Join the First Church Library’s BOOK DISCUSSION group this fall and read
Unfollow: A Memoir of Loving and Leaving the Westboro Baptist Church
by Megan Phelps-Roper

At the age of five, Megan Phelps-Roper began protesting homosexuality and other alleged vices alongside fellow members of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas. Founded by her grandfather and consisting almost entirely of her extended family, the tiny group would gain worldwide notoriety for its pickets at military funerals and celebrations of death and tragedy. What made them tick and why did Megan finally leave the church?

No need to buy the book. The book is readily available. The Elmhurst Public Library has one copy and can order copies from other libraries. Just order from the library website using LinkIn, or talk to a librarian on the second floor. You will find this a riveting read.

JUST MERCY Discussion – November 17

An inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of justice.

For its first Book Discussion of the year, First Church Library has chosen JUST MERCY, A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson.

Join us at 3:30 pm on Sunday afternoon, November 17, for a spirited discussion led by Lola Hotchkis.  Gather in our refurbished Library in Room 101 on the Lower Level.

 From Google Books:  JUST MERCY is “a powerful, bold true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix America’s broken system of justice — from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time.

The US has the highest rate of incarceration in the world. The prison population has increased from 300,000 in the early 1970s to more than two million now. One in every 15 people is expected to go to prison. For black men, the most incarcerated group in America, this figure rises to one out of every three.

Bryan Stevenson grew up a member of a poor black community in the racially segregated South. He was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of the US’s criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young black man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, startling racial inequality, and legal brinksmanship — and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.

JUST MERCY is . . . an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted lawyer’s coming of age, a moving portrait of the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of justice.



What would it mean if First Church took this season seriously by turning our attention to God’s relationship with all creation and to our relationship with creation . . . and WITH God THROUGH creation.

Worship God with the oceans, animals, storms, the universe, and each other.

  • Sunday Morning Worship Series ~ 10:30 am
  • Spiritual Growth Groups ~ meeting twice monthly
  • Church Dinner & Habitat Restoration Program ~ Wed, Sep 4, 6-7pm
  • Grand Re-Opening of Church Library ~ Sun, Sep 8, 11:30 am
  • Pancake Breakfast, Youth Group Fundraiser to support Bridge Communities ~ Sun, Sep 15, 9-10:15 am
  • Clothing Closet ~ Thurs, Sep 5, 9-11am & 7-9pm; Sat, Sep 28. 9-11am
  • Grace Cafe ~ Mon, Sep 23, 5-6:30 pm

Malcolm X Book Discussion on March 31

“The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.”

Malcolm X


Doug Hotchkis will lead a discussion on The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X and Alex Haley. Originally published in 1964, Malcolm X tells the extraordinary story of his life and the growth of the Black Muslim movement. His fascinating perspective on the lies and limitations of the American Dream, and the inherent racism in a society that denies its nonwhite citizens the opportunity to dream, gives extraordinary insight into the most urgent issues we are still facing today.

The Autobiography of Malcolm X stands as the definitive statement of a movement and a man whose work was never completed but whose message is timeless. It is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand America.

No need to buy the book. The Elmhurst library has a copy and there are many copies available from our partner libraries through LINKin. However, if you are like Doug Hotchkis, you might want a copy for your own library so you can read it frequently.

NOTE:  The Church Library is undergoing restoration.  Please gather in Aldersgate for the Discussion.