In previous years a book was chosen each year by the Lilly Center and provided free of charge to all freshmen as well as to any interested upper class students, faculty or staff. Although this program has been discontinued, the books are still available in the Lilly Center's coffee house. The common reading is a work that supports the goals of the Lilly Center.
Many professors refered to the common reading during freshmen seminar programs. They were also used as a source of topics for faculty/staff retreats, for the Lilly freshmen retreats prior to enrollment, and as supplementary reading in other courses at the college. Student organizations frequently used the common reading as a basis for their own programs.
Feel free to come by and check out any of these books and many more in the Lilly Center Library!
Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation
by Parker J. Palmer
With wisdom, compassion, and gentle humor, Parker J. Palmer invites us to listen to the inner teacher and follow its leading toward a sense of meaning and purpose. Telling stories from his own life and the lives of others who have made a difference, he shares insights gained from darkness and depression as well as fulfillment and joy, illuminating a pathway toward vocation for all who seek the true calling of their lives.
Living a Life That Matters
by Harold S. Kushner
Harold S. Kushner (bestselling author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People) outlines a common human struggle between the need to feel successful and the need to think of oneself as a good person. Indeed, he relates, the biblical Jacob wrestled with the impulse to succeed through cleverness and fraud, and "to become someone exemplary." While the subtitle might be challenged can't success be more a matter of dedication than ruthlessness? Kushner's wide-ranging, occasionally meandering book fortunately focuses more on the basic question of a meaningful life. Drawing on the stories of his congregants, on literature, and current events, and above all, the Biblical story of Jacob, Kushner addresses some of the most persistent dilemmas of the human condition: Why do decent people so often violate their moral standards? How can we pursue justice without giving in to the lure of revenge? How can we turn our relationships with family and friends into genuine sources of meaning? Persuasive and sympathetic, filled with humanity and warmth, Living a Life That Matters is a deep rewarding book.
The Sacred Journey: A Memoir of Early Days
by Frederick Buechner
The Sacred Journey reflects on key moments of the Buechner's early life, from childhood to his entering seminary, that reveal how God speaks to us in a variety of ways every moment of every day.
Below is a list of sites that may be useful in exploring vocation, ministry, spiritual growth, and other topics of interest to the Lilly Center for Vocation and Values at Catawba College:
General Interest Sites
Home page of the United Church of Christ, with links to information on various types of ministries.
Website of the Fund for Theological Education, Inc. The site provides information on programs and scholarships for college and seminary students.
Information and reflection on selected projects funded by Lilly Endowment, Inc.
Website of the Hartford Institute at Hartford Seminary. The institute is committed to providing social-scientific-religious research information helpful to both religious leaders and the general public.
Resources and links for enhancing the teaching of theology and religion in higher education.
Website of Auburn Seminary which encourages thoughtful conversation across the often divisive boundaries of faith, race, class, and gender.
Leadership Education at Duke Divinity.
Resources for exploring a way of life shaped by Christian practices. Includes application instructions for grant funding to support ventures in teaching and learning Christian practices in diverse contexts.
Website of the Center for Theological Inquiry in Princeton, New Jersey.
Coordination website of Programs for the Theological Exploration of Vocation, an initiative of the Lilly Endowment, Inc.
"Aleph" is the website for the center for Jewish renewal, with resources on religious, liturgical, ecological, social and political issues.
"Jewishhealing" offers links dedicated to spirituality, healing, and meditation.
"Ritualwell" is a well-designed Jewish feminist site offering creative rituals and contemporary interpretations of Jewish festivals and lifecycles, with links to informative and thoughtful explanations.