Greetings from the JPW Library!

This page is updated regularly, so please visit again. You can also follow us on Facebook, and we look forward to having you visit in person!

On the JPWL Calendar:

(G)race Speaks

Wednesdays July 1st, 15th, and 29th at 3:30 pm
Let’s do some safe travelling together this summer – virtually! The pandemic has created a new opportunity for us to visit other churches and hear other voices. We’re able to get a glimpse of what is happening in communities beyond West Hartford and hear how people of faith are thinking about their circumstances. In “(G)race Speaks,” we are pausing in this moment to visit and listen in to voices we would otherwise not be hearing. Erica Avena and Jennifer deSimas will put together a guided trip and invite you to join the journey. All you need to do, at your leisure, is to visit our chosen destination and then join the Zoom gathering the following Wednesday for afternoon tea at 3:30. Sign up for the discussion HERE.

We will begin by visiting Senior Pastor, The Rev. Dr Otis Moss III at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Moss built his ministry on community advancement and social justice activism. We will listen to his sermon “The Cross and the Lynching Tree: A Requiem for Ahmaud Arbery.” You may watch the video here.

Our next stop for Wed July 15: the Riverside Church in New York City. Watch Rev. Dr. Jacqueline J. Lewis’s sermon, “In the Matter of Black Lives” prior to the meeting.  Rev. Lewis is Senior Minister at Middle Collegiate Church in Manhattan. She is also President and Co- Founder of The Middle Project, which trains ethical leaders for a more just society.

First Church READS

Monday evenings, July 6th – August 10th, from 6:30 to 8 pm via Zoom
After watching Black Lives Matter rallies and speeches on TV you may be asking “What can I do? Where do we start?” Here’s one answer: the JPW Library invites you to a six-week book study of Ijeoma Oluo’s So You Want to Talk About Race. The book is an “offers straightforward clarity that readers of all races need to contribute to the dismantling of the racial divide” so they can move beyond talk and into action. The JPWL has the books, and they are free to use (or purchase one for $10). They are available via JPW Library pick-up. To join this group, please CLICK HERE

Book Discussions


The JPW Library hosts two book groups, one weekly and one monthly. 

Awakening the Spirit Book Discussion
Mondays from noon – 1:30 pm via Zoom
We will discuss Barbara Brown Taylor’s Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others. All are welcome to join us! Contact Jennifer deSimas, JPW Library Director for Zoom link at

Food for Thought Book Group
Every other Thursday at 5:30 pm via Zoom
We will discuss our current book is Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes. “A joyful, hilarious, and hope-filled debut” (Amazon). To join the discussion, email Jennifer deSimas, JPW Library Director, at

Now available in the JPW Library: the First Church Senior Resource Manual for seniors and their families provides information on care options, legal matters, illness, spirituality, local transportation options, and more.