Renovare

Read with .

Journey through four soul-shaping, Christ-centered books.

October 2021 – June 2022. Begins October 4

Membership Includes

Notebook Reading schedule, email reminders, study guides, podcasts, and essays.
Lighthouse Exclusive content from the author or seasoned guide.
Notebook Thoughtful discussion with other Book Club members.

This Season’s Soul-Stretching Books

Chosen by the Renovaré Book Club Selection Committee

Deeply formed life
Session 1 October 4–November 19
The Deeply Formed Life : Five Transformative Values to Root Us in the Way of Jesus
by Rich Villodas
Rich villodas Facilitated by Rich Villodas
Journal of john woolman cover
Session 2 December 6–February 4
The Journal and Major Essays of John Woolman
by Phillips P. Moulton
Jon r kershner Facilitated by Jon R. Kershner
Session 3 February 8–April 10
A Burning in My Bones : The Authorized Biography of Eugene H. Peterson, Translator of The Message
by Winn Collier
Winn Collier Facilitated by Winn Collier
Renovation of the heart 20th
Session 4 April 12–June 5
Renovation of the Heart : Putting On the Character of Christ
by Dallas Willard
Gary Casual Copy Facilitated by Gary Moon + Renovaré Ministry Team Members

Meet the Facilitators

Arends Headshot Couch1

Carolyn Arends

Overall Faciliator

Carolyn Arends oversees the Renovaré Institute for Christian Spiritual Formation as well as several other Renovaré initiatives, including the Book Club. She is also a recording artist, speaker, author, and
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Rich villodas

Rich Villodas

Rich Villodas is the Brooklyn-born lead pastor of New Life Fellowship, a large multiracial church with more than seventy-five countries represented in Elmhurst, Queens. Rich holds a Master of Divinity
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Jon r kershner

Jon R. Kershner

Dr. Jon R. Kershner, a Washington native, earned a B.A. in Christian Ministries from George Fox University and a M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in Theology from
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Winn Collier

Winn Collier

Winn Collier loves the church and beauty and all the things that make up being human in God’s verdant, sacred world. A pastor for over 25 years, Winn was the
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Gary Casual Copy

Gary Moon

Gary W. Moon, M.Div. Ph.D. served as the founding Executive Director of the Martin Institute for Christianity and Culture and the Dallas Willard Center for Christian Spiritual Formation at Westmont
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Rich villodas

Rich Villodas

Rich Villodas is the Brooklyn-born lead pastor of New Life Fellowship, a large multiracial church with more than seventy-five countries represented in Elmhurst, Queens. Rich holds a Master of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary. He enjoys reading widely, preaching and writing on contemplative spirituality, justice-related matters, and the art of preaching. He’s been married to Rosie since 2006 and they have two beautiful children, Karis and Nathan.

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Jon r kershner

Jon R. Kershner

Dr. Jon R. Kershner, a Washington native, earned a B.A. in Christian Ministries from George Fox University and a M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in Theology from the University of Birmingham (UK). He’s served as a Quaker pastor and has appointments as Faculty Fellow at Pacific Lutheran University, Honorary Researcher in Theology at Lancaster University (UK), and Recognized Supervisor at the University of Birmingham (UK). His writings have been featured in several academic journals, and in 2018 Oxford University Press published his book John Woolman and the Government of Christ: A Colonial Quaker’s Vision for the British Atlantic World. In addition, he has written more than 20 publications on mysticism, spirituality, and theology and presented them before broad audiences. He enjoys hiking, camping, and gardening with his wife and two young daughters. You can see pictures of his travels and find out more about his work at www​.Jon​RK​er​sh​n​er​.com

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Winn Collier

Winn Collier

Winn loves the church and beauty and all the things that make up being human in God’s verdant, sacred world. A pastor for over 25 years, Winn was the founding pastor of All Souls in Charlottesville, Virginia, and also serves as the founding director of The Genesis Project, a community providing circles of friendship and contemplation for pastors and writers. The thread through all of his work is delight in the God who exists as the blazing center of everything that is good, beautiful and true.

His teaching centers in pastoral theology, connecting the ancient streams of Christian wisdom to the grit and wonders of the parish, where our stories and hopes and sorrows are enveloped in God’s mercy. He’s also drawn to the intersections of sacramental theology, incarnation, theology of place and the writing craft. Winn holds a PhD. from the University of Virginia in Religion & Literature, where he explored the sacramental vision of Wendell Berry’s fiction. He’s authored five books (theology, creative non-fiction, fiction and biography): Restless Faith: Hanging on to a God Just Out of Reach; Let God: Spiritual Conversations with François Fénelon; Holy Curiosity: Encountering Jesus’ Provocative Questions; Love Big, Be Well: Letters to a Small Town Church and A Burning in My Bones: The Authorized Biography of Eugene H. Peterson. He has also written for Christian Century, Christianity Today, Washington Post and numerous other outlets.

Winn and his wife Miska, a spiritual director and yoga teacher, have two sons (Wyatt and Seth) and live in Holland, Michigan. When they aren’t chasing down their dog Gus (a nod to St. Augustine) or planning their next hike in Colorado or walking tour in Scotland, you’ll likely find them with a good book, exploring a new restaurant or watching Chef’s Table.

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Arends Headshot Couch1

Carolyn Arends

Carolyn Arends is Renovaré’s Director of Education.

As a songwriter and author, she is known for messages, songs, and books that stir the soul, and a warm, engaging style that leaves her audiences feeling like they’ve found a new best friend. She has written and released 14 albums and is the author of 3 critically acclaimed books. 15 of Carolyn’s songs have become top 10 radio singles on the Canadian pop and US Christian charts. Carolyn has earned 2 Dove Awards, 3 Juno Nominations, and was recognized as the West Coast Music Awards’ Songwriter of the Year. Her prose has been recognized by The Word Guild, The Evangelical Press Association and The Canadian Church Press Awards.

In addition to her busy touring and speaking schedule, Carolyn has been a regular columnist for Christianity Today and is an adjunct professor at ACTS Seminary, Pacific Life Bible College, and Columbia Bible College. She has a degree in Psychology and English from Trinity Western University and a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Regent College. She lives in Surrey, BC with her husband, Mark, and their children Benjamin and Bethany.

In her role as the Director of Education for Renovaré, Carolyn oversees the Renovaré Institute for Christian Spiritual Formation, the Renovaré Book Club, and various other initiatives.

She continues to speak, sing, facilitate retreats, and lead songwriting and performance seminars. 

Carolyn in Action

On learning to listen to and focus on God:

On being willing to be willing:

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Past participants said

The most meaningful thing about the Renovaré Book Club was...

Exposure to diverse thoughts and opinions. Incredible depth of some respondents.”
Being introduced to books that I normally would not read. It stretched me spiritually. It was a growing and great experience.”
It broadened my diversity experience in the Church.”
Finding like-minded Christians trying to thrive in a consumer-driven environment”
Insights I gained into love, perseverance thru suffering, thankfulness, non-violence, understanding the thinking of ancient times…”
How these books helped me to more fully understand the presence of God in my life and begin to include Him more in my daily experiences.”
Personal growth and that of others in the club. Our group members’ relationship to Jesus went into overdrive!”
Being challenged to rethink my walk with the Lord and draw closer to him through more meaningful prayer and transformation of my mind.”
In addition to reading four books (yay!), I have noticed my shift in thinking.… becoming closer to Jesus. It was very beneficial.”
Meeting with a group of people who were reading and wrestling with the material alongside me. It made for rich conversations. Others took notice of things that I missed.”
Person Posting Online

A Safe Space to Go Deeper

The Internet can be a scary place sometimes, especially when it comes to discussing close-to-the-heart topics. The Renovaré Book Club strives to create a space where people ask without fear, seek understanding, and honor one another even if there is disagreement.

You can choose to participate in a members-only online forum, an in-person or online small group, or no group at all and simply follow along and enjoy the resources. It's up to you.

Meaningful Small Group Discussions

Members may optionally join a small discussion group run by a volunteer coordinator. These video or in-person groups typically meet once a month at different times.

(In-person meeting protocols are decided by the volunteer coordinators and members, who are encouraged to abide by local health recommendations. Renovaré connects coordinators with members but does not oversee groups.)

View Times & Locations

Join the 2020-21 Renovaré Book Club

Questions & Answers

General

What is Renovaré?

Founded by Celebration of Discipline author Richard J. Foster, Renovaré is a Christian nonprofit that creates resources and kindles communities which help people become more like Jesus. Learn more about Renovaré.

What are the benefits of Membership?

Membership includes reading schedule with email reminders, study guides, podcasts, essays and a members-only discussion forum where you can interact with other members and the Renovaré team members leading the sessions. Membership also includes access to volunteer-led meet-up groups — virtual or in-person (when safe) — in select areas.

Timing (Start Date, Ship Dates)

When does the Book Club begin? Can I join anytime?

Registration will open on August 262021.

Our 2021 – 22 season will begin on October 4, with our first week of reading beginning on October 11. You may join any time during the season and have access to the bonus features of all four books (articles and podcasts, as well as discussion board conversations). 

Due to the event-like nature of the Book Club, memberships are not returnable/​refundable. Thanks for your understanding and for your support of the work of Renovaré.

When Should I Order to Get the First Book?

Join by September 27, 2020 so that you will most likely receive your book by the day we start reading the first book — October 11, 2020. (The first week of club, beginning Oct 4, is a prep week.)

I purchased a "with-book" membership before September 27. When will my book come?

Thank you for your order. Books are shipping out as we receive them. You should receive an email notification once your book ships, and it should arrive within a 2‑week window. If you’ve been waiting longer than 2 weeks after your email notification, please let us know at [email protected]​renovare.​org so we can investigate.

How long will I have access to the Book Club resources and discussions?

Once you join, you will have perpetual access to this season’s resources and access to the discussion forums throughout the summer. We leave everything accessible on the Book Club dashboard through early September. 

Once we archive all of the resources, we send members a link to access them going forward. We do not preserve the discussion boards past the summer.

Books

Are books included with Membership?

Memberships that include the first book (The Deeply Formed Life by Rich Villodas) are currently available for purchase. Members who chose this option must still purchase or otherwise obtain the final three books of the season.

Books may be borrowed from your local library, purchased at your local bookseller, or purchased using Amazon or CBD links on the Book Club purchase page (links support Renovaré). All of this season’s books are available in ebook format through online retailers as well (please note: The edition we’re using of John Woolman’s Journal is only available through the publisher link on the purchase page — the discount for Book Club members still applies).

Does it matter which editions of the books I use?

Readers often find it easier to use the recommended editions, as page numbers and other details can be edition-specific. If you use an edition other than the one recommended, you may need to do some adaptation. 

Note: We are also aware that our readers are increasingly using eBook versions of the texts, and we will do our best to make the reading assignments make sense for the digital versions of our chosen editions as well.

I have an older version of Renovation of the Heart. Do I need the new one?

In the case of Renovation of the Heart, our understanding is that the new anniversary edition includes a new forward and epilogue, but the main text should be largely unchanged from previous editions. Page numbers will vary, but otherwise the older edition will work just fine.

Tell me more about shipping books ...

With-book memberships only include the first book, The Deeply Formed Life. You will receive an email notification when your book ships, which will begin in mid-September.

We ship via USPS media mail when possible. We have noticed that shipping times seem to have increased during this COVID-19 season, so we appreciate your patience. Most US addresses will receive their books within 7 – 10 days. International addresses can take 14+ business days to arrive.

All other books of the season must be sourced by members
. Please visit your local bookseller or library to obtain them or see our books page to learn more about ordering books online.

Local Meet Ups

Virtual and in-person groups: How do they work? When do they meet? Does Renovaré facilitate them?

We have been greatly encouraged by the local communities, led by our wonderful member-volunteers.

Due to varying local COVID-19 guidelines, we are again offering our volunteer hosts the option of hosting an online-only meet-up (open to members across the globe) or a local in-person meet-up. Renovaré publishes the list of volunteers and the meet-up times and days but does not have a direct role in hosting the groups.

That said, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Your membership fee covers the study guide, podcasts, essays, weekly reminders, and access to the online community. Meet-ups, whether virtual or in-person, are a free bonus to the Book Club made possible by volunteers. Because of that, Renovaré cannot accept responsibility for individuals’ experiences — whether as host or participant — in a Book Club group.

New volunteers are signing up to lead all the time, so do continue to check the listings as we draw nearer to the start date. If you would like to volunteer to lead a group online or in-person, please use this Group Coordinator Application Form.

We expect our Book Club members to treat one another as Jesus would, with the highest level of honor and respect. Any sort of abuse or harassment will not be tolerated — whether in-person or online.

Thank you!

How do I find out if there is a meetup group in my area?

A map is available at ren​o​vare​.org/​b​o​o​k​c​l​u​b​/​l​o​c​a​tions. You must be a member of the Book Club to contact local volunteer hosts about meet-up times and locations. Thanks!

How The Book Club Works

Who chooses the books?

Each year the Renovaré Book Club Selection Committee, which includes Carolyn Arends, Richard Foster, and other Renovaré team members, meets and chooses the titles for the Book Club. Dozens of new and classic books are considered and carefully narrowed down to four choices. This is an independent selection process — no publisher can pay to have its book included.

Who are the moderators of the Book Club? Can I interact with them online?

Each session has a facilitator (either the author or an expert on the book) who will help you grow as you read each title. They provide bonus articles and podcast messages about the book, but they do not engage on the discussion forums. You will have an opportunity to post a question for the facilitator that might be included in each session’s third and final podcast/​webcast, which is driven by members’ questions.

Our Renovaré staff work together to moderate the discussion board and engage as they are able. Renovaré team members will be hosting one member-wide video meet-up for each book. Information on these will be posted once we launch the Club officially in October.

Finally, our regional virtual and in-person meet-up groups are coordinated by volunteer Book Club members.

How do I access downloads and participate in the discussions?

All resources and discussion are through a special Book Club members website. Members receive their login information via email a few days prior to the opening day of the Book Club (date coming soon).

What is the time commitment when I join the Book Club? Do I have to participate at a certain time or day of the week?

The Renovaré Book Club can fit just about any schedule. We read each book over six weeks but include a prep week at the start and a wrap-up week at the end, so there is plenty of cushion. The reading assignments” are not more than 50 pages per week.

At the beginning of each book, our members receive an outline of the proposed reading schedule. Every Monday, we send out an update that includes: 

  • A reminder of that week’s reading assignment 
  • A supplementary resource (usually an article or a podcast) from that book’s facilitator 
  • (Sometimes) optional bonus resources for members who want to go deeper 
  • A discussion question for those who wish to engage in online discussion.

All of the resources, once posted, are available all season. There are no live” online discussions (members can post at any time), and you may engage as much or as little as you would like online.

Members who participate in a virtual or in-person meet-up led by a volunteer coordinator will gather once-a-month at a time and day determined by the volunteer. A list of volunteer-led groups will be available soon.

Can I use the Club for my pre-existing book club or small group?

We do not have a flat-fee licensing system for our current Book Club. We do offer an expanding collection of Book Club materials from previous Book Club books that you may purchase for your group. You may find them here: Interactive Book Study Guides

That said, we’d also love it if any or all of your group were to join the 2021 – 22 season, and we can certainly set up your own online discussion forum group if you do.

Other Questions

Can I purchase a Book Club Membership as a gift for someone else?

Yes. Thank you for wanting to give a membership to the Renovaré Book Club!

At this time, if you would like to give a gift membership to the Book Club, please use the regular Join” link at ren​o​vare​.org/​b​o​o​kclub and enter your recipient’s information (name and email) with your information for billing. 

I have another question.

Justine Olawsky is glad to help. Email her at [email protected]​renovare.​org.

Journey through four soul-shaping, Christ-centered books.

Join Book Club
Join by September 30 to Get First Book