Opportunities to Affect Reading Guides

 Each month the Opportunities to Affect in fellowship! magazine suggests a book related to a missional formation topic. Reading group study guides are available each month to help lead group discussions about the book and its relationship to the missional topic of the month.

The 2016-17 reading list features fiction, memoirs, science fiction and young adult fiction. We believe these books will both enrich and challenge your missional journey.

Download the 2016-17 Reading List.



Station 11 by Emily St. John Mandel

Twenty years after a devastating flu pandemic, Kirsten Raymonde moves between settlements with a small troupe of actors and musicians who keep the remnants of art and humanity alive. An encounter with a violent prophet threatens their existence.

pdfClick here to download the free discussion guide.



Katrina: After the Flood by Gary Rivlin

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina made landfall, journalist Gary Rivlin traces the storm’s immediate damage and its lasting effects on the psychic, racial, and social fabric of New Orleans.

pdfClick here to download the free discussion guide.



The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin

Single mom Janie is trying to figure out what is going on with her eccentric son Noah. As psychologist Jerome Anderson approaches the end of his life, Noah may be the case to validate his belief that there is something beyond what anyone could see or comprehend.

pdfClick here to download the free discussion guide.



Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People by Nadia Bolz-Weber

Tattooed, angry and profane, this former standup comic turned pastor stubbornly resists the God she feels called to serve. But as Bolz-Weber lives and worships alongside “accidental saints,” she is swept into first-hand encounters with God’s grace.

pdfClick here to download the free discussion guide.



Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrera (translated from Spanish by Lisa Dillman)

Traversing the lonely territory between the United States and Mexico is Makina, who knows only too well how to survive in a violent, macho world. Leaving behind her life in Mexico to search for her brother, she is smuggled into the USA carrying a pair of secret messages – one from her mother and one from the Mexican underworld.

Reading guide available November 15



A Tour of Bones: Facing Fear and Looking for Life by Denise Inge

Inge discovers that her house is built on a crypt full of human skeletons. Facing her fear takes Inge on a journey into the meaning of bones themselves. This exploration takes on a new significance when mortality abruptly ceases to be hypothetical.

Reading guide available December 15



Fig by Sarah Elizabeth Schantz

Love and sacrifice intertwine in this novel about a girl dealing with her mother’s schizophrenia and her own mental illness. As she sacrifices to bring Mama back to reality, Fig begins to lose herself as well.

Reading guide available January 15



Overwhelmed: How to Work, Love and Play When No One Has the Time by Brigid Schulte

When journalist Brigid Schulte realized she was living a life of all work and no play, she decided to find out why she felt so overwhelmed. Schulte uncovers evidence that what the ancient Greeks called “the good life” is attainable after all.

Reading guide available February 15



All the Bright Places (YA) by Jennifer Niven

When Theodore Finch and Violet Markey meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries.

Reading guide available March 15



Ordinary Light: A Memoir by Tracy K. Smith

Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Tracy K. Smith tells her remarkable story, giving us a quietly potent memoir that explores her coming-of-age and the meaning of home against a complex backdrop of race, faith, and the unbreakable bond between a mother and daughter.

Reading guide available April 15



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