Six New Things

Check six ministry resources in this weekly post.

In Faithful Families:  Creating Sacred Moments at Home (Chalice), Traci Smith revises and expands her collection of simple practices for family life, Seamless Faith.  Current topics on her blog include an abundance mentality for ministry and ten essential children’s books about death and grief.

Preaching and Worship, a Lilly-funded project of the Calvin Institute for Christian Worship and the Christian Classics Ethereal Library/, curates online resources for a wide range of denominations and traditions.

A companion DVD study for She: Five Keys to Unlock the Power of Women in Ministry (Abingdon) by Karoline Lewis of Working Preacher examines issues of identity, authority, sexuality, authenticity, embodiment and self-care.

Vacation Bible School reviews from Virginia Theological Seminary highlight top picks from MennoMedia and Cokesbury for 2017 as well as perennial programs.  A recorded webinar with Lisa Brown (The Best VBS Woorkbook Ever!) and Emily Slichter Given (Building Faith Brick by Brick) will follow in March.

Jake McGlothin distills The Mission-Minded Guide to Church and School Partnerships (Abingdon) for Lewis Center for Church Leadership.  50 Ways to Engage Local Schools is a free Lewis Center resource.  All Our Children (Church, April) will explore the Church’s call to address education inequity.

Music that Makes Community provides resources for paperless song grounded in a theology of welcome and generosity.  A workshop at United Theological Seminary explored the practice.

Check our growing list of resources for Lent and Easter.  Contact us with any resource questions:


Six New Things

Check six ministry resources in this weekly post.

An American Conscience:  The Reinhold Niebuhr Story is a documentary written, directed and narrated by Martin Doblmeier.  Conversations from Union Theological Seminary and Harvard Divinity School are available on YouTube.  A study guide and a companion book (Eerdmans) are forthcoming.  The film will air on public television in April.

Nominated for an Academy Award, 4.1 Miles is a 21-minute documentary on the refugee crisis.  The New York Times provides teaching ideas.  Contact the RCC for resources on immigration.

Girls & Sex (Harper) author Peggy Orenstein will headline Equipping Teens for Life, a Health & Wellness Conference for Young People and Parents at Edina Morningside UCC April 8.

Economic Inequality:  A Christian Perspective is a five-part curriculum produced by the Desert Southwest Conference UMC.  Videos and companion resources are free to watch and download.  Contact the RCC to access the DVD.

The Clergy Health Initiative at Duke Divinity School finds that those who flourish in ministry are intentional about their well-being.  Faith & Leadership shares 11 strategies.

Based on The Spark Story Bible, The Story of Easter is a DVD from Sparkhouse Family.  Check our growing list of new and notable resources for Lent and Easter.

Contact us with any resource questions:


Six New Things

Check six minstry resources in this weekly post.

Following her introduction to Protestant prayer beads, Kristen E. Vincent commends the practice to trauma survivors in Beads of Healing (Upper Room).

In Better: Waking Up to Who We Could Be (Chalice), Melvin Bray reimagines classic faith stories to inspire more beautiful, just and virtue-filled ways of being in the world.  God Complex Radio presents a podcast with Bray, and Cindy Brandt of Unfundamentalist Parenting posts an interview.

Purpose of Confirmation: Youth Emphasize Relevance is a post from The Confirmation Project.  The current issue of Episcopal Teacher explores the Project’s research; Lisa Kimball discusses Mentoring Relationships and Confirmation in a video.  And Sparkhouse is introducing a Colaborate Confirmation Curriculum for Presbyterians, joining their offerings for Methodists and Lutherans.

The current issue of Circuit Rider features several articles on small groups, including Jack L. Seymour on taking Bible study to the community.

Today’s presentation from Moral Courage Project founder Irshad Manji will be available in Westminster Town Hall Forum’s archive.   MCP features video stories of people acting for the common good.  An online curriculum is in development.

Alice Connor’s Fierce:  Women of the Bible and Their Stories of Violence, Mercy, Bravery, Wisdom, Sex and Salvation (Fortress) is accompanied by a free guide for contemplation and discussion.  In Preaching the Women of the Old Testament:  Who They Were and Why They Matter (WJKP), Lynn Japinga connects contemporary issues to each of over forty stories.  Wilda C. Gafney’s Womanist Midrash:  A Reintroduction to the Women of the Torah and the Throne (WJKP) is forthcoming.

See our growing list of new and notable resources for Lent and Easter.   Contact us with any ministry resource questions:


Six New Things

Check six ministry resources in this weekly post.

Carol Howard Merritt discusses Healing Spiritual Wounds:  Reconnecting with a Loving God After Experiencing a Hurtful Church (HarperOne) with Religion News Service and Unfundamentalist Parenting.

LEAD offers free contemplative Lenten liturgies with accompanying coloring pages for individual and intergenerational group use.  See our growing list of new and notable resources for Lent and Easter.

Hamline University’s Mahle Symposium on Religious Responses to Trauma and Illness March 6-7 will feature Shelly Rambo, Monica A. Coleman, and others.

Faith & Leadership features a congregation’s innovative, participatory worship.  Liturgist Ashley Goff blogs at God of the Sparrow.

Science for Youth Ministry is a series of posts from the Institute for Youth Ministry at Princeton Theological Seminary.  Part of the Science for Youth Ministry Project, the 2017 Luther Seminary June Intensive focuses on Medicine and Disability, with faculty Andy Root, John Swinton, and Benjamin T. Connor.

Disunity in Christ author Christena Cleveland shares a series of practices to fortify and form justice leaders and a practical theology for privileged people.

Contact us with any resource questions:

Adult Children

New and Notable for Lent and Easter

We’ll keep updating this list of current and recommended resources for Lent, Holy Week and Easter.

Cokesbury provides a helpful Lent Study Comparison Chart.  Adam Hamilton’s new DVD, Creed, joins favorite studies like Rob Fuquay’s The God We Can Know: Exploring the “I Am” Sayings of Jesus and What Wondrous Love featuring the art of John August Swanson.

The Work of the People offers several curriculum series appropriate for Lent:  To Stand Again: Practices of a Resurrected Life, In This Together, Forty Days, Sitting in the Dark, Doubt, The Art and Practice of Prayer, Faith Shift, and more.  The Way of the Heart includes films that embody ten stations of the cross, each accompanied by reflections, meditations, and blessings.  And TWOTP has gathered Films for Easter and Resurrection.

Darkwood Brew recommends Busy:  Restoring Connection to an Unhurried God and Gifts of the Dark Wood, accompanied by a Lenten Worship Series.

The Story of Easter is a DVD from Sparkhouse Family.

Randall Curtis posts videos for each day of Lent at Videos for your Soul.

C.S. Lewis, Preparing for Easter (HarperCollins, 2017).
Walter Brueggemann, A Way Other Than Our Own (WJKP, 2016).  sample
John Indermark, Worship in Light of the Cross (Upper Room, 2016).
Sarah Arthur, Between Midnight and Dawn:  A Literary Guide to Prayer for Lent, Holy Week & Eastertide (Paraclete, 2016).
Frank Rogers Jr., Compassion in Practice (Upper Room, 2016).
Marilyn E. Thornton, Plenty Good Room (Abingdon, 2016).
Laura Alary, Make Room: A Child’s Guide to Lent and Easter (Paraclete, 2015).
Laurence Freeman, Sensing God:  Learning to Meditate Through Lent (SPCK, 2015).
Paula Gooder, This Risen Existence (Fortress, 2015).
Trevor Hudson. Pauses for Lent (Upper Room, 2015).
Antonia Jackson, The Easter Story (Lion Hudson, 2015).
Henri Nouwen, Walk With Jesus:  Stations of the Cross (Orbis, 2015).
Bruce Reyes-Chow, 40 Days, 40 Prayers, 40 Words (WJKP, 2015).
All Shall Be Well (Orbis, 2015).
Easter Stories (Plough, 2015).
George Hovaness Donigian, A World Worth Saving (Upper Room), 2014).
Jane Leadbetter, Messy Easter (Messy Church, 2014).
Sara Miles, City of God (Jericho, 2014).
Marjorie J. Thompson, Forgiveness (WJKP, 2014).
Essential Lent (Pilgrim, 2014).
Feasting on the Word Lenten Companion (WJKP, 2014).
Joan Chittister, The Way of the Cross (Orbis, 2013).
God for Us (Paraclete, 2013).
Church Publishing features Lenten resources.  Roger Hutchison offers an intergenerational Lenten Practice in The Painting Table.

From Building Faith:  a webinar on Congregational Formation during Lent with linked resources, Ash Wednesday resources, Lent in a Bag, Creating a Lenten Prayer Space at Home and more for Lent, Holy Week and Easter.
Illustrated Children’s Ministry offers Stations of the Cross Coloring Posters, An Illustrated Lent for Churches and for Families, and An Illustrated Holy Week.
Faithful Families author Traci Smith curates  Easy Lenten Activities for Children and Families.
Jerusalem Greer gathers this list of Ideas for Lent for families.
Ideas for Observing Lent and Celebrating Easter in Year A and Lent-Easter posts are from Worshiping with Children.
Sybil MacBeth shares Lenten calendar templates at Praying in Color.
At Bless Each One, Christine V. Hides posts a Psalm a Day Lenten Devotional and more.
Family Lent Ideas, Holy Week Ideas and a printable booklet are from Flame:  Creative Children’s Ministry.
Picture Book Theology suggests children’s literature for Lent and Easter.  Storypath connects children’s literature to lectionary texts for Lent.
Interactive prayer stations for Lent, and more from Theresa Cho.
Story videos and worship stations for Lent and a Holy Week Roundup from Faith & Wonder.
Lilly Lewin’s Experiential Stations of the Cross is a free downloadable kit.
A Sanctified Art offers a bundle of resources for Lent.
Creative Youth Ministry Ideas for Lent is a free e-book from Rethinking Youth Ministry.
LEAD presents five free contemplative Lenten liturgies and accompanying coloring pages.
The SALT Project offers a Printable Lenten Booklet and a Lenten Customizable Short Film.
Poetry for Lent and Easter is gathered by Journey with Jesus.
Find resources for offering Ashes to Go.
The Ecumenical Lenten Carbon Fast offers daily emails and opportunities for congregational participation.
Let All of Me Kneel Before God’s Holy Name is a Lenten series from Working Preacher.
Christine Valters Painter from Abbey of the Arts presents seasonal posts including A Different Kind of Fast:  A Seven-Part Series for Lent.
Diana Butler Bass offers a 40 Day Devotional Guide to accompany Grounded.
A Lenten Photo Challenge is posted on Lent Consortium, a Facebook group.
Free downloads from Church Publishing include Formation Activities & Ideas for Lent Year A and the In Service newsletter for Lent.
From the Society of St. John the Evangelist, 5 Marks of Love is a free Lenten study including daily videos, workbooks, facilitator guide and children’s guide.
A Lent Study Guide is available for Trinity Institute 2017:  Water Justice.
Forward Movement offers Seasons of Prayer, a Lenten devotion on the themes of exile, hospitality, and immigration.
Roll Down, Justice! is a Lenten reflection including six videos with discussion guides from the UMC General Commission on Religion and Race.
A Sermon for Every Sunday offers Amy Butler’s Easter sermon, The Rest of the Story.
Lent Madness is a unique Lenten devotion.

Contact the RCC to access or consult on these resources and more:


Six New Things

Check six ministry resources in this weekly post.

Prophetic Faith: Exploring Social Justice Advocacy as a Congregation (CreateSpace) by Trish Greeves is a seven-session study with a Leader Guide.
Theresa Cho shares intergenerational interactive prayer stations on ways Jesus calls us us to engage in the world.

Resources on immigration:  Green Card Voices shares stories of immigrants in Minnesota through videos, books, and a teaching guide.  ISAIAH presents Immigration 101 in six videos.  ON Scripture offers another current resource, The Bible Select Series 21st Century Exodus: Immigration Now.

The Minnesota Conference UCC’s Fourth Thursday event focused on using picture books in ministry, a particularly helpful approach to justice issues like bullying, racism, and immigration.  Brightly gathers Books to Help Kids Understand What It’s Like to Be a Refugee.

Faith Matters Network curates tools for transformational storytelling and multi-faith resources on climate justice and economic justice.

In The Year of Small Things:  Radical Faith for the Rest of Us (Brazos), Sarah Arthur and Erin F. Wasinger explore twelve family faith practices.

This week’s action area from 100 Days of Action is climate change:  find worship resources, curriculum and more.

Contact us with any resource questions:


Adult Children Uncategorized

Using Picture Books in Ministry

Key resources support the use of picture books in ministry, particularly on justice issues.

Storypath from Union Presbyterian Seminary is a deep collection.  A video explains ways to use the site.

Picture Book Theology is another helpful resource.  There is a topical index and a search function.

God and Goodnight Moon connects classic children’s books with scripture and activities.

The Best Children’s Books links picture books with topics like compassion, gratitude and kindness.

Perfect Picture Books lists recommended books by theme and includes links to discussion guides and activity ideas.

Sermon-Stories uses sacred and folk tales of many cultures to illumine lectionary texts.

Here are some excellent sources of picture books for ministry.
Brain Pickings yearly lists of best children’s books and more
Spiritual Playdate
Books for Littles
Spirituality and Practice children’s book reviews
New York Times Children’s Books section
Award winners:  Caldecott, Newbery, Coretta Scott King, and more
Sandy Eisenberg Sasso’s books for children are particularly helpful ministry resources.

Using Picture Books to Explore Justice Issues

Doing the Word, Lesson Plans from Storypath
Lists on prejudice, tolerance and diversity; welcoming the stranger; and peace; from Storypath

Picture Book Theology presents a general lesson plan in the free sample of an ebook, 25 Books about Justice.
Find terms like justice, bullying, civil rights, immigration, refugees, and racism in PBT’s index of topics.

The Families All Matter Book Project from AMAZE suggests books on diversity/identity issues and guides discussion.  Find the faith-based curriculum guide and many of the books at the RCC.

CitizenKid books from Kids Can Press treat global issues.

I’m Your Neighbor features children’s literature on “new arrival” cultures and groups.

Cool Mom Picks lists children’s books about the immigration experience, activism, and more.

Books to Help Kids Understand What It’s Like to be a Refugee, from Brightly

Hennepin County Library’s Black Lives Matter booklist for children and for teens

Books about Racism and Social Justice, from Common Sense Media

Thirty-five Picture Books for Young Activists, from All the Wonders

Teaching for Change Books

Homegrown Faith & Justice suggests picture books.

Raising Race Conscious Children


Use wondering questions.  A Storypath post suggests asking, “I wonder where God is in the story?”  Picture Book Theology lists Five Questions to Ask Any Picture Book.

Consider parent-child reading groups.

Let us know about your favorite picture books for ministry, and innovative ways you use them.  Find a curated collection, including many out-of-print titles, at the RCC.


Six New Things

Check six ministry resources in this weekly post.

Lisa Sharon Harper, author of The Very Good Gospel (WaterBrook), will speak at the Joint Religious Legislative Coalition’s Day on the Hill February 23.  Focusing on economic stability for families, JRLC presents their 2017 legislative agenda in a webinar and offers a Faithful Citizens Advocacy Guide.

Trusting in the Chaos, Nadia Bolz-Weber’s plenary at the Association of Presbyterian Christian Educators Annual Event on Wednesday, is free to live stream.  APCE’s Advocate features current posts from Karen-Marie Yust and Rodger Nishioka.

Michael Eric Dyson’s Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America (St. Martin’s) is structured like a church service.

The Power of Nonviolence, a public radio project from Humankind, features Frank Rogers, who approaches compassion as a daily practice in Practicing Compassion and Compassion in Practice (Upper Room, includes Leader Guide).

The Lilly Youth Theology Network shares resources and strategies to engage youth in thinking about Christian faith, from Faith & Leadership.

From Global Ministries, Now You Are Home: What Is Next? is an advocacy guide on how to remain engaged after an international pilgrimage.

Contact us with any resource questions:



Six New Things

Check six ministry resources in this weekly post.

This week’s ON Scripture package is Trump’s Inauguration and Conflicted Hope in a Divided Christianity, commentary by Billy Honor with Bible study questions and a companion video.  Recommended readings include The Third Reconstruction (Beacon) by William J. Barber II and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove; the UUA provides a discussion guide and a video with Barber.

Illustrated Children’s Ministry offers Stations of the Cross Coloring Posters, An Illustrated Lent for Families, and more.  Contact the RCC to consult on resources for Lent.

Christine V. Hides shares intergenerational learning and prayer stations on Syria, a Bible chatterbox discussion tool, and more on her blog, Bless Each One.

Westminster Town Hall Forum’s spring season features Otis Moss III, author of Blue Note Preaching in a Post-Soul World:  Finding Hope in an Age of Despair (WJKP).  Moss provides guidance on preaching economics, preaching like MLK Jr., and finding your voice at Working Preacher.

Repairing the Heart of Democracy is this week’s free lesson plan on Parker Palmer’s Five Habits to Heal the Heart of Democracy from the Global Oneness Project.  The Global Oneness Project offers lesson plans with films and photo essays on migration, climate change, inspiring people, and more.

A video conversation and discussion guide exploring Silence, Martin Scorsese’s film based on Shusaku Endo’s novel, is presented by Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. Author Makoto Fujimura offers video reflections and a discussion guide.  Fuller Studio hosts A Conversation with Martin Scorsese About Faith and Film.

Contact us with any resource questions:


Six New Things

Check six ministry resources in this weekly post.

A sample of 25 Picture Books About Justice, an ebook from Picture Book Theology, offers a general lesson plan and reviews three books, including Young Martin’s Promise (Steck-Vaughn) by Walter Dean Myers.  Recent RCC user recommendations include Andrea Davis Pinkney’s Sit-In:  How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down (Little, Brown) and We March (Macmillan) by Shane W. Evans.  National Book Award winner March (Top Shelf), the graphic novel memoir from John Lewis, is accompanied by reading guides.  And Practicing Families posts family liturgies for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

The Center for Progressive Renewal has partnered with Faith Works to offer free small group, worship, and children’s faith formation resources for January on the theme of prophecy.

The Best VBS Workbook Ever! (Church) by Lisa Brown provides tools to design a creative program.  Contact Cokesbury Community Resource Consultant and Trainer Jan Russell at to explore 2017 VBS programs.

To Whom Does My Body Belong? is part of a blog series on Recovering the Imago Dei for Girls from the Institute for Youth Ministry at Princeton Theological Seminary.

What Would Luther Do Today? with Elizabeth Eaton is a free online course from ChurchNext January 16-30.

The Young Clergy Women Project shares favorite organizational tools in App-y New Year.

Contact us with any resource questions: