Discussion Guidelines (downloadable PDF):  Small group discussion facilitators should use this guide to shape a conversation that works for the whole group.

Forward Movement resources

Books for further study

Session 1

The Creed: What Christians Believe and Why it Matters by Luke Timothy Johnson. Image, 2007.

The Heart of Christianity by Marcus J. Borg. HarperOne, 2004.

Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense by N.T. Wright. HarperOne, 2010.

Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott. Anchor Books, 2000.

Sessions 2-3

The Creed: What Christians Believe and Why it Matters by Luke Timothy Johnson.

Jesus: A Pilgrimage by James Martin. HarperOne, 2014.

Jesus: A Very Short Introduction by Richard Bauckham. Oxford University Press, 2011.

Jesus the Savior: The Meaning of Jesus Christ for Christian Faith by William Placher. Westminster John Knox Press, 2001.

Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time by Marcus Borg. HarperCollins, 1994.

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis.

The Secret Message of Jesus: Uncovering the Truth that Could Change Everything by Brian McLaren. Thomas Nelson, 2007.

Session 4

Crossing the Jordan: Meditations on Vocation by Sam Portaro. Cowley Publications, 1999.

Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation by Parker Palmer. Jossey-Bass, 1999.

Listening Hearts: Discerning Call in Community edited by Suzanne Farnham. Morehouse Publications, 2011.

Session 5

The Bible Challenge: Read the Bible in a Year by Marek Zabriskie. Forward Movement, 2012.

The Good Book: Discovering the Bible’s Place in Our Lives by Peter Gomes. HarperOne, 2002.

The Heart of Christianity by Marcus J. Borg.

Opening the Bible by Roger Ferlo. Cowley Publication, 1997.

Session 6

An Altar in the World by Barbara Brown Taylor. HarperOne, 2010.

The Heart of Christianity by Marcus J. Borg.

Practicing our Faith by Dorothy Bass. Jossey-Bass, 2010.

Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home by Richard Foster. Zondervan, 2002.

Praying in Color by Sybil MacBeth, Writing to God by Rachel Hackenberg, and other books in the Active Prayer Series. Paraclete Press, 2010.

Session 7

The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis.

When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Harold Kushner. Anchor, 2004.

Where is God When it Hurts? by Philip Yancey. Zondervan, 2002.

Session 8

The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis.

Heaven: Our Enduring Fascination with the Afterlife by Lisa Miller. Harper Perennial, 2011.

Love Wins by Rob Bell. HarperOne, 2012.

Surprised by Hope by N.T. Wright. Zondervan, 2010.

Session 9

Church: Why Bother? by Philip Yancey. Zondervan, 2001.

Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. 

Bonus Session

The Episcopal Handbook. Morehouse Publishing, 2015.

Episcopal Questions, Episcopal Answers by Ian Markham. Morehouse Publishing, 2014.

Welcome to The Episcopal Church by Christopher Webber. Morehouse Publishing, 1999.

Session 3 (downloadable PDF)

Easter Message by John Chrysostom


About the Authors

Melody Wilson Shobe is an Episcopal priest who has served churches in Rhode Island and Texas. A graduate of Tufts University and Virginia Theological Seminary, Melody is currently working on curriculum development for Forward Movement. Melody, her husband, and their two daughters live in Dallas, Texas, where she spends her spare time reading stories, building forts, conquering playgrounds, baking cookies, and exploring nature.

Scott Gunn is executive director at Forward Movement, a ministry of The Episcopal Church inspiring disciples and empowering evangelists. Before coming to Forward Movement, Scott was a parish priest in Rhode Island. Educated at Luther College, Yale Divinity School, and Brown University, he is passionate about travel, photography, and technology, along with working to reinvigorate the life of the church. He blogs at


About Forward Movement

Forward Movement is committed to inspiring disciples and empowering evangelists. While we produce many resources, Forward Movement is not a publishing company. We are a ministry.

Our mission is to support you in your spiritual journey, to help you grow as a follower of Jesus Christ. Publishing books, daily reflections, studies for small groups, and online resources is an important way that we live out this ministry. More than a half million people read our daily devotional Forward Day by Day, which is also available in Spanish (Adelante Día a Día) and Braille, on our website, through Twitter and Facebook, as a podcast, and as an app for your smartphones or tablets. It is mailed to more than fifty countries, and we donate nearly 30,000 copies each quarter to prisons, hospitals, nursing homes, and deployed military personnel.

A ministry of The Episcopal Church for more than eighty years, Forward Movement is a nonprofit organization funded by sales and gifts from generous donors. To learn more about Forward Movement and our resources, please visit us at (or

We are delighted to be doing this work and invite your prayers and support. Please contact us to learn more, or if you have questions, comments, or suggestions.