faith in action

Church and Society Offers New Book Study Initiative

The General Board of Church and Society invites you to join its first book study cohort called PAGES FOR PROGRESS.

pages for progress featured logo

This program is now at full capacity and registration is closed. Stay connected for announcements on upcoming educational programs.

Pages For Progress

This is not your typical book club. Pages For Progress is a book to action series of sessions that focus on works to educate and encourage action as well as learning and discussion.

Meeting every three weeks, participants will discuss a selected book, dive deeper into the topic, and explore content with a theological lens. Sessions will also feature learnings on what is happening now as it relates to the book and how to engage in meaningful action.

At the end of the study, Church and Society plans to create a resource study guide inspired by Pages for Progress conversations for others to study the book and take action. Participants are required to attend all meetings ready to discuss, stretch and grow together.

The first book chosen for the Pages For Progress cohort is “The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together” by Heather McGhee.

Description of the book:

Below is the book cover review excerpt, Heather McGhee. The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together, One World, 2021.

“Heather McGhee’s specialty is the American economy—and the mystery of why it so often fails the American public. From the financial crisis of 2008 to rising student debt to collapsing public infrastructure, she found a root problem: racism in our politics and policymaking. But not just in the most obvious indignities for people of color. Racism has costs for white people, too. It is the common denominator of our most vexing public problems, the core dysfunction of our democracy, and constitutive of the spiritual and moral crises that grip us all. But how did this happen? And is there a way out?

McGhee embarks on a deeply personal journey across the country from Maine to Mississippi to California, tallying what we lose when we buy into the zero-sum paradigm—the idea that progress for some of us must come at the expense of others. Along the way, she meets white people who confide in her about losing their homes, their dreams, and their shot at better jobs to the toxic mix of American racism and greed.

This is the story of how public goods in this country—from parks and pools to functioning schools—have become private luxuries; of how unions collapsed, wages stagnated, and inequality increased; and of how this country, unique among the world’s advanced economies, has thwarted universal healthcare.

But in unlikely places of worship and work, McGhee finds proof of what she calls the Solidarity Dividend: the benefits we gain when people come together across race to accomplish what we simply can’t do on our own.

The Sum of Us is not only a brilliant analysis of how we arrived here but also a heartfelt message, delivered with startling empathy, from a black woman to a multiracial America. It leaves us with a new vision for a future in which we finally realize that life can be more than a zero-sum game.”

The book is available at your local bookshop or on Amazon

Virtual Meeting Dates:

Thursdays (7 PM-8:30 PM Eastern)

October 26 (Introduction, Chapter 3)

November 9 (Chapter 4 - Chapter 6)

November 30 (Chapter 7 - Chapter 10)

December 14 (Closing & Next Steps)

Registration Date:
Start week of September 25 - End October 12, 2023. Due to the conversational nature of this group, limited space is available.

Pages For Progress will meet quarterly and a new book will be discussed each quarter.

Contact Aimee Hong, Senior Executive Director of Education & Engagement ( for more information.