Adult Children

On Sketchnotes and Meditative Drawing

Fans of American Public Radio’s On Being with Krista Tippett may have noted that graphic illustrator Doug Neill is now taking visual notes of the show.  These sketchnotes recall Paul Soupiset’s illustrations for Sparkhouse’s Animate DVD Study, Facilitator’s Guide and Personal Journal, and their re:form curriculum for youth:  they help us–at least, some of us–attend.

Many forms of spiritual drawing or coloring invite everyone, regardless of skill level.  Zentangle is a way to practice focus and meditation through drawing by using repetitive patterns.  (Their YouTube channel is here.)  Kass Hall’s Zentangle Untangled:  Inspiration and Prompts for Meditative Drawing (North Light Books, 2012) and Beckah Krahula’s One Zentangle a Day:  a 6-Week Course in Creative Drawing for Relaxation, Inspiration, and Fun (Quarry Books, 2012) provide guidance.

Journey-In:  A Meditative Coloring Journal (Janelle Sundberg and Michelle Ahlquist, Journey-In, 2006) suggests users write an intention to meditate upon while coloring.  From the website:

Journal space is provided for insights, ideas, thoughts, or whatever comes to you during your coloring time.  Sometimes people get clear ideas, others may receive a few words or just flashes of thought, and some will have a feeling, while others may see pictures or symbols.  Don’t dismiss anything.  What may seem insignificant maybe a huge insight to your prayer.  Write it down and keep coloring.  It is amazing how little ideas can expand when you allow your mind the freedom to wander.

And Sybil MacBeth’s Praying in Color materials from Paraclete Press, including books and DVDs for young people, men, and everyone, recommend doodling as a form of prayer.  Instructional videos are here.

Apparently, a lot of people are finding these art forms engaging; perhaps a pad and a pen belong with service books and hymnals in the pew.  Find these materials and a wealth of ideas and resources for spiritual practice at the RCC.


AntiRacism Resources

updated August 2015.  Here’s a short list of outstanding, current antiracism resources for adults and older youth.  Click titles for more information/preview.


In Five Steps for Using “Trip to the Grocery Store” to Talk about Race, World Trust offers a film clip and guide for small group discussion.  Other clips are available on their YouTube channel.

Mary Hess/Racial Justice Collaborative in Theological Education is developing this list of short videos available online.


Cracking the Codes:  The System of Racial Inequity (World Trust).  Downloadable conversation guide and access to learning modules.

Mirrors of Privilege:  Making Whiteness Visible (World Trust).  Downloadable conversation guide.

What Makes Me White?  (A.M. Sands).

Race:  The Power of an Illusion (California Newsreel).  Downloadable discussion guide.  PBS online companion.

Traces of the Trade (P.O.V.).  Extensive discussion materials, including ideas for faith communities.

Racing Across the Lines:  Changing Race Relations through Friendship by Deborah L. Plummer (Pilgrim Press, revised edition with DVD).  Book includes exercises for personal reflections, group dialogue, and spiritual practice.


Joseph Barndt, Becoming an Anti-Racist Church:  Journeying Toward Wholeness (Fortress, 2011) and Understanding and Dismantling Racism:  The Twenty-First Century Challenge to White America (Fortress, 2007).

Paul Kivel, Uprooting Racism:  How White People Can Work for Racial Justice (New Society Publishers, 3rd edition, 2011).  Includes questions, exercises, suggestions for action.

Jennifer Harvey, ed., Disrupting White Supremacy from Within:  White People on What WE Need to Do (Pilgrim Press, 2008).

Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow:  Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (The New Press, 2012).  A Study Guide and Call to Action is available.

Denominational Resources

The Presbyterian Mission Agency’s Antiracism Initiative features the DVD Becoming the Beloved Community.

The United Methodist Church has produced the video Truth and Wholeness:  Replacing White Privilege with God’s Promise.  A Leader’s Guide is downloadable.

Seeing the Face of God in Each Other, the antiracism training model of the Episcopal Church, is downloadable.

Sacred Conversation on Race is a United Church of Christ initiative.  The downloadable Resource Guide is supplemented with a series of two-page factsheets, also free to download.

The RCC also has a wide selection of resources on race and diversity for children.  Contact us for consultation.



Adult Children

Resources from the Interfaith Movement

Updated July 2015.  It seems we are becoming less interested in defining our differences, and more drawn to explore what we hold in common and how we are transformed in interfaith encounter.  The emerging interfaith movement has recently produced several notable resources.

Brian D. McLaren’s Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road?  Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World (Jericho Books, 2012) argues that affirming other religions can strengthen our commitment to our own.  The book is divided into 29 short chapters, treating doctrine, liturgy, and mission.  A group discussion guide is available, as is a video overview.  At 13 minutes, it is a good introduction for an education session or series.  Another video introduction is Scott Alexander’s Knowing and Loving Our Neighbors of Other Faiths from Practicing Our Faith/The Work of the People.  A short study guide is available.

My Neighbor’s Faith:  Stories of Interreligious Encounter, Growth, and Transformation (ed. Jennifer Howe Peace, Or N. Rose and Gregory Mobley, Orbis, 2012) is just that:  a collection of 53 personal narratives that help us reflect on the place of interfaith encounter in our own lives.  With these models, sharing these stories in religious community appears as a transformative exercise.

Eboo Patel’s Sacred Ground:  Pluralism, Prejudice, and the Promise of America (Beacon Press, 2012) is a call for Americans to defend the values of inclusiveness and pluralism.   New from Morehouse, Embracing Interfaith Cooperation:  Eboo Patel on Coming Together to Change the World is a five session DVD study that elaborates these themes for the church context.  See also Interfaith Cooperation 101, a short file from the Interfaith Youth Core.

The Jesus Fatwah:  Love your (Muslim) Neighbor as Yourself, a five-session DVD study from Living the Questions, features Islamic and Christian scholars on what Muslims believe, how they live out their faith, and how we can all build relationships.

There are excellent interfaith resources online for all ages.  Exodus Conversations is a valuable new website that uses the Exodus story and the Passover Haggadah as a springboard for interfaith dialogue.   The Interfaith Observer is a rich monthly e-journal.  KidSpirit Online is an interfaith forum where teens explore their spirituality; free downloadable group guides for each issue help youth workers and parents frame discussion.  And the Milestones Project photographs children of all races, religions, and cultures at shared moments.  Among the many excellent children’s books on world religions, their Faith:  Five Religions and What They Share (Kids Can Press, 2012) is outstanding.

Saint Paul Interfaith Network (SPIN) and its initiative, Healing Minnesota Stories, support faith communities in interfaith dialogue.  Contact the RCC for consultation on resources from the interfaith movement.


Adult Children

Book Groups: Apprenticed to Hope

Despite our collective fascination with the digital, church book groups remain a powerful place for formation.  Shorter books, conversational in tone, with discussion questions at the end of each chapter work well:   Catherine Keller ‘s On the Mystery:  Discerning Divinity in Process (Fortress, 2008) is a fine example.  Another is Apprenticed to Hope:  A Sourcebook for Difficult Times by spiritual director and Hamline professor Julie E. Neraas (Augsburg, 2009).  Divided into 32 short chapters with reflection questions, the book is appropriate for small groups on spiritual formation, coping with chronic illness, or grief.  The RCC has multiple copies  for small group use.  Watch Neraas here.

Continuing reading groups for young people in church, with or without family adults, can also be formative.  2012 has been a rich year for children’s books.  R.J. Palacio’s Wonder (Knopf) concerns the bullying of a boy with severe facial deformities.  Lois Lowry has completed The Giver Quartet with Son (Houghton Mifflin).  And for younger children, Matthew Cordell’s new Hello! Hello! (Disney-Hyperion) presents a child exploring the world while family members remain glued to digital devices.  But the best choices may come from the young people themselves.  The context of religious community can transform the conversation.



Spirituality Resources Online

Recently, one of our member churches did an adult education session on faith online:  participants shared their favorite websites, blogs, and emails on spirituality.  Many of the websites on the RCC’s list of links are most useful for church leaders, but what about a list of nondenominational online resources on spirituality for everyone?  Here’s a top ten (in no particular order):

Spirituality and Practice offers readings, practices, quotes, searchable reviews, and so much more.  Check their lists of spiritually literate books and movies.  Try “Topics and Media” too.

Browse the show archive at On Being.  See top blog posts.

The Text This Week is a virtual study desk; choose a text and see a deep selection of resources.  The Art Concordance is particularly valuable.

Religion & Ethics Newsweekly:  listen to this PBS show or particular stories, or read interviews.

David Perry is a minister in the Methodist Church in Great Britain.  His Visual Theology blog follows the lectionary with photographs and reflections.

Patheos is a massive collection of blogs and information on religion.  Try the Progressive Christian Channel for theological conversation and a video gallery.

Vibrant Faith at Home offers faith forming activities:  talking, praying, ritualizing and reaching out.

Visual media from The Work of the People support individual and small group devotion.

At Practicing Our Faith, choose one of twelve spiritual practices and see ideas for ways to practice and more.

Luther Seminary presents a wealth of resources to enrich Bible reading at Enter the Bible.

Don’t see your favorites?  Tell us.






Pooling Our Wisdom

Welcome to our new website!  We hope you find it helpful in your ministries.

More and more ministry resources of many different types become available every day.  The RCC can help you find the best.  But we need your help.

We want this to be a place for you to pool your wisdom.  Just as we hope to provide you with vital resources and creative guidance for their use, we are eager to hear about your experience:  please consider sharing news of resources you’ve found transformative and ideas that have worked for you.  Tell us how you liked resources you’ve borrowed, or suggest new titles or topics; recommend favorite resources to your colleagues.  Let us know about new ways we can support your ministry.  We value your expertise and encourage you to participate in this conversation.

Visit us in person  or online.  Email me at, or call me at 651.600.7111.  We also invite your comments here or on our Facebook page.

Peace and joy in this busy time,

Lizabeth Bougie, RCC  Director