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92 Register for Interfaith Book Clubs

posted Aug 8, 2013, 2:57 PM by Interfaith WS

Judaism. Islam. Buddhism. Catholicism.  Protestantism. Unitarianism. Science of the Mind. Unity. Spiritual but not Religious.

                Those are among the affiliations or connections listed by the 92 people who have registered for Interfaith Winston-Salem’s interfaith book clubs, which begin meeting in August.

                The readers are grouped into six clubs, and their first book is “Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life” by Karen Armstrong.  Funding for purchase of the book was made possible by a grant from The Winston-Salem Foundation.

                Choice of the Armstrong book supports endorsement by Mayor Allen Joines and city council of the Charter of Compassion, which is based on the book.  The city has applied to Compassionate Action Network International as recognition as a city of compassion.

                Chris Gardner’s “The Pursuit of Happyness,” the book selection for September, is the featured book in the Forsyth County Public Library’s month-long “on the same page” program.  Gardner will visit Winston-Salem to talk about the book.  Several films and other activities during the month are designed to stimulate discussion and reflection on homelessness in the community.  Two members of the book clubs are women who formerly were homeless.

                Naijla Faizi, a Muslim student at Wake Forest University who helped organize the clubs, will also serve as one of five discussion facilitators.  Other facilitators are Dr. Michelle Voss Roberts, assistant professor of Theology and Culture in the Wake Forest School of Divinity; Elizabeth Skinner and Candace Brennan of the public library; and Jerry McLeese, chairperson of Interfaith Winston-Salem.

                “Starting book clubs is a new experience for us,” McLeese said.  “We’re most happy with the response from the community because our goal had been to sign up 60 participants.  We’ve already had a suggestion for a third book – Rabbi Harold Kushner’s ‘When Bad Things Happen to Good People’ – but we plan to wait and see if members of the clubs want to continue beyond the second book.”

                Interfaith Winston-Salem is a nonprofit organization that works to build a community where people understand and respect the religious traditions of their neighbors.