Ralph De La Rosa’s timely Don’t Tell Me to Relax: Emotional Resilience in the Age of Rage, Feels & Freak-Outs (Penguin Random House) offers “warm, funny, streetwise… tools for coping in contentious times”. Offer a little levity to your younger crowd with:
For a little deeper look at resilience, you might consider Beautiful and Terrible Things: A Christian Struggle with Suffering, Grief and Hope (WJK); or, for more active resilience-building, enjoy Michel Gribble-Dates’ latest offering, Work It Out, which uses Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse to “align …Matthew 18:15-20 [Sunday’s RCL Gospel reading] with the healing practice of yoga… to guide people of all ages to experience a deeper embodiment of Christ’s teachings”.
To improve your own alignment (among other things), consider LeaderWise’s Renewing Leadership: A cohort-based group facilitated by certified coaches which includes a 360 assessment and a 1-on-1 coaching session.
Further nurture spirits with The Beatitudes: An Illustrated Curriculum, a highly adaptable, twelve-session, verse-by-verse study of the Beatitudes from the Gospel of Matthew for your entire Sunday school program and the whole family. Also available: The Beatitudes Coloring Posters and The Beatitudes Coloring Pages. AND their Fall Worship Materials are now available:Illustrated Worship Children’s Bundle: Fall 2020; Illustrated Worship Children’s Bulletins: Fall 2020; and/or Bible Story Coloring Pages: Fall 2020.
And if the Beatitudes inspire outreach and hospitality: Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century (Vintage) might open some eyes; Held: Showing up for Each Other’s Mental Health (Skinner) might empower empathy; and Your Hospitality Personality: How to Confidently Create Connection and Community (Revell) might inspire connection-building.
Lest anyone is resting on their laurels, a slough of activist-inspiring books are out, including two from MennoMedia: Who Will Be a Witness?: Igniting Activism for God’s Justice, Love, and Deliverance and Might from the Margins: The Gospel’s Power to Turn the Tables on Injustice and Penguin offers River of Fire: On Becoming an Activist.
Or, inspire your congregation with the Church Anew Blog, this week featuring posts on Gospel liberty, women’s rights, finding God’s voice in times of chaos, and how Confederate statues as idols skew our social order. Read posts from Greg Carey, Dr. Ulysses Burley III, Angela Denker, and Walter Brueggemann.
Illustrated Ministry is also encouraging early orders of their popular Illustrated Nativity Sticker Sheets. That’s right: Christmas! And IM isn’t alone: Augsburg Fortress has two new offerings, Oh, How Joyfully: Carols from Austria and Germany for Flute and Keyboard and A Gentle Christmas: Piano Carols (both of which might translate nicely online) and to that end, Church of the Resurrection shares Worship, Music, and Ritual: Reimagining Advent Church Services and How Will Our Children Cope? Family Resources for Celebrating Christmas and if you’re ready for it, bring the kids along with The Christmas Feast (Eerdmans).
I can’t believe we’re already talking about Christmas!!!