Administrative Notes

Word and Life's Steering Committee: Background and Purpose

Current members of the Word & Life Steering Committee (April 2018- ) include Dawn George (Secretary/Treasurer), Anna Grotenhuis, Anne Heck, Thomas Heck (Webkeeper & audio), Pat McClure, Judith McDermott (Coordinator), and Martha Siegel.

We can be reached by e-mail by clicking on the blue-colored links below. Clicking on any name should bring up an e-mail forwarding address for that individual. If that does not work, try this: right-click on any name and select "copy email address" from the drop-down menu that appears, and then paste that address into your e-mail system's "To:" field



This advisory group evolved more than twenty years ago as an informal faith-sharing group comprising the facilitators of Word and Life's Thursday small group discussions. These women and men met with the Coordinator on Tuesday mornings to share their answers to the lesson questions and to provide other useful feedback. They came to be known as the "Tuesday Group."

In 2000 the weekly format of the Thursday meetings changed. Small-group faith sharing shifted to an interactive dialogue between the whole group and the presenter. While there was no longer a need for a facilitators' meeting, the "Tuesday Group" continued to meet to share reflections with one another on the weekly readings and to serve as a sounding board for the Coordinator. The "Tuesday Group" thus became the Coordinator's de facto advisory board, assisting with decisions being considered about all aspects of the Word and Life community and programs. Any and all members were welcome and invited to participate, and decisions made at the "Tuesday Group" were then brought before the larger community for consideration and consensus.

In the summer of 2005, when it became clear that weekly participation in the "Tuesday Group" was dropping off, the Coordinator decided to invite a few experienced and committed Word and Life members to become her advisers, with scheduled monthly rather than weekly meetings. This group came to be know as the "Advisory Team." Its formation marked the end of the "Tuesday Group."

At its monthly meetings, and at various other times through e-mail and phone contacts, the Advisory Team assisted the Coordinator with decisions being considered about all aspects of the Word and Life community and programs.  The Advisory Team gradually evolved into the present-day Steering Committee.


Members of the Word & Life Advisory Team, 2005-07, clockwise from upper left: Barbara Krahn, Gail Campanella, Mary Rosenfeld, Anne & Thomas Heck, Mary Sue Anderson, Alice MacDonald, and Harriet Burke.


The Book Forum: Current Proposals for Future Study


Members are welcome to propose books that would be good candidates for consideration for future sessions. Send all such suggestions to the Webkeeper. Here are some current proposals from members. The ones in yellow boxes have been chosen and read:


Called to Question: A Spiritual Memoir, by Joan D. Chittister (Sheed & Ward, 2004). price is $14.93 for the hardcover ed. (suggested by H. Burke)


Catholicism at the Crossroads: How the Laity Can Save the Church, by Paul Lakeland (Continuum, 2007). price is $13.75. The theology of the laity figures prominently in Paul Lakeland's writings. He teaches at Fairfield University in Connecticut. He is the author of seven books including Postmodernity: Christian Identity in a Fragmented Age, and The Liberation of the Laity: In Search of an Accountable Church, which received the 2004 U.S. Catholic Press Association Award for the best book in theology. (suggested by A. Heck)


Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening, by Cynthia Bourgeault (Cowley Publications, 2004). $11.53 in paperback from (suggested by K. Forster & J. Williams)


Christ of the Celts: The Healing of Creation, by J. Philip Newell (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). $11 from  Selected for Autumn 2011.


Community, Eucharist, and Spirituality, by Kenan Osborne (Ligouri Publications, 2007). $10.17 in paperback from (suggested by K. Forster)


Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life, by Richard Rohr (John Wiley & Sons, 2011) $8 from Selected for Winter-Spring 2012


The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith, by Marcus Borg (Harper Collins, 2003). $10.17 in paperback from (suggested by K. Forster & J. Williams). Selected for Autumn 2008.


The Hidden Jesus: A New Life, by Donald Spoto (St. Martin's Press, 1998). $2.43 in paperback from (suggested by K. Forster)


Integral Christianity: The Spirit's Call to Evolve, by Paul R. Smith (Continuum Intl Pub Group, 2011). $16 from Selected for Autumn 2012.


The Integral Vision: A Very Short Introduction to the Revolutionary Integral Approach to Life, God, the Universe, and Everything, by Ken Wilber (Shambhala Publications, 2007). $10.85 in paperback from (suggested by B. Doering)


The Hidden Jesus: A New Life, by Donald Spoto (St. Martin's Press, 1998). $2.43 in paperback from (suggested by K. Forster)


It's Really All About God: How Islam, Atheism, and Judaism Made Me a Better Christian, by Samir Selmanovic (Jossey-Bass, 2011). $16 from  Selected for Winter-Spring 2015.


Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography, by John Dominic Crossan (HarperSanFrancisco, 1995). $10.17 in paperback from (suggested by J. Williams)


Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teachings, and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary, by Marcus Borg (HarperOne, 2008). 352 pp. paperback. $14.95 (Amazon $10.17).


The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief, by Francis Collins (Simon & Schuster, 2006). The book is available in paperback ( price $10.20). Francis S. Collins is one of the country's leading geneticists and the longtime head of the Human Genome Project. (suggested by T. Heck)


The Last Week: A Day-by-Day Account of Jesus’s Final Week in Jerusalem, by Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan (Harper Collins, 2006). 240 pp. hardcover. $21.95 (Amazon $14.93).Selected for Winter-Spring 2009.


The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See , by Richard Roher (Crossroad Pub., 2009).  Selected for Winter-Spring 2011.


A People's History of Christianity: The Other Side of the Story, by Diana Butler Bass (HarperOne, 2009).  Selected for Autumn 2010.


Quest for the Living God: Mapping Frontiers in the Theology of God, by Elizabeth A. Johnson (Continuum International, 2007).


Reading the Bible Again for the First Time: Taking the Bible Seriously But Not Literally, by Marcus Borg (Harper Collins, 2002). $10.17 in paperback from (suggested by J. Williams)


The Rebirthing of God, Christianity's Struggle for New Beginnings
by John Philip Newell (SkyLight Paths, 2014). Selected for Winter-Spring 2017.


A Religion of One's Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World, by Thomas Moore (Avery, 2015). Selected for Winter-Spring 2016.


Sacred America Sacred World: Fulfilling our Mission in Service to All, by Stephen Dinan (Avery, 2015). Selected for Fall 2016.


Simplicity: The Freedom of Letting Go, by Richard Rohr (Crossroads, 2003) $12.21 in paperback from (suggested by K. Forster)


Things Hidden: Scripture As Spirituality, by Richard Rohr (Saint Anthony Messenger Press, 2008). 238 pp. Selected for Winter-Spring 2010.


Uncommon Gratitude: Alleluia for All That Is, by Joan Chittister, Rowan Williams (Liturgical Press, 2010). $8 from (suggested by Thomas Heck)


What Jesus Meant, by Garry Wills (Viking, 2007). $10.40 in paperback from (suggested by B. Doering)


The Wisdom Way of Knowing: Reclaiming an Ancient Tradition to Awaken the Heart, by Cynthia Bourgeault (Jossey-Bass, 2003). $13.57 in hardcover from (suggested by K. Forster)