Six New Things

“A fictional story not based on true events”, the gritty Netflix series, “Messiah” could make for great young adult discussions. (Disclaimer: I’ve only watched six episodes at this posting and don’t know where it will end/what the ultimate intent of its creators is!) Contact me for a link to a list of leading questions!

For a more particular discussion on division and reconciliation, Terrell Carter, in “Healing Racial Divides” (Chalice), invites us to look at where we’ve been and where God calls us as spiritually mature Christians, seeking healing and true unity on earth.

Join a broader discussion on racism with the Luther Seminary community, which welcomes Drew Hart, author of “The Trouble I’ve Seen” (Herald), to campus on Tuesday, January 14. Details are here.

Echoing Marcus Borg (and others) in questioning the idea of substitutionary atonement, Donald Schmidt follows scriptural responses to the question of why Jesus died in “The Death of Jesus for Progressive Christians” (Woodlake). Part of a series including Birth of Jesus, Easter and Revelation titles.

Spark your imagination and renew your congregation and leadership with “52 Ideas for Congregational Renewal” from 54 leaders from 15 traditions. Downloadable format here. Check out a list of contributors and other formats here.

Preparing for Lent? For youth and adults: a reading, photo, quote, reflection, and prayer for each day from Ash Wednesday to Easter can be found in Wondrous Love (Augsburg Fortress), which explores Jesus’ journey from baptism to the empty tomb as depicted in Matthew (2020/Year A of the RCL).

For children: Big Dreams & Powerful Prayers (HarperCollins) pairs author, Mark Batterson (The Circle Maker), with illustrator Omar Aranda to create a children’s Bible (NIrV) based on 30 Older and Newer Testament texts intended to “help children understand and embrace the power of prayer in their everyday lives”.