Anyone familiar with the First Church congregation knows that this faith community “expects and respects” (as one retired pastor says) questions about scripture, theology, and religion.


It is no surprise, then, that we are a congregation of readers, with six groups that gather regularly to reflect, discuss, probe, and struggle with books, Bible passages, and other pieces of writing. These groups attract a myriad of ages and life stages; the common goal is to use our God-given mental faculties in a supportive setting to ask big questions and apply what we learn and discover to our daily faith journey.


In the next week, three of these groups gather for conversation on three quite different books.  These book selections reflect some of First Church’s core values — interfaith understanding, inclusive welcoming, and anti-racism–and offer a picture of a vibrant, thoughtful faith community.

Each of these groups welcomes new participants at any time, whether or not you’ve done the reading. 

Progressive Christianity Reading Group

Thursdays 2:00-3:30pm; discussion begins April 28

Islam Without Extremes:  A Muslim Case for Liberty by Mustafa Akyol.  Read book review.

Contact Dennis Damon Moore at

On the Same Page Book Group

Discussion Thursday, April 28, 7:30-8:45 pm

This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel

Fictional story inspired by the author’s experience as a parent to a transgender girl.  NPR interview with the author:  

Contact Greta Connor at 

The “UMW” Book Group (for all genders)

Discussion Tuesday, May 3, 7:30 – 8:45 pm

Friends Disappear: The Battle for Racial Equality in Evanston by Mary Barr. Univ. of Chicago Press Review

Contact Janet Lutz at