Thanks to author Jennifer Dukes Lee for sharing this Great Idea: yes, it touts her book, but the idea can be translated, see below:
Dukes Lee is the author of Stuff I’d Only Tell God (Baker), a journal she refers to as one’s ‘own little confession booth’. She defaults to masculine pronouns for God, so perhaps not the journal progressive leaders want to share with young people, today.
But her ideas on how to share it remind me of how we’d share Bibles with our 3rd graders when handing out their ‘big kid’ (full NRSV translation) Bibles, back in the day.
Adapting from Dukes Lee’s post:
- Gather materials: Bible/book/journal, sticky post-it notes, colorful pens
- Flip through each Bible/book/journal watching for prompts, images, or quotes that speak to your relationship with your grad or wisdom, questions, ideas you want to share with each grad – make it personal to each young person.
- Write that wisdom, etc., on sticky notes and attach them to pertinent pages/verses/prompts.
- Go a step further by adding a gift card here and there, again related to content in the book.
- I suggest inviting others to add their own sticky note-thoughts: parents, grandparents, mentors, pastors, Sunday school teachers, etc. Let the grace of as many caring adults as possible fill each book to offer regular reminders of the relationships and faith created and nurtured in their home congregation.
If Dukes Lee’s journal isn’t the best fit, you might also consider:
- The Barefoot Way (PC(USA) Store)
- Create Your Own Calm (TarcherPerigee)
- Get Outside (Ink & Willow)
- Introvert by Design (Baker)
- Journal of Radical Permission (Berrett-Koehler)
- Made Out of Stars (TarcherPerigee)
- Wonder Seeker (HarperCollins)
Or go for prayers and/or poetry, such as:
- Joe Davis’ We Rise Higher or Remind Me Again
- Amanda Gorman’s Call Us What We Carry
- James Crews’ How to Love the World
- Morgan Harper Nichols’ You Are Only Just Beginning
[Find all of these and gift ideas in our Graduation & Post-High School lib guide.]
Encourage maturing exploration of the Bible by sharing:
- First Nation’s Version: An Indigenous Translation of the New Testament
- Eugene Peterson’s The Message
- Walt Wangerin’s The Book of God
- Priest’s for Equality’s The Inclusive Bible
Or send them into our religiously diverse world with permission and encouragement to explore the Divine within and around them:
Find the book best suited to your grad, gather wisdom and grace from loving adults, and send your grads out into the world embraced, affirmed, grounded, guided, and encouraged to embark on their unique and beautiful futures.