Life’s busy, really too busy to waste time on bad books, and The Sisters of Katie Luther are here to help! Feel free to eavesdrop on Sandra Ostapowich, Holly Scheer, Bethany Kilcrease, Tabitha Moldenhauer, and Ellie Corrow as they use technology available to regularly e-chat about books we’ve chosen to read and discuss together. These reviews are informal, probably slightly snarky, but always informative, and designed to help you determine what is worth your consideration. Pull up a chair, a cup of tea, or something else, if you prefer, and help yourself to our conclusions, as we explore what is on offer.
Our book this time is “Pew Sisters” by Katie Schuermann. Read through the post for an opportunity to win your very own copy!
Katie’s bio from CPH tells us a little about her, “Honest, sincere, and lyrical, Katie’s writing reflects her Midwestern roots and her interest in the arts. After earning graduate degrees in music, she taught music history and literature at various colleges, directed children’s theater camps, and sang in various concert halls, theaters, and churches across the Midwest.
While Katie’s upbringing and curriculum vitae factor heavily into her writing, it is her Lutheran confession of faith in the Triune God that readers have come to expect and trust in her writing.
When she’s not working on a writing project, Katie can be found gardening, cooking, hiking, singing, and enjoying fellowship with friends and family.”
In addition to Pew Sisters, Katie has written a book on fertility issues and faith He Remembers the Barren as well as a blog by the same name. She also has a fiction series with two titles, available from CPH as well.
Let’s start with the good.
Many women like chocolate and wine, enjoy knitting, and despise doing laundry we also like having Bible studies that address real-life concerns with depth and substance. We certainly wouldn’t want to deny that women have a distinct perspective on life and can empathize with certain life experiences more easily than men might. Here, Pew Sisters shines, by showcasing brief cameos from a number of women’s lives to illustrate God’s forgiveness and love for us in Christ.
Pew Sisters has a refreshing emphasis on the Gospel and on the Liturgy. This is good and beneficial for the intended audience. The book also draws on the many unique strengths of women. Over and over again, she points the reader to Christ and Him crucified for their sins and the comfort that comes from God’s Word — especially the familiar verses from the historic liturgy. Since Katie is also a very gifted soprano, it only makes sense that she would also include verses from hymns to round out the many ways we are reminded of God’s mercy and forgiveness.
The included discussion questions (with answers!) includes thoughtful responses drafted by pastors. They’re not at all condescending and would work well for solo or group use. And even if a study group is led by a layperson, Pew Sisters provides gentle instruction and words of pastoral care so that there’s an easy resource for faithful explanations. The questions themselves facilitate meaningful conversations amongst a group of ladies that will allow them to get to know each other better without putting anyone in uncomfortable hot seats.
Each chapter concludes with a summary. These summaries are absolutely not to be skipped– they’re strong, important parts of the chapters!
And now for the bad…
This book shouldn’t be read all in one sitting. It’s better to read a chapter, let it digest, and come back for more. The short stories are more poignant when they’re spaced out and the conversation had before moving on to the next one. If you’re looking for a book to binge read you will miss the best of this book.
The answers to the discussion questions have a little different flavor than the chapters, since the study guide was written by pastors and not Katie. If you’re looking for her voice there, please be aware of this.
Would we recommend?
Yes. This would make a good Bible study for women’s groups and for small groups. The quick nature of each session allows for this to be used with groups that may have time constraints, as well.
And now it’s your turn. Enter for a chance to win your own copy!