our nation’s history, White Christian America (WCA)—the cultural and political edifice built primarily by white Protestant Christians—set the tone for our national policy and shaped American ideals. But especially since the 1990s, WCA has steadily lost influence, following declines within both its mainline and evangelical branches. Today, America is no longer demographically or culturally a majority white Christian nation.


Flourishing:  Why We Need Religion in a Globalized World by Miroslav Volf

A leading theologian sheds light on how religions and globalization have historically interacted and argues for what their relationship ought to be. Recounting how these twinned forces have intersected in his own life, he shows how world religions, despite their malfunctions, remain one of our most potent sources of moral motivation and contain within them profoundly evocative accounts of human flourishing.


Confident Pluralism: Surviving and Thriving through Deep Difference by John D. Inazu

In recent years, the United States has become increasingly polarized and divided. This fissure is evident across the nation in conflict over LGBTQ rights; in challenges to religious liberty; in clashes over abortion; in tensions between law enforcement and minority communities. With all of this physical and emotional violence enacted by our legal system and such seemingly irresolvable differences in beliefs, values, and identities across the country, we are forced to ask—how can the people of this nation ever live in peace together?

Embrace:  God’s Radical Shalom for a Divided World by Leroy Barber

The walls between us seem impenetrable. We live in an age of strife and division. Factors such as race, class, values and lifestyles keep us from connecting with others in meaningful ways. It's easy to avoid or ignore those who make us uncomfortable and those we simply do not like, but God's call to the church is to do just the opposite. Leroy Barber has spent decades pursuing reconciliation and justice amongst groups of vastly diverse people. He knows the challenge of embracing those who are difficult to embrace, yet he advocates that the way to radical shalom on earth is through pursuing these relationships. We have the opportunity as the people of God to bring true peace and unity to a world that desperately needs it. Embrace the challenge to show a divided world the bridge-building power of God's love.


Selected Children/Youth Titles

My Name is Truth:  The Life of Sojourner Truth by Ann Turner

Here is the remarkable true story of how former slave Isabella Baumfree transformed herself into the preacher and orator Sojourner Truth, as told by acclaimed author Ann Turner and award-winning illustrator James Ransome. An iconic figure of the abolitionist and women's rights movements, Sojourner Truth famously spoke out for equal rights roughly one hundred years before the civil rights movement.


Chasing Freedom:  The Life Journeys of Harriet Tubman and Susan B. Anthony, Inspired by Historical Facts by Nikki Grimes

What if Harriet Tubman and Susan B. Anthony sat down over tea to reminisce about their extraordinary lives? What would they recall of their triumphs and struggles as they fought to achieve civil rights for African Americans and equal rights for women? And what other historical figures played parts in their stories? These questions led Coretta Scott King Award winner Nikki Grimes to create Chasing Freedom, an engaging work of historical fiction about two of the nineteenth century's most powerful, and inspiring, American women.


The Case for Loving:  The Fight for Interracial Marriage by Selina Alko

This is the story of one brave family: Mildred Loving, Richard Perry Loving, and their three children. It is the story of how Mildred and Richard fell in love, and got married in Washington, D.C. But when they moved back to their hometown in Virginia, they were arrested (in dramatic fashion) for violating that state's laws against interracial marriage. The Lovings refused to allow their children to get the message that their parents' love was wrong and so they fought the unfair law, taking their case all the way to the Supreme Court - and won!


Mixed Me by Taye Diggs

Mom and Dad say I'm a blend of dark and light: "We mixed you perfectly, and got you just right." Mike has awesome hair. He has LOTS of energy! His parents love him. And Mike is a PERFECT blend of the two of them. Still, Mike has to answer LOTS of questions about being mixed. And he does, with LOTS of energy and joy in this charming story about a day in the life of a mixed-race child.


Note:  All book descriptions are from Amazon.com unless otherwise noted.


December Newsletter

The November Library Open House was a great success. Thank you to those who stopped downstairs to "check it out" (library pun intended!). Because of your support, your library will add a wall of new shelves and books very soon. THANK YOU.

During December, as we turn our focus to Christmas and Advent, remember your library offers a wonderful selection of materials to support your advent journey. Here are a few books for your consideration. Look for these and more related titles on the narthex kiosk or on the library cart downstairs.

Featured Advent and Christmas Books

Preparing for Christmas: Daily Meditations for Advent by Richard Rohr (NEW)

"Advent is not about a sentimental waiting for the Baby Jesus," Richard Rohr asserts. Advent is a time to focus our expectations and anticipation on "the adult Christ, the cosmic Christ," who chalenges us to empty ourselves, to lose ourselves, to surrender. Richard Rohr's scriptural reflections for Advent are the perfect preparation for the Christmas season. This beautiful redesign provides daily reflections for the Advent season, along with each day's Scripture readings and questions for reflection.


A Decembered Grief: Living with Loss While Others Are Celebrating by Harold Ivan Smith (NEW)

Vincent van Gough's last words resonate with many grievers this holiday season: "La tristesse durea -- the sadness will never go away." No, it will not go away, but it will change. Grief can by overwhelming, and it is especially intense during the holidays--those weeks that have always been spent in preparation and anticipation with a loved one who has been lost. While the world seems to be moving forward and celebrating life, grievers face a season of darkness and loss. For you -- or as a gift for someone you know who is grieving--Harold Ivan Smith guides the reader beyond the darkness with illustrations and insights that emphasize God's ability to transform the holidays into a time of grace and healing.


All I Really Want: Readings for a Modern Christmas by Quinn G. Caldwell (NEW)

Sometimes the happiest and holiest time of the year is also the hardest for people to enjoy. These daily readings offer the skeptic, the over-committed the opportunity to make room- perhaps just enough room for God to show up. The weeks leading up to Christmas can spark a strong spiritual longing for more. Although it may never be articulated, we sense beneath those longings is a yearning for an experience of God. These brief writings address the challenges and realities of the season, and include a simple action, ritual or meditation designed to gently steer the reader toward the deeper meaning that underlies the season. Smart, witty, edgy - and always hopeful-readings by Quinn Caldwell include a brief prayer for each morning and evening during the entire Christmas season. This book takes seriously the modern person's hunger for meaning and import in a season that feels increasingly frivolous. Includes a calendar with one easy task to do each day.


God is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas by Deitrich Bonhoeffer

Forty devotions that guide and inspire readers as they move thematically through the weeks of Advent and Christmas, from waiting and mystery to redemption, incarnation, and joy. Supplemented by an informative introduction, short excerpts from Bonhoeffer's letters, and passages from his Christmas sermons, these daily devotions are timeless and moving reminders of the true gift of Christmas.


Advent and Christmas Wisdom from Henri J.M. Nouwen by Redemptorist Pastoral Publication

A spiritual journey through the Advent and Christmas season in this book of waiting, hope, anticipation, and celebration. Each day of the Advent season (28 in all, to accommodate the varying number of days in the season) and each day of Christmas (12 in all, ending with Jesus' baptism in the Jordan by John the Baptist) contain a pertinent excerpt from the writings of Father Nouwen, a related quotation from Scripture, a prayer for the day, and a suggested activity that offers a concrete response to mark the season.


Advent Conspiracy: Can Christmas Still Change the World? by Rick McKinley, Chris Seay and Greg Holder

Worship More, Spend Less, Give Presence, Love All. Are you tired of how consumerism has stolen the soul fo Christmas? This year, take a stand! Join the groundswell of Christ-followers who are choosing to make Christmas what it should be - a joyous celebration of Jesus' birth that enriches our hearts and the world around us, not a retail circus that depletes our pocketbooks and defeats our spirits. Advent Conspiracy shows you how to substitute consumption with compassion by practicing four simple but powerful, countercultural concepts: Worship fully - because Christmas begins and ends with Jesus! Spend Less- and free your resources for things that truly matter. Give More - of your presence: your hands, your words, your time, your heart. Love All - the poor, the forgotten, the marginalized, and the sick in ways that make a difference. Find out how to have a Christmas worth remembering, not dreading. Christmas can still change the world when you, like Jesus, give what matters most  your presence.


Advent and Christmas Wisdom from St. Benedict by Judith Sutera, OSB

For over 1,500 years, believers from all Christmas traditions have looked to St. Benedict, the patriarch of Western monasticism, for spiritual wisdom. And rightly so: his rule has shown how one may experience a simple, holy, and common sense life, despite the increasingly busy pace of our daily existence.

The latest addition to Liguori's popular series of season meditation books provides not only Scripture readings for the seasons of Advent and Christmas, but pairs them with a daily selection from the cherished writings of St. Benedict. This book encourages the reader to set aside time each day to reflect upon a specific Scripture passage and feel the words speaking to their heart.


Christmas Fiction

The Christmas Cantana by Mark Schweizer

A Simple Amish Christmas by Vanetta Chapman

Blame it On the Mistletoe by Joyce Magnin

A Wreath of Snow by Liz Curtis Higgs


Books for Children/Youth

Refuge by Anne Bouth and Sam Usher (NEW)

Twelve Prayers of Christmas by Candy Chand

The Nativity Story by Geraldine McCauhrean

The Donkey's Dream by Barbara Helen Berger

God Gave Us Christmas by Lisa Tawn Bergen and David Holm

Let There Be Peace on Earth and Let it Begin With Me by Jill Jackson and Sy Miller


Note: All book descriptions are from Amazon.com unless otherwise noted.


November Newsletter

Books this month focus on the importance of community and relationship in making faith “real” in everyday life. Pastor Katy shares that “faith isn’t just about what I think or how I think, but how I interact with other people and learn from other people. That I have something to offer the community, and I have much to learn. It’s easy to make faith an intellectual exercise; community reminds us that God is present in the real and messy lives of other people (and in our own).”



Christians in the Public Square: Faith that Transform Politics, by Ellen Ott Marshall 

This book calls Christians to resist meanness, divisiveness, and dogmatism in the public square by enacting love, attending to moral ambiguity, and practicing theological humility - in other words, to transform politics by refusing to play politics.


Confident Pluralism: Surviving and Thriving through Deep Difference, by John D. Inazu

In recent years, the United States has become increasingly polarized and divided. This fissure is evident across the nation in conflict over LGBTQ rights; in challenges to religious liberty; in clashes over abortion; in tensions between law enforcement and minority communities. With all of this physical and emotional violence enacted by our legal system and such seemingly irresolvable differences in beliefs, values, and identities across the country, we are forced to ask—how can the people of this nation ever live in peace together?


Embrace: God’s Radical Shalom for a Divided World, by Leroy Barber

The walls between us seem impenetrable. We live in an age of strife and division. Factors such as race, class, values and lifestyles keep us from connecting with others in meaningful ways. It's easy to avoid or ignore those who make us uncomfortable and those we simply do not like, but God's call to the church is to do just the opposite. … We have the opportunity as the people of God to bring true peace and unity to a world that desperately needs it. Embrace the challenge to show a divided world the bridge-building power of God's love.


Embracing an Adult Faith: Marcus Borg on What It Means To Be Christian Embracing An Adult Faith, by Marcus Borg

Author and Bible scholar Marcus Borg invites us to join him in revisiting Christianity's most fundamental questions: Who is God? What does salvation mean? What place does Jesus hold in contemporary Christian faith?


God Laughs & Plays; Churchless Sermons in Response to the Preachments of the Fundamentalist Right, by David J. Duncan 

The author suggests that the de facto political party embodied by the so-called Christian Right has turned worship into a self-righteous betrayal of the words and example of the very Jesus it claims to praise. In a bracing and often hilarious response to this trend, God Laughs & Plays offers churchless sermons, stories, memoir, conversations, and cosmological reflections that scorn riches and embrace the poor; bless peacemakers, not war-makers; celebrate creation, diversity, empathy, playfulness and beauty; and insist that Divine Mystery is indeed mysterious and compassion is literally compassionate.


If the Church Were Christian: Rediscovering the Values of Jesus, by Philip Guiley

The largest group in American religious life may be the disillusioned—people who have been involved in the church, respect Jesus, but question what Christianity has become. In If the Church Were Christian Philip Gulley provides a profound picture of what the church could look like if it refocused on the priorities of Jesus.


Tattoos on the Heart, The Power of Boundless Compassion, by Gregory Boyle

For twenty years, Gregory Boyle has run Homeboy Industries, a gang-intervention program located in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles, the gang capital of the world. In Tattoos on the Heart, he distills his experience working in the ghetto into a breathtaking series of parables inspired by faith.


The Theology of the Hammer, By Millard Fuller 

By the age of thirty, Millard Fuller had come face-to-face with the reality of the American dream --he was a millionaire workaholic with a marriage on the skids. The cure was a radical one. The Fullers sold their business, donated all but a few thousand dollars to charity, and went in search of a new dream. Twenty years later, Fuller and his wife Linda are sharing that dream: Habitat for Humanity International. This exciting release continues the story of Habitat for Humanity, an organization that helps us make shelter a matter of conscience. Founder Millard Fuller describes the applied theology that directs and energizes this organizations efforts.




Note:  All book descriptions are from Amazon.com unless otherwise noted.


October Newsletter

The library is the perfect place to visit during October as we focus on study. The HSLC Library’s mission is:  To expand the intersection of intellect and spirituality while holding physical space in our busy world for prayer, introspection and study.


Capping off our month of study, The Library Committee will host our annual “Open House” on Sunday November 6 after all services. Plan to stop downstairs to visit this important space. Our library offers great resources for all ages.


To support our focus on study this month, the following books are suggestions from the Crossways adult study course reading list. All are available in our Library.


The Source:  A Novel, by James A. Nichener 

In his signature style of grand storytelling, James A. Michener transports us back thousands of years to the Holy Land. Through the discoveries of modern archaeologists excavating the site of Tell Makor, Michener vividly re-creates life in an ancient city and traces the profound history of the Jewish people—from the persecution of the early Hebrews, the rise of Christianity, and the Crusades to the founding of Israel and the modern conflict in the Middle East. An epic tale of love, strength, and faith, The Source is a richly written saga that encompasses the history of Western civilization and the great religious and cultural ideas that have shaped our world.


A History of God: The 4,000-year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, by Karen Armstrong 

"An admirable and impressive work of synthesis that will give insight and satisfaction to thousands of lay readers."


In this stunningly intelligent book, Karen Armstrong, one of Britain's foremost commentators on religious affairs, traces the history of how men and women have perceived and experienced God, from the time of Abraham to the present. From classical philsophy and medieval mysticism to the Reformation, the Enlightenment, and the modern age of skepticism, Karen Armstrong performs the near miracle of distilling the intellectual history of monotheism into one superbly readable volume, destined to take its place as a classic


Walking the Bible: A Journey by land Through the Five Books of Moses, by Bruce Feiler

Both a heart-racing adventure and an uplifting quest, Walking the Bible describes one man's epic odyssey—by foot, jeep, rowboat, and camel—through the greatest stories ever told. From crossing the Red Sea to climbing Mount Sinai to touching the burning bush, Bruce Feiler's inspiring journey will forever change your view of some of history's most storied events.


Who Wrote the Bible?  By Richard Elliott Friedman 

The contemporary classic the New York Times Book Review called “a thought-provoking [and] perceptive guide,” Who Wrote the Bible? by Richard E. Friedman is a fascinating, intellectual, yet highly readable analysis and investigation into the authorship of the Old Testament. The author of Commentary on the Torah, Friedman delves deeply into the history of the Bible in a scholarly work that is as exciting and surprising as a good detective novel. Who Wrote the Bible? is enlightening, riveting, an important contribution to religious literature, and as the Los Angeles Times aptly observed in its rave review, “There is no other book like this one.”


Understanding the Old Testament, by Bernhard W. Anderson 

Presents a study of the Old Testament by interweaving historical, archeological, literary, and religious perspectives. The book traces the story of the people of Israel from the Exodus in the time of Moses through the dawn of the Common Era.  It considers the importance of literary criticism and other methods for understanding the literature of ancient Israel; treats the latest archaeological discoveries that illuminate the Old Testament period.



Note:  All book descriptions are from Amazon.com unless otherwise noted.


September Newsletter

In September, we focus on the faith practice of hospitality. According to Wikipedia, hospitality refers to the relationship between a guest and a host, wherein the host receives the guest with goodwill, including the reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers. Louis chevalier de Jaucourt describes hospitality in the Encyclopedie as the virtue of a great soul that cares for the whole universe through the ties of humanity.

We encourage you to explore the ideas of "who is your neighbor" and "how we live our faith together in a community." Reading a book may provide a different point of view or perspective to consider. Here are a few options in the library to expand your thinking.


Love one another. It's one of the greatest, simplest, and most difficult commands Jesus gave. And when it comes to the church, sometimes it seems impossible. How can we achieve unity within the diversity of the body of Christ? Gerald Sittser examines the "one another" statements throughout the New Testament to distill much-needed biblical wisdom for loving each other even in the midst of controversies and stalemates. Speaking from his own pastoral experience with the best and worst of church life, Sittser helps us understand more fully what the love of Jesus commanded actually requires and shows us how to live it out - through struggle, servanthood, compromise, and sacrifice.


Early on morning, for no earthly reason, Sara Miles, raised an atheist, wandered into a church, received communion, and found herself transformed - embracing a faith she'd once scorned. A lesbian left-wing journalist who'd covered revolutions around the world, Miles didn't discover a religion that was about angels or good behavior or piety; her faith centered on real hunger, real food, and real bodies. Before long, she turned the bread she ate at communion into tons of groceries, piled on the church's altar to be given away. Within a few years, she and the people she served had started nearly a dozen food pantries in the poorest parts of their city.

Take This Bread is rich with real-life Dickensian characters - church ladies, millionaires, schizophrenics, bishops, and themes - all blown into Miles's life by the relentless force of her newfound calling. Here, in this achingly beautiful, passionate book, is the living communion of Christ.


A groundbreaking book about Americans searching for faith and mutual respect, The Faith Club weaves the story of three women, their three religions, and their urgent quest to understand one another.

When an American Muslim woman befriends two other mothers, one Jewish and one Christian, they decide to educate their children about their respective religions. None of them guessed their regular meetings would provide life-changing answers and form bonds that would forever alter their struggles with prejudice, fear, and anger. Personal, powerful, and compelling, The Faith Club forces readers to face the tough questions about their own religions.

Pioneering, timely, deeply thoughtful, and full of hope, The Faith Club's caring message will resonate with people of all faiths.


A prominent evangelical pastor offers a provocative political and social manifesto for all Americans who yearn for more spirit-centered politics but are fed up with the Christian Coalition.

Most people across the political and religious spectrum agree that our country is facing a moral and spiritual crisis, and restoring "values" to our public policies and discourse has become a critical issue. But while the Religious Right have taken it upon themselves to represent Christian values, their ideas are actually counter both to the teachings of the scriptures and the historical tradition of evangelical activism, according to Jim Wallis.


Conflict is an opportunity to learn and grow - and often to grow closer to one another.

Brad Hirschfield knows what it means to be a fanatic; he was one. A former activist in the West Bank, he was committed to reconstructing the Jewish state within its biblical borders. Now he is devoted to teaching inclusiveness, celebrating diversity, and delivering a message of acceptance. In You Don't Have to Be Wrong for Me to Be Right, Rabbi Hirschfield uses his own spiritual journey to help people of all faiths find acceptance and tolerance, as well as a path to peace, understanding, and hope that will appeal to the common wisdom of all religions.


Within the liturgy, congregations pledge to accept love, forgive, and nurture the newly baptized member. The church, however, often lives out this covenant selectively, forcing its gay and lesbian members into silence, alienation, and doubt. We Were Baptized Too challenges the church to take seriously its understanding of baptism and communion as a means of grace, justice, and liberation.

June/July Newsletter

Your school library will be closed, but our HSLC library is open all Summer long. Our library has books for children of all ages. Here are a few to pique your interest.

"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these." Mark 10:14
Picture Books

WHAT IS GOD LIKE by Beverly Lewis

Before a father leaves for his longest business trip yet, he encourages his son and daughter to remember, "Even when I'm not here, God is always with you." After he leaves, the boy and his sister spend a fun-filled day and star-filled night remembering everything their father told them about their heavenly Father: He is powerful, loving, everywhere, all-knowing, perfect, merciful, unchanging, creator, and a Father who wants to be known, talked to, obeyed, and worshipped. With imaginative text, Bible verses, and inspiring full-color illustrations, Bevery Lewis and Pam Querin take difficult concepts and bring them to life in the minds of children--and parents, too!


TWO MINUTE BIBLE STORIES retold by Elena Pasqualu

Each of these two-minute Bible stories is retold in a short but continuous narrative. Playful illustrations add to the fun as characters interact with the text, making the stories wonderful for sharing with children. The large text and easy readability also make this book a fun choice for young children who are learning to read.


GOD GAVE US HEAVEN by Lisa Bergren

As the sun rises on her snow-covered world, Little Cub wonders aloud…“What is heaven like?”  This gentle story provides satisfying answers for a young child’s most difficult questions about what happens after this life, inviting “little cubs” to find comfort in knowing that God Gave Us Heaven. 


GOD GAVE US LOVE by Lisa Bergren
As Little Cub and Grampa Bear’s fishing adventure is interrupted by mischievous otters, the young polar bear begins to question why we must love others… even the seemingly unlovable. This sweet tale will warm the hearts of young children as they learn about all the different sorts of love, while the gentle explanations of each provide a valuable opportunity to encourage children to share with others a “God-sized love.”


IF YOU PLANT A SEED by Kadir Nelson

A resonant, gently humorous story about the power of even the smallest acts and the rewards of compassion and generosity. With spare text and breathtaking oil paintings, If You Plant a Seed demonstrates not only the process of planting and growing for young children but also how a seed of kindness can bear sweet fruit.


MY GRANDFATHER'S COAT adapted by Jim Alyesworth

Jim Aylesworth's satisfying retelling and Barbara McClintock's heart-warming pictures celebrate the clever recycling of a beloved coat that lasts four generations -- until it becomes this story!


Junior Books

SHELTER DOGS by Peg Kehret

A collection of true stories about the amazing lives of eight shelter dogs. Many of these dogs were unwanted because of their size, behavior, or medical condition. All of the dogs found owners who loved and cared for them.



When his baby sister disappears from the river near their summer home, eighth grader Chris fights the assumption that she has drowned and sets off on a journey to discover the truth.


THIN WOOD WALLS by Dave Patneaude

Eleven-year-old Joe Hanada likes playing basketball with his best friend, Ray, writing plays and stories, and thinking about the upcoming Christmas holiday. But his world falls apart when Japanese planes bomb Pearl Harbor. His country goes to war. The FBI takes his father away. And neighbors and friends in his hometown near Seattle begin to suspect Joe, his family, and all Japanese Americans of spying for the enemy. When the government orders people of Japanese heritage living on the West Coast to move to internment camps, including Joe and his family, Joe turns to the journal his father gave him to record his thoughts and feelings.


ALL AMERICAN BOYS by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
In this Coretta Scott King Honor Award–winning novel, two teens—one black, one white—grapple with the repercussions of a single violent act that leaves their school, their community, and, ultimately, the country bitterly divided by racial tension. This story shares the alternating perspectives of Rashad and Quinn as the complications from that single violent moment, the type taken from the headlines, unfold and reverberate to highlight an unwelcome truth.



Written by Naoki Higashida, a very smart, very self-aware, and very charming thirteen-year-old boy with autism, it is a one-of-a-kind memoir that demonstrates how an autistic mind thinks, feels, perceives, and responds in ways few of us can imagine.



(Book descriptions found in the product description at Amazon.com unless otherwise noted) 


May Newsletter Article

How Do We As A Church Understand and Support Those in Crisis?

It Is Well With My Soul: Meditations for Those Living with Illness, Pain, and the Challenges of Aging by Shelly Beach

“Living with chronic illness, growing older, or facing the end of life can be a frightening experience. It is Well with My Soul helps readers explore biblical perspectives on issues associated with some of life’s most difficult stages. Focusing on living life as a care receiver, this collection of short meditations helps enhance the reader’s understanding of God’s purposes in situations of suffering…”


In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction by Gabor Mate

“Based on Gabor Maté’s two decades of experience as a medical doctor and his groundbreaking work with the severely addicted on Vancouver’s skid row, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts radically reenvisions this much misunderstood field by taking a holistic approach. Dr. Maté presents addiction not as a discrete phenomenon confined to an unfortunate or weak-willed few, but as a continuum that runs throughout (and perhaps underpins) our society; not a medical "condition" distinct from the lives it affects, rather the result of a complex interplay among personal history, emotional, and neurological development, brain chemistry, and the drugs (and behaviors) of addiction…”


Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression by Brooke Shields

“When Brooke Shields welcomed her newborn daughter to the world, her joyful expectations were quickly followed by something unexpected--a crippling depression. In what is sure to strike a chord with the millions of women who suffer from depression after childbirth, Brooke Shields shares how she, too, battled a condition that is widely misunderstood, despite the fact that it affects many new mothers…”


Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps by Richard Rohr

“We are all addicted in some way. When we learn to identify our addiction, embrace our brokenness, and surrender to God, we begin to bring healing to ourselves and our world. InBreathing Under Water, Richard Rohr shows how the gospel principles in the Twelve Steps can free anyone from any addiction—from an obvious dependence on alcohol or drugs to the more common but less visible addiction that we all have to sin.”


Tear Soup: A Recipe for Healing After Loss by Pat Schwiebert and Chuck DeKlyen

“If you are going to buy only one book on grief, this is the one to get! It will validate your grief experience, and you can share it with your children. You can leave it on the coffee table so others will pick it up, read it, and then better appreciate your grieving time.”


(Book descriptions found in the product description at Amazon.com unless otherwise noted)


Understanding Grief by Alan D. Wolfelt, Review by Pastor Rita Anderson

In his book, Understanding Your Grief, author Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. compares grieving the loss of a loved one to being on a journey through a vast wilderness.  The terrain can be unfamiliar and difficult to traverse.  He recommends the use of touchstones or benchmarks to help us navigate our way through this wilderness so that we don’t become lost, stuck or overwhelmed as we make our way.

Wolfelt gives detailed explanations of each touchstone and emphasizes that they are intended to encourage readers to “explore how you think and feel right now.”   He describes himself not as someone who has all the answers but as someone who is willing to companion with those who grieve offering compassion and hope along the way.  I found this book to be written with humility, as well as a deep sense of empathy and insight.