THE PURPOSE

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					THE PURPOSE

The purpose of the Reading Program is to encourage United Methodist
Women:

• to expand understanding of and participation in God’s mission;
• to increase sensitivity to all human beings—their needs,
       interests, and concerns;
• to encourage critical thinking about issues facing humanity today;
• to grow in understanding of Scripture as it relates to Christian
faith in contemporary life;
• to enhance self-knowledge and to act from that knowledge;
• to strengthen involvement in local and global Christian mission.

The Women’s Division recommends a diverse range of books
with the intention of broadening exposure to a variety ofconcepts.
The Division does not intend that United Methodist Women accept
each word or idea contained within each volume. Some books you
may agree with. Some you may not. Either is all right. At the least
you know the Women’s Division cares and wants you to be a
knowledgeable and caring Christian about the issues of the day.

BONUS BOOKS

BONUS BOOKS count as two books. They count either as two
books in the same category or as one book in each of two
categories. For example, Disturbing the Peace on page 33
counts as one book in Education for Mission and one book in
Social Action, and God’s Politics on page 34 counts as two
books in Social Action. Please use the note for each bonus book
description as your guide.
ABOUT THE BOOKS

The Women’s Division Reading Program Committee chooses the
books. Suggestions come from many sources. Three evaluators (local
members of United Methodist Women) read each book before the
committee reviews it.

Many considerations influence the decision to choose a book:
• the purpose of the Reading Program;
• the diverse membership of United Methodist Women;
• readability—print size and language;
• the approaches to issues, from familiar to new;
• the cultures represented;
• the suitability for children and youth;
• the relationship to Women’s Division/UMW concerns.

The reading list includes large print and larger than average print
books for persons who prefer or need large print. To make it easy for
you to find them, they are in separate categories. (See pages 42-44.)

The reading list continues the custom of providing books for children
and youth. (See pages 45-54.)

The books vary in level of difficulty, type of print, and in suitability
for study/discussion.

Do you have suggestions, recommendations, or comments about
Reading Program books? Send them to the Reading Program,
Women’s Division, General Board of Global Ministries, The United
Methodist Church, Room 1502, 475 Riverside Drive, New York, NY 10115;
email: bathomps@gbgm-umc.org. Please indicate title, author,
publisher, date of publication, and price.

Some older books may not be available. Other possible sources include the
public library, online services, and Reading Program books already
purchased by your unit.
HOW TO SECURE BOOKS FROM THE READING LISTS

ALL books on the Reading Program list, except for those noted otherwise,
are stocked at the Mission Resource Center.

Note: Most books are available in September.
Prices and availability are subject to change by publishers.

• Individuals may wish to purchase their own Reading Program
books from the Mission Resource Center.
• The unit may purchase books for circulation among its members.
• Individuals might suggest titles to the local library or church library.
• Several units might exchange their own “libraries.”
• A district and/or conference could purchase books for circulation.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE

Any person who wants to participate in the Reading Program
should follow one of the plans on page 4. When the necessary number
of books and the appropriate magazines have been read, report your
reading to your local secretary of program resources.

The secretary of program resources works with the executive committee
to promote the program. She should:
• distribute this booklet;
• explain procedures and enroll individuals in the program;
• order copies of “Your Reading Program” (stock #5431, free for
  postage) so members can report the books they have read;
• secure books and circulate them among the members;
• use the suggestions for action on pages 5-7 as a guide for
  choosing titles and mission response.

The Bible under girds all Christian reading and that of the Reading
Program. Everyone should read it without special credit. Response and
New World Outlook are essential for our understanding of mission.
They must be a part of the reading plan in order for credit to be given
for participation in the program.
WAYS TO PROMOTE THE READING PROGRAM:

1. Present brief reviews of Reading Program books at unit and circle
   meetings.

2. Capture interest by attractively mounting quotations from the books
   and posting them throughout the church. Include full information: title
   of book, author, publisher, date of publication, READING PROGRAM,
   YEAR, UNITED METHODIST WOMEN with each quotation.

3. Develop displays, both in permanent bookcases and on portable
   tables, to encourage sales, especially around holiday seasons and
   prior to vacation time.

4. Take Reading Program books as well as Response and New World
  Outlook to retirement/nursing homes. Read regularly to residents.

5. Highlight large print books (page 42), and books for the visually
   impaired (page 64).

6. Inform parents, grandparents, and others with children in their lives
   that books for children and youth are available through the Reading
   Program. Be sure church school teachers know of their availability.

7. Start a reading group of adults and/or children. Meet regularly to
   share and discuss the books your members are reading.

8. Display progress charts in a prominent place that show readers’
   names, the books being read, and the reading plans being followed.


9. Honor those people who participate. Order Reading Program certificates
   (Stock #1531, 25 for $4.00) from the Mission Resource Center to
present to those who complete a reading plan.

10. Show special recognition to units/individuals who complete Plans
   III or IV.

11. Form an action team and take action on one of the issues or action
    alerts (see page 5).

THE FOUR READING PLANS

Persons who wish to participate may choose any of the four plans.
Participants should enroll in one of the plans and report completion
of reading requirements to the local unit secretary of program
resources. Titles read from the 2002 list will be credited through
December 31, 2007.

PLAN I
• 4 books each year.
• 1 from each category.
• Selections from the 2003-2007 reading lists if not included in
previous reports. (Including youth books.)
• Regular reading of Response.

PLAN II
• 10 books each year.
• At least 2 from each category.
• Selections from the 2003-2007 reading lists if not included in
previous reports. (Including youth books.)
• Regular reading of Response and New World Outlook.

PLAN III
• 15 books each year.
• 8 books with at least two from each category.
• 7 additional books from any category.
• Selections from the 2003-2007 reading lists if not included in
previous reports. (Including youth and children’s books.)
• Regular reading of Response and New World Outlook.

PLAN IV
• 20 books each year.
• 8 books with at least two from each category.
• 12 additional books from any category.
• Selections from the 2003-2007 reading lists if not included in
previous reports. (Including youth and children’s books.)
• Regular reading of Response and New World Outlook.


THE READING PROGRAM LEADS TO ACTION!

For more than 100 years, United Methodist Women have been involved
in mission that includes prayer, study, and action. The Reading Program
is a study opportunity. But it should also lead to action. Here are a few
suggestions to assist you.

1. Pray. Books often raise concerns about people, countries, and issues.
Bring these concerns to God during your prayer time at home and
at unit or circle meetings.

2. Suggest that your unit have a program. There are many important
topics covered by the Reading Program that your unit should explore
further. Read Stop the Next War Now (#2466); Iraq: A Journey of
Hope and Peace (#2447), as additional resources for the 2006-2007
Shalom, Salaam, Peace Spiritual Growth study. Read Bethlehem
Besieged (#2449) as an additional resource for the 2007-2008 Israel
& Palestine study.

3. Act. Many of the books on the Reading Program lists deal with issues
such as racism, human rights, peace, the environment, and concerns
of women and children. Follow up your reading with action!

SUGGESTIONS FOR ACTION

• Write a letter to the President, your congressperson, or to the editor
of your local newspaper. Read The One-Hour Activist (#2465).

• Write an article for your church newsletter or share your concern
with your unit or circle. Determine what action you can take together.

• Join the UMW Action Network to receive up-to-date legislative
information. Contact the Washington Office at 100 Maryland Ave.
NE, Room 530, Washington, DC 20002 or on the web at gbgmumc.
org/umw and use the link on the left to Action Network
registration form to register online.

• Look at the United Methodist Social Principles to see our church’s
stand on specific issues. The Social Principles are in The Book
of Discipline, or you can order a copy from Service Center (stock
#3666, $2.00).

    Stay involved with United Methodist Women’s Campaign for
Children. Get involved with children in mentoring, tutoring, and “Big
Sister” programs. Read Ending Violence in Teen Dating Relationships
(#2450). Write letters, email, or call congressional representatives
regarding public education issues in your city and state. If you are a
parent of a high school student, talk to your principal to make sure the
school is aware of its responsibility to inform parents of the “opt-out”
provision. Learn about military recruiters. Read The Book of Resolutions,
2004: “Child Soldiers,” ¶66; ¶164.V, Section I, on Military Service,
“Social Principles 2005-2008”; and then read Children at War (#2499);
Stop the Next War Now (#2466). Contact the Office of Children, Youth and
Family Advocacy, Women’s Division, at 202-488-5660; fax: 202-488-5681;
email: jtaylor@gbgm-umc.org.

     Put into action the Charter for Racial Justice Policies of The
United Methodist Church. Plan a joint unit meeting with a unit of a
different racial/ethnic background, using programs from the Women’s
Division Program Book. Read Angry Wind (#2443); We Are All Suspects
Now (#2431); Uprooting Racism (#2468); The Church Enslaved (#2448);
Belonging (#2440).

• Develop biracial/cultural Koinonia groups.

• Actively encourage pulpit exchanges and joint worship services
on special occasions.

• Actively encourage support for equal employment practices in
the church and community.
• Have the local unit or church sponsor a refugee family.

• Actively promote the Quadrennial Emphasis on the Ethnic
Minority Local Church.

• Contact your conference Committee on the Charter for Racial
Justice Policies for resources.

    Join the Action Campaigns of United Methodist Women by logging
into the Women’s Division website: http://UMWMISSION.ORG and
going to Campaigns. Some campaign issues include:

• Environmental/Health Concerns: read Troubled Water (#2467);
What Can One Person Do? (#2441).

• Economic Justice: read Blue Collar Jesus (#2411); Gambling:
Don’t Bet on It (#2461); Like Grains of Wheat (#2457); Ending
Hunger Now (#2497).

• Peace: Prayers for Peace Campaign for the Whole Church: read
Stop the Next War Now (#2466); Playing War (#2404); Peacework
(#2474); PeaceJam (#2484).

• A call for cutting military spending on the FY2007 budget and
increasing funds for education and jobs, housing, and healthcare
for all: contact House and Senate Appropriations Committees; read
What Can One Person Do? (#2441); The One-Hour Activist (#2465).

4. Organize. You and your unit can contact the Office of Community
Action to work on social action plans for your unit or church, and to
obtain resources for community organizing. Call 212-870-3766; fax:
212-870-3736; email: SLee@gbgm-umc.org.

God bless you as you pray, study, act, and organize in Christ’s name.

				
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