ST. LUKE’S BOOK CLUB
Our next read is “Sing, Unburied, Sing” by Jesmyn Ward. We will meet in the Canterbury room on Tuesday, August 28 at noon. Bring a lunch and bring a friend!
Sing, Unburied, Sing, by Jesmyn Ward
In Jesmyn Ward’s first novel since her National Book Award-winning Salvage the Bones, this singular American writer brings the archetypal road novel into rural 21st-century America. An intimate portrait of a family and an epic tale of hope and struggle, Sing, Unburied, Sing journeys through Mississippi’s past and present, examining the ugly truths at the heart of the American story and the power – and limitations – of family bonds.
Jojo is 13 years old and trying to understand what it means to be a man. He doesn’t lack in fathers to study, chief among them his black grandfather, Pop. But there are other men who complicate his understanding: his absent white father, Michael, who is being released from prison; his absent white grandfather, Big Joseph, who won’t acknowledge his existence; and the memories of his dead uncle, Given, who died as a teenager.
His mother, Leonie, is an inconsistent presence in his and his toddler sister’s lives. She is an imperfect mother in constant conflict with herself and those around her. She is black, and her children’s father is white. She wants to be a better mother but can’t put her children above her own needs, especially her drug use. Simultaneously tormented and comforted by visions of her dead brother, which only come to her when she’s high, Leonie is embattled in ways that reflect the brutal reality of her circumstances.
When the children’s father is released from prison, Leonie packs her kids and a friend into her car and drives north to the heart of Mississippi and Parchman Farm, the state penitentiary. At Parchman, there is another 13-year-old boy, the ghost of a dead inmate who carries all of the ugly history of the South with him in his wandering. He, too, has something to teach Jojo about fathers and sons, about legacies, about violence, about love.
Rich with Ward’s distinctive, lyrical language, Sing, Unburied, Sing is a majestic new work and an unforgettable family story.
The cinema is closed until fall.
Wednesday, 1:30 pm (October through June)
The lectionary group takes an in-depth look at the upcoming Sunday scriptures, including looking at the history and theology of a given passage. Needless to say, that makes listening to the sermon on Sunday a much more rewarding experience. This class isn’t sequential, so feel free to drop in on any Wednesday.
Communication today is more challenging it seems than it has been in the past. We all are aware of people who say they are unable to talk across differences, whether of religion or politics or whatever. It seems that our inability to have civil discourse is reaching a crisis point.
The Rev. Barb Sajna, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, is offering an opportunity to come together to explore how we can talk about challenging subjects that often divide us. The course is a Teaching Company course and is taught by a professor at York University. Each segment consists of a lecture followed by exercises to help listeners “try out” what they’ve just heard. Some of the lectures focus on the layers of communication, how the unconscious and conscious minds function, challenges to effective communication, talking to build relationships and how to handle differences and disagreement.
The class will start, Thursday March 8 from 10a to noon at St. Luke’s, 2336 Canterbury Lane, Sister Bay, 920.854.9600. The first half hour is spent listening to the professor’s presentation. Afterwards there will be time for discussion or an exercise. The course will cover two lectures each week. It will be time well-spent!
Sajna is well-known for her classes during each Clearings winter sessions which are always popular and well-attended.