Welcome to the SSUC Library page. Please visit the library in the main floor lounge of our building, browse the shelves, grab a cup of coffee and settle in for a read, or borrow a book and bring it back when you’re done. Would you like to browse the catalogue from home? See the Title catalogue here; the Author catalogue here; and the Reference books catalogue here. In the meantime, get introduced to a new book: read a preview of a featured book every two weeks, written by our librarians. Enjoy.
Books want to be read
Take the time, make the time, for SSUC’s Library
PEARLS BEFORE SWINE (C) 2019. Stephen Pastis. Reprinted by persmission of ANDREW MCMEEL SYNDICATION. All rights reserved.
Look at Rat being blockish, as usual: he’s turning a blind eye and a deaf ear and a cold, cold heart to a book that wants so to be read.
Almost always bumptious and presumptuous, he’s California cartoonist Stephen Pastis’ rascally, rowdy rodent in the comic strip “Pearls Before Swine”; this particular bon mot appeared in the August 10th Edmonton Journal. It’s funny, yes, but it tells a truth—Pastis’ comic strips often do: Rat is the first character he created, and the one through whom, he allows, “I could really say what’s on my mind. When I put it on paper, it’s my voice.”
“So,” Elizabeth Renter writes about the act of reading, this in Natural Society back in 2013, “many people don’t appreciate it.” She tells of “a HuffPost poll showing last year that of 1,000 participants, 28%…hadn’t read a book in over a year.” A shame, that: reading, she adds, “is something that not enough people take the time to do….” Just like Rat.
So it is that we invite you, we urge you, to take the time…make the time…to read a book, and more, that you’ll find in your own church’s Library. There are now 560 of them, all of which, to a greater or lesser degree, concern ideas and subject matter of consequence, certainly to seekers: religion, church, spirituality, theology, Jesus, faith, doubt, values, belief, God and gods, and all such things. These are writings to be pored over and pondered, weighed and wondered about, and, likely enough, valued.
The classics are present and accounted for, everything from The Confessions of St. Augustine to Martin Buber’s I and Thou. There are works written by such luminaries as Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Northrop Frye, Abraham Heschel, Albert Schweitzer, Paul Tillich, and Simone Weil. Others will acquaint you with such great church figures as John Wesley and Hildegard of Bingen. There are plays—The Trial of God by Elie Wiesel, and Lucas Hnath’s The Christians. Progressive Christianity pioneers like Jack Spong and Lloyd Geering penned still other of the volumes. Consider Karen Armstrong’s The Case for God, but also Richard Dawkins’ refutation in The God Delusion.
You’ll come upon the Iona Abbey Worship Book, Bible atlases, an eco-foods guide, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, self-help books, including a lot on loss and grieving (Elisabeth Kubler-Ross authored five of them), even Nancy Steeves’ doctoral thesis. There’s even fiction: challenge yourself, and read Nikos Kazantzakis’ controversial The Last Temptation of Christ, or Putting Away Childish Things, the novel that, as one reviewer put it, “flows out of Marcus Borg’s life.” There are books in the collection about the Earth Charter, LGBTQ concerns, the Dead Sea Scrolls, fundamentalism, myths and mythology, bullying, preaching, sexism, the labyrinth, mid-life crises, evolution, Christmas, human rights and humanism, feminist theology, Buddha, Islam, justice, the parables, prayer, Christian ethics, Celtic wisdom, parenting, sin, eternal life, shamanism. Whoa, catch your breath.
Discover The Lost Gospel of Judas Iscariot; read how Jesus became Christian, and also God; see why No Man is an Island; explore The World of Anne Frank; join in The Battle for God, or play Hide and Seek with God, or witness SSUC’s Clair Woodbury Looking for God; go In Search of Paul; learn how to love nature; spend The Last Week with Jesus; get acquainted with the Middle East; ask, Can We Trust the New Testament?; ask as well The Great Questions of Life; meet The Pagan Christ; find faith, peace, the right words, your way home, and your religion. Why, You Can Teach Yourself Philosophy of Religion. And this litany of titles and topics only scratches the surface!
Along with hands-full of DVDs and videos, all this is waiting to be browsed and borrowed; what’s not to be circulated are the slim number of reference works. The collection is housed in bookcases in SSUC’s Library & Lounge—it’s the inviting room off the foyer, on the right as you enter the church. Everything has been ordered and shelved, arranged by author, from A (Abbott, Deborah) to Z (Zuckerman, Andrew).
Book-borrowing has been made as easy as can be: you’ll find lists, both by author and title, in a binder atop the first of the bookcases; these…and quite a lot more…can be found, as well, on the Library’s webpage [ssucedmonton.com/library]. Simply sign out the book[s] you want using the in-and-out form—it’s in the same binder; later on, please note there the date you return the item[s] borrowed. It’s pretty well grab and go! So, please, get going!
Ellen & Ken Fredrick