5 Books for Committed Neighbors

by FCS on

Photo by Wu Yi on Unsplash

Photo by Wu Yi on Unsplash

Neighboring lies at the center of what we do at FCS, but what practices go into creating community? These 5 books offer down-to-earth wisdom about the building blocks of committed, long-term neighboring. Whether you’re a life-long or newer resident in your area, we hope you enjoy these perspectives on how to learn and love your locale.

#1 Race & Place: How Urban Geography Shapes the Journey to Reconciliation

Reading our physical environment can open a window into the spiritual realities of a place. David Leong unpacks the interplay between geographic space and systemic injustice, interweaving his own experiences in Seattle’s Rainier valley. The resulting book reminds readers that what lies below the surface may hide in plain sight above it.

#2 Making Room: Recovering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition

Food and time together builds relationship! Rediscover the habit and theology of hosting with Christine D. Pohl’s book. Pohl tackles the historic roots of hospitality and its implications for living out faith. Through her research and reflections, Pohl reminds us that hospitality emerges from making space for the stranger in our homes and hearts.

#3 From Brokenness to Community

Living in close community, we come face to face with beauty and flaws in both ourselves and our friends. In this poignant, slim book, Jean Vanier muses on twenty-six years living alongside people with physical and intellectual disabilities. With a generous spirit, he relates his path into togetherness, showing that belonging to a group intertwines with personal discovery.

#4 Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now

The idea that we can always do more plagues us.  In this petite volume, Walter Brueggemann outlines Sabbath-keeping as a daringly prophetic rhythm in a culture of constant productivity. Through the story of Exodus, Brueggemann contrasts Pharaoh’s oppressive economy with God’s invitation to weekly rest. Rich in its exegesis, the book still strikes a personal note. Brueggemann writes in the preface, “I know about the restless anxiety of not yet having done enough.”

#5 God Has a Dream: a Vision of Hope for Our Time

Ultimately, remembering the hope of God’s movement in the world sustains us. Join Desmond Tutu in his winsome reflections, which emanate from the concept of Ubuntu -- that one’s humanity inextricably links with the humanity of others. Tutu shares hope for the good, gentle world that God invites us to build.

We hope these books will encourage your journey as a committed neighbor. Each member growing builds up the whole community. Wherever you are, we’re glad you’re walking with those close by, and with us here at FCS!

What are some favorite practices you or your neighbors share? Write a sweet memory, or another book suggestion, below!

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