Southminster Reads 2019

Each summer the Adult Education program suggests a book for the entire congregation to read. In the early fall, we devote a worship service to discussing the book as a congregation. This summer, Southminster will be reading the book, Why Religion, A Personal Story by Elaine Pagels.

Pagels is a noted religious historian who joined the faculty of Princeton in 1982. She has researched early Christianity and Gnosticism, the study of the Gnostic texts discovered in Egypt in 1945, and the way that women have been viewed in Judeo-Christian history. She received a McArthur fellowship in 1980 and has written several books; her best-known work is The Gnostic Gospels, 1979.

Why Religion, A Personal Story, 2018, was written through the lens of 30 years of deep soul-searching after unimaginable personal losses, the death of her 6 years old son in 1987 from lung disease followed by the death of her husband in 1988 in a climbing accident. While drawing upon the perspectives of neurologists, anthropologists, and her own historical research, she blends her personal story with an examination of the influence of religion on the self, society, and how it affects the way one deals with loss and challenges. 

Why Religion? Is a deeply moving exploration of progressive religious beliefs and human experience that many of us will be able to relate to. The book is available at your local library and Amazon.

Join the Southminster Reads Group on Goodreads

Community Groups at Southminster

The Celebration of Creativity Annual Art Show – Started over 40 years ago by a small group at Southminster, the goal was to meet the need of local artists for a recurring professional venue and to make fine art available and affordable to the community. We also provide money for scholarships and art programs as part of its mission to promote local arts by supporting art education. The committee sponsors three scholarships for the Beaverton Arts Commission’s outstanding high school visual art students. In addition, the committee has supported the Beaverton School District Art Literacy Program for the past 16 years with volunteers and donations.

Over the years, this showcase of local and regional talent has grown to become one of the premier art shows in the Portland area, famous for its beautiful presentation, a wide variety of media, and an ever-changing array of artists.

The Art Show Committee of Southminster works year-round to produce the Celebration of Creativity, inviting both emerging and established artists after jurying. Visit

Book Discussion Group – The book discussion group meets the 2nd Monday of the month at 7:00 pm. We’re taking a break for the summer and will return in August. Stay tuned! Join the Book Discussion Group on Goodreads.

First Tuesday Book Group – Meets the first Tuesday of the month at 7:00 pm. Click here to view the 2019-2020 reading list PDF. You can also join our Group on

July 2:  Becoming by Michelle Obama

Becoming is the memoir of former United States First Lady Michelle Obama published in 2018. Described by the author as a deeply personal experience, the book talks about her roots and how she found her voice, as well as her time in the White House, her public health campaign, and her role as a mother. Reserve this title at your local library.

August 6:  Drift:  The Unmooring of American Military Power by Rachel Maddow

In her hard-hitting debut, popular MSNBC host Maddow examines how the country has lost control of its national-security policy. Written with bracing wit and intelligence, Rachel Maddow’s Drift argues that we’ve drifted away from America’s original ideals and become a nation weirdly at peace with perpetual war. Sensible yet provocative, dead serious yet seri­ously funny, Drift will reinvigorate a “loud and jangly” political debate about our vast and confounding national security state. Reserve this title at your local library.

Super Wednesdays –  An inclusive group who gather for discussion and friendship. As we are finding through research, friendships and socialization are imperative for maintaining a strong mind as we age. However, it’s never too early to start! Everyone is welcome and encouraged to join in regardless of age. The broader the span, the healthier the perspective. The group atmosphere is warm and accepting and embraces sharing. There is time for serious thought as well as time for laughter and joy. Come have a cup of coffee or tea and join the shared camaraderie. You’ll be glad you did. There is no commitment, just drop in Room 7, at 10:00 am on Wednesdays.

Water To Wine – Our most popular monthly social gathering where we sample wines from different regions. While we all learn a little more about wine, we think that the best part of the group is meeting fellow Southminsters in a relaxed social setting which lets us get to know each other better.

Women’s Retreat –  Southminster’s Women’s Retreat is an annual gathering of our community of women. Your retreat planning committee seeks to create a program to provide mind-body-soul connection and deepen our sense of community at Southminster. Our Women’s Retreat strives to be inclusive and invites all women (cis, trans, femme, and gender-non conforming) to join us! The dates for 2020 will be announced soon. Learn more about our most recent Women’s Retreat >>>