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Yay Book Clubs!

It was a highlight to attend two book club meetings this month!

Thank you to the ladies in Barrie and in Cobourg, Ontario!

I am constantly amazed at the amount read by book club members, how informed they are, and how they connect to Forgotten Followers from Broken to Bold in different ways.

I look forward to more of these discussions!

women in chairs
Discussion and Book Signing at St Margaret's Anglican Church, Barrie
4 women
Book Club Leader, Church Clergy, Elaine Kelly, and Discussion Facilitator

In Barrie, we talked about the brothers and sisters of Jesus, potential rivalries between them and Jesus and their mother, and divisions in our families today. We imagined what it might have been like for woman disciples of Jesus. We talked about the themes of purity and impurity, how the laws and customs of Jesus's day kept the Jews separate from foreigners, and how Jesus reached out to include foreigners. We discussed the ordination of women, affirming LGBT and how God looks not at outward appearance but at the heart.

Thank you to my sister, Laurie Vandenhurk, for arranging this event with Rev. Susan Snelling and their Book Club Coordinator Michelle.

“Books can be dangerous. The best ones should be labelled ‘This could change your life’.

- Helen Exley -

book cover
Book club promo

In Cobourg, our conversations ranged as we talked about the rights of women in the first century and today. We looked at how Mary, the mother of Jesus, may have been a leader in the early church. We discussed women being able to inherit or own land in the first century and when women were able to open a bank account and get a loan in North America in the 1970s. We compared the Roman cultural hierarchy largely basing power on wealth vs. today's hierarchies based on gender. We discussed how Jesus faced off against religious leaders who jockeyed for power and modeled how to live in equality, serving one another, and loving one another. We talked about how the church today could be more like Jesus.

ladies group
Northumberland Book club
ladies book club
New generations of readers

After discussions and refreshments, we were up for playing a game with the concepts of gender and religion by using the flashcards in The Sword: A Fun Way to Engage in Healthy Debate on What the Bible Says About a Woman's Role. Have you ever actually cut up the pages of your own book? It was exciting! The Sword is a book that is easy to read, containing sound bites giving the same opportunities for opposing views to thrust their arguments with a sword card and deflect it with a shield card. The playing card show Complementarian/patriarchal and Egalitarian interpretations, side by side.

The book proposes matching the design of their sword/shield and number. It can be used as a very simple type of Rummy (collect pairs and lay them down on the table before anyone else). This group wanted to do more than match numbers - they wanted to read an argument, see who had the best matching argument, and earn points for the game. I may have to write up some new game rules for those who want this kind of lively discussion. We had such a lot of laughs!

cutting a book
Cutting up the pages of my book: The Sword
cutting up a book
Laughing while talking books and ideas

Thank you to my daughter Erin for arranging this event, Deborah for hosting, and the Northumberland book club, who picked my book for their meeting this month. Erin is also the designer of the front cover of both of my books and you can explore her design and marketing services at Story Unlocked. You can find out more about their book club here.

2 women
Elaine Kelly, Erin Law, Book Club Organizer
The Sword, cut into cards for discussion

I am looking forward to meeting and reflecting with more readers through book clubs!

Please contact me if you would like me to host a Facebook online book discussion with you and your friends.

How is a book like a card game? The video shows Complementarian/Egalitarian card suites, each with an equal number of swords to thrust an argument and shields to deflect it.


Elaine Ricker Kelly uses her experiences as a woman in business to inspire and empower women at home, church and society. She was an investment and insurance advisor for thirty years, has three grown daughters, and is passionate about writing to encourage girls and women in leadership. Elaine R. Kelly lives near Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, with her husband and lap dog. She and her husband have hiked the 900 km Bruce Trail and enjoy hiking, nature, tennis, music, history and culture.

Books by Elaine Ricker Kelly:

Forgotten Followers from Broken to Bold - biblical fiction offering hope and healing to anyone who feels forgotten, belittled, or out of place.

The Sword: A Fun Way to Engage in Healthy Debate on What the Bible Says About a Woman's Role - provides 104 flashcards with an objective, memorable look at the rationale for diverse views on gender roles.


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