Let's read, together!

Ankeny All Community Reads One Book: The Faith Club: a Muslim, A Christian, a Jew -- Three Women Searching for Understanding.

Through the month of September, 2016, everyone is challenged to read and discuss the same book. The goal of Ankeny All Community Reads One Book is that through a shared reading experience, our community will discuss issues that matter, learn from each other and promote greater understanding and tolerance of differing religious viewpoints.  


The Faith Club is a groundbreaking book about Americans searching for faith and mutual respect. The Faith Club weaves the story of three women, their three religions, and their urgent quest to understand one another.  When an American Muslim woman befriends two other mothers, one Jewish and one Christian, they decide to educate their children about their respective religions. None of them guessed their regular meetings would provide life-changing answers and form bonds that would forever alter their struggles with prejudice, fear, and anger. Personal, powerful, and compelling, The Faith Club forces readers to face the tough questions about their own religions. Pioneering, timely, deeply thoughtful, and full of hope, The Faith Club’s caring message will resonate with people of all faiths. Summary from Amazon.com


Everyone is welcome to participate in any of the library book discussion groups. Six adult book discussion groups led by Library staff will be held at the Kirkendall Library. 
  • Tuesday, Sept. 6 at 1 p.m.
  • Monday, Sept. 12 at 6:30  p.m.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 1 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 14 at 1 p.m.
  • Thursday, Sept. 22 at 7 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 27 at 1 p.m.

Book sets are also available to community book discussion groups and church groups. Book group leaders may check books out for their group by contacting Joy King  (515) 965-6458 or jking@ankenyiowa.gov


  • Law, Politics, and Religion
    Thursday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m.
    Dennis Goldford, Humanities Iowa scholar, will speak about Law, Politics, and Religion and lead a discussion of the role religion plays in American politics.  Despite, or perhaps even because of, the lack of an established church in the United States, religion has always been a factor in our lives and in American politics. What does religious freedom mean in America, and what is the function of the religious clauses of the First Amendment? Additionally, in what sense and to what extent is it legitimate to appeal to religious doctrine and belief when engaged in political discourse? Audience members are invited to discuss these questions and raise other issues.
  • Interfaith Panel Discussion
    Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 7 p.m.
    Pastor Scott Rains from Lutheran Church of Hope Ankeny, Rabbi David Kaufman from Temple B'nai Jeshurun in Des Moines, and Dr. Rizwan Shah of West Des Moines will discuss issues about the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faiths to help promote greater understanding and tolerance of differing religious viewpoints.  Audience members are invited to ask their own questions following the presentation.


  • Islam: Empire of Faith
    Friday, Sept. 16 at 1 p.m.
    Monday, Sept. 19 at 6:30 p.m.

    The film documents the rise and growth of Islam throughout the World, from the birth of Prophet Mohammed in the sixth century through the peak of the Ottoman Empire 1000 years later.  The film discusses the impact of Islamic civilization on world history and culture. 

  • Three Faiths, One God: Judaism, Christianity, Islam
    Friday, Sept. 9 at 1 p.m.
    Wednesday, Sept. 14 at 6:30 p.m.

    The film documentary compares similarities and differences in religious beliefs and practices that Islam has with Christianity and Judaism. It also examines how people of goodwill in the Abrahamic faith communities are coming to terms with historical conflicts that impact their lives today, the crisis of the fundamentalist approach to religious pluralism, and tearing down barriers to understanding and respect. 

  • Jews & Christians: a Journey of Faith
    Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 6:30 p.m.
    Friday, Sept. 23 at 1 p.m.
    This film is based on the book Our Father Abraham: Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith by Marvin R. Wilson, Ph.D. The film is biblical, historical, and cultural in nature. At the same time, the film is personal and passionate, reflecting Marvin Wilson's own spiritual pilgrimage and his extensive dialogue with Jews. The film (1) develops a historical perspective on the Jewish origins of the church, (2) sets forth the importance and nature of Hebrew thought, (3) discusses how the church can become more attuned to the Hebraic mind-set of Scripture, and (4) offers practical suggestions for interaction between Jews and Christians.


This program is supported by Humanities Iowa and the National Endowment for the Humanities.  The views and opinions expressed by this program do not necessarily reflect those of Humanities Iowa or the National Endowment for the Humanities.