recommended reading according to John Parker

People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn

Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation by Parker Palmer

A Sacred Voice is Calling: Personal Vocation and Social Conscience by John Neafsey

The Holy Bible (NRSV)

Tao te Ching, Red Pine translation

Building Communities From the Inside Out: A Path Toward Finding and Mobilizing a Community’s Assets by John Kretzmann and John McKnight

Helping Children Succeed: What Works and Why (among other titles) by Paul Tough

Community: The Structure of Belonging by Peter Block

The Abundant Community: Awakening the Power of Families and Neighborhoods by John McKnight and Peter Block

Jesus and the Disinherited by Howard Thurman.  Really, anything by or about Howard Thurman

A Testament of Hope:  The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Anything by bell hooks, Howard Thurman, Ched Myers, Gary Snyder, Richard Horsley, Walter Brueggemann, Wendell Berry, and Henri Nouwen

Ordinary Places, Sacred Spaces by Evelyn Mattern

Why Not Become Fire? Encounters With Women Mystics by Evelyn Mattern and Helen David Brancato

Blood Done Sign My Name by Tim Tyson (particularly for Southerners and residents of North Carolina)

Choosing Civility: the 25 Rules of Considerate Conduct by P.M. Forni

Earth Prayers from Around the World: 365 Prayers, Poems, and Invocations for Honoring the Earth edited by Elizabeth Roberts and Elias Amidon

     I am happy to recommend additional good books and resources, depending on your interests.  Here are some additional titles I’d recommend for engaged Christians:

Manna and Mercy: A Brief History of God’s Unfolding Promise to Mend the Entire Universe by Daniel Erlander

Smaller Churches: Real Possibilities for Hard Times by David Ray

A Nazareth Manifesto: Being With God by Samuel Wells

“Come Out, My People!” God’s Call out of Empire in the Bible and Beyond by Wes Howard-Brook

The New Testament: Introducing the Way of Discipleship, edited by Wes Howard Brook and Sharon Ringe with multiple commentaries

Covenant Economics: A Biblical Vision of Justice for All by Richard Horsley

Sabbath and Jubilee by Richard Lowery

Christ Wisdom: Spiritual Practices in the Beatitudes and the Lord’s Prayer by Christopher Page

The Prayer that Jesus Taught Us (about the Lord’s Prayer) by Michael Crosby

Spirituality of the Beatitudes: Matthew’s Vision for the Church in an Unjust World by Michael Crosby

Rewilding the Way: Break Free to Follow an Untamed God by Todd Wynward

Christianity, Wilderness, and Wildlife by Susan Bratton (for those environmentally inclined)

Food and Faith: A Theology of Eating by Norman Wirzba

Shalom and the Community of Creation: An Indigenous Vision by Randy Woodley

Calling on God: Inclusive Christian Prayers for Three Years of Sundays by Peter Bankson and Deborah Sokolove

Faith-Rooted Organizing: Mobilizing the Church in Service to the World by Alexia Salvatierra and Peter Heltzel

Celtic Christianity: A Scared Tradition, A Vision of Hope by Timothy Joyce

The Vinedresser’s Notebook: Spiritual Lessons in Pruning, Waiting, Harvesting, and Abundance by Judith Sutera

Between Cross and Resurrection: A Theology of Holy Saturday by Alan Lewis

What the Mystics Know by Richard Rohr