As the season of Lent was approaching this year, I felt in my spirit that it was time to try to do something a bit different. So I chatted to a few people about the possibility of starting a Book Club at church, where a small group forms for a set period of time to read and discuss a book that would help us in our discipleship of Jesus.
To my surprise there was a lot of interest. In fact so much so that we ended up running two groups simultaneously.
Then the decision as to which book to read had to be made.
I looked in a variety of places, and came across Rachael Newham’s book ‘And Yet’ on the Big Church Read website. It intrigued me. Apart from this, I randomly entered a giveaway competition on Instagram to possibly win a copy of the book and – I won! This combination of events led to us selecting ‘And Yet’ as our Book Club’s first book that we read and discussed during the season of lent this year.
Rachael writes with an easy, conversational style and is not afraid to be vulnerable and really opens her life to the reader as she gently guides us through a variety of hard-to-talk-about topics such as grief and lament. Having said this, the book also contains sections of hope and joy – but acknowledges that we often experience a whole range of different emotions at once, so joy can be experienced even in the midst of sorrow.
One thing this book encourages us to do is to allow ourselves to feel. Not just the nice things, but also the painful. It is often in times of suffering where we grow and experience the presence of God the most powerfully. It helps us to acknowledge our downs as well as our ups and yet, helps us to find Jesus in the midst of it all.
This book led to many valuable and open discussions about faith, life, love and loss within our book club group and proved to be a fantastic springboard from which the group could hear from God as well as minister to each other.
Thank you, Rachael, for writing this important book.
‘And Yet’ is written by Rachael Newham and published by Form, an imprint of SPCK. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.