Online Book Studies

Braving the Wilderness – The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone by Brene Brown


Led By:  Ann Axman and Pattie McGurk   on Zoom

Dates:  Wednesday October 14, 21, 28 and November 4

Time:  12:05 – 12:55 p.m. CST (Feel free to eat your lunch while on the zoom meeting)

Fee: $20 (Participants will need to provide their own book for the study)

“True belonging doesn’t require us to change who we are. It requires us to be who we are.” Social scientist Brené Brown, PhD, LMSW, has sparked a global conversation about the experiences that bring meaning to our lives—experiences of courage, vulnerability, love, belonging, shame, and empathy. In Braving the Wilderness, Brown redefines what it means to truly belong in an age of increased polarization. With her trademark mix of research, storytelling, and honesty, Brown will again change the cultural conversation while mapping a clear path to true belonging.

Brown argues that we’re experiencing a spiritual crisis of disconnection, and introduces four practices of true belonging that challenge everything we believe about ourselves and each other. She writes, “True belonging requires us to believe in and belong to ourselves so fully that we can find sacredness both in being a part of something and in standing alone when necessary. But in a culture that’s rife with perfectionism and pleasing, and with the erosion of civility, it’s easy to stay quiet, hide in our ideological bunkers, or fit in rather than show up as our true selves and brave the wilderness of uncertainty and criticism. But true belonging is not something we negotiate or accomplish with others; it’s a daily practice that demands integrity and authenticity. It’s a personal commitment that we carry in our hearts.” Brown offers us the clarity and courage we need to find our way back to ourselves and to each other. And that path cuts right through the wilderness. Brown writes, “The wilderness is an untamed, unpredictable place of solitude and searching. It is a place as dangerous as it is breathtaking, a place as sought after as it is feared. But it turns out to be the place of true belonging, and it’s the bravest and most sacred place you will ever stand.”

God and I: Exploring the Connections Between God, Self and Ego by Philip St. Romain

Led By:  Philip St. Romain

Dates: Thursday October 22,29 November 5,12 and 19

Time: 12:05 – 12:55 p.m. CST (Feel free to eat your lunch while on the zoom meeting)


This book explores the meaning of these terms and relationships between them, pointing to a foundational understanding for Christian spirituality. There are 9 chapters in the book, each with questions for discussion as well as spiritual exercises to help provide clarifying experience of the material, which participants will have an opportunity to share if they’d like. We used this book as a text for spiritual directors in our training program at Heartland Center for Spirituality and participants found it very helpful.

– participants wil receive a free PDF version of the book, paperback and other purchase options can be found here.

To register for either book study use the form below.  You will be sent an e-mail with details after your registration is complete.