New books chosen for Mennonites to read together
HARRISONBURG, Va. — Mennonite Church USA, Mennonite Church Canada, and Herald Press began partnering in September 2020 to encourage Mennonites to engage in a “common read,” a shared reading experience focused on specific books written to nurture Christian faith in this cultural moment.
The Common Read continues January 2022 through March 2022 with Been in the Struggle: Pursuing an Antiracist Spirituality by Regina Shands Stoltzfus and Tobin Miller Shearer. Common Read participants can join the authors on a live Zoom event in February. Books are available from MennoMedia, CommonWord, and other retailers.
Filled with insight from nearly three decades of partnering across racial lines in this work, Stoltzfus and Shearer embrace Blackness amid an anti-Black culture, and address the importance of spiritual disciplines in the work of antiracism. “An antiracist spirituality offers key insights into refocusing, reframing, and reconceiving how we approach the issue of racism from the start,” explain Stoltzfus and Shearer.
For those working to dismantle racism in their own lives or inside institutions, Been in the Struggle offers inspiration for the road ahead. Explore personal transformation, historical trauma, spiritual formation, and the importance of authentic, restorative celebration, and join the struggle.
Regina Shands Stoltzfus was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and lived there for the first half of her life. She currently lives in Goshen, Indiana, and teaches at Goshen College in the Religion, Justice and Society department. She is cofounder of the Roots of Justice Anti-Oppression program (formerly Damascus Road Anti-Racism Program) and has worked widely in peace education. She holds a master of arts degree in biblical studies from Ashland Theological Seminary and a PhD in theology and ethics from Chicago Theological Seminary. She is the author of two previous books, and her many articles have appeared in publications such as Sojourners, The Mennonite, and the Anabaptist Historians blog.
Tobin Miller Shearer is cofounder with Regina Shands Stoltzfus of the Damascus Road antiracism process (now Roots of Justice) and an award-winning professor of history and African American studies at the University of Montana. He is the author or coauthor of five books and more than one hundred articles. His work has appeared in publications such as the Chicago Tribune, Conspire, The Mennonite, and Anabaptist Historians. He blogs at Truth and Grace. Tobin is also the cofounder with Cheryl Miller Shearer of the antiracism training and consulting nonprofit Widerstand Consulting (www.WiderstandConsulting.org).
After reading Been in the Struggle this winter, the Common Read continues in April 2022 with Not Quite Fine: Mental Health, Faith, and Showing Up for One Another by Carlene Hill Byron and will include Zoom events with the author.
Free downloadable study guides are available for Been in the Struggle on the Herald Press website.
To schedule an interview with Regina Shands Stoltzfus and Tobin Miller Shearer, contact LeAnn Hamby at 540‑908‑3941 or [email protected].