Sunday, February 17, 2008

Grace at the Table Book Discussion

Today, I led our second week of discussion about "Grace at the Table." This book is an overview of poverty (US and global) written by Art Simon and David Beckmann, both leaders of Bread for the World (a Christian based advocacy group). It's a pretty short book written in a question and answer style that makes it really accessible. In fact, it comes with a ready-made study guide. Our group has been small but very dynamic.

A few of the questions we have discussed include:
"How do we perceive poor people? What are the negative stereo-types associated with poverty and how does public policy reflect this?"
"Why do some programs fail? Can we address multiple causes/symptoms of poverty at once to increase the chance of success? On a global or national level, how does that answer change?"
"How is poverty being addressed (or not) in the current presidential campaign?"
...and always, the questions come around to "What can we do?"

Our discussion is sometimes only loosely related to the actual questions in the book, but it is the book's statistics and key points which give us the jumping off point for our conversation. The participants have had wonderful insights and I'm benefitting immensely from the experience. If you happen to go to my church, please join us next Sunday! If you don't, please consider to using this very easy, very insightful book to start your own book discussion!

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