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Reading Program

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2014 Reading Program Books are Available!

The Reading Program encourages members to think critically about current issues through an annual selection of member-reviewed books. It offers an excellent opportunity to deepen your spirituality and to broaden your understanding of our mission work. Click the books above to explore Reading Program selections and purchase online.

The Reading Program Leads to Action!

For 140 years, members of United Methodist Women and predecessor organizations have been involved in mission that includes prayer, study and action. The Reading Program is a study opportunity, but it should also lead to action. The purpose of the program is to encourage United Methodist Women members to:

  • Expand understanding of and participation in God’s mission.
  • Increase sensitivity to all human beings—their needs, interests and concerns.
  • Encourage critical thinking about issues facing humanity today.
  • Grow in understanding of Scripture as it relates to Christian faith in contemporary life.
  • Enhance self-knowledge and act from that knowledge.
  • Strengthen involvement in local and global Christian mission.

*Learn more about participation in the Reading Program

*Find a Reading Progam Plan: There are four plans to choose from 

About the Books 

Every year, we recommend a diverse range of books to broaden exposure to a variety of concepts. Books are organized into 5 categories:

The books vary in level of difficulty, type of print, and in suitability for study or discussion. To make it easy for you to find them, a variety of other books are in separate categories:

Bonus Books

Bonus BookWhen you see the "B" near a book’s title in the Reading Program catalog, it is a bonus book. Bonus books count as two books -  either as two books in one category or as one book in each of two categories. The categories with bonus books are Social Action and Education for Mission.

Promoting the Reading Program in Local & District Units

  • Join the Reading Program group through UMWOnline.
  • Form an action team to take action on an issue addressed in one or more books.
  • Start a reading group of adults and/or children or youth.
  • Present book reviews of Reading Program books at United Methodist Women unit and circle meetings and on the Reading Program online community.
  • Take Reading Program books and response to retirement and nursing homes and read regularly to residents.
  • Inform parents, grandparents and others with children and youth that books for children and youth are available through the Reading Program.
  • Let pastors, church leaders and Sunday school teachers know of the books available through the Reading Program.
  • Highlight large print books to include a wider variety of readers.
  • Honor those who participate in the Reading Program; present Reading Program certificates (PDF) to those who complete plans.
  • Show special recognition to units or individuals who complete Plans III and IV.
  • Develop displays to encourage book sales, especially around holiday seasons.



© 2014 United Methodist Women