Six New Things – Week of April 15, 2024

The winds of change can bring division and disillusionment. But the Spirit is sweeping in with hope, healing, and wholeness as we look to protect the Earth, empower healthier politics, and encourage personal expression.

ONE

As we prep for Earth Day 2024, invite all ages to explore Of Words and Water: The Story of Wilma Dykeman – Writer, Historian, Environmentalist (Reycraft) – whose ‘love for a local river led to her efforts to protect it and the livelihood of those who depended on it’ and who taught throughout her life that ‘water is the irreplaceable gift; it is life’.

Find more for Earth Month in Building Faith’s Creation Care Page and in our Creation Care lib guide.

TWO

Pentecost isn’t far off either. Illustrated Ministry has three new options for all ages: Storytelling with Shapes: Pentecost, Coloring & Conversation: Pentecost, and Pentecost Wind Coloring Page & Poster.

Building Faith has a Pentecost 2024 Toolkit, too; and find more in our Pentecost lib guide.

THREE

The winds of change are unsettling for many. The Exvangelicals: Loving, Living, and Leaving the White Evangelical Church (Macmillan) investigates, names and describes the post-evangelical movement and examines its ‘vast cultural, social, and political impact’. Diana Butler Bass highlighted the book in her post, ‘Evangelical Wreckage …Again‘. See also our Christian Nationalism lib guide.

Counter the white evangelical narrative with Respectful Conversation Facilitation from Minnesota Council of Churches: let their trained facilitators guide a community conversation on the topic of your choice – much of the cost is defrayed by a grant between now and August. Learn more here.

See our Courageous Spaces Toolkit for tips on engaging difficult conversations in/with your community.

FOUR

Education has borne the brunt of supremacy and nationalism cultures. The Right to Learn: Resisting the Right-Wing Attack on Academic Freedom (Beacon) is an ’empowering collection on fighting back against anti-CRT policies, book banning, and more.’

Find more in our Education lib guide.

Affirm those who are graduating this spring with 5 Meaningful and Affordable Graduation Gifts (Illustrated Ministry) or ideas from our Graduation & Post High School lib guide.

FIVE

Gender is another hot-button issue. Who’s Afraid of Gender (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux), is an ‘essential account of how a fear of gender is fueling reactionary politics around the world’.

That Dress in the Window (Flyaway) counteracts fear narratives with a ‘playful and imaginative story of self-expression’ that ‘brims with the infectious joy that comes when a child’s individuality is met with wholehearted support and love’.

The book is accompanied by a resource list for parents and caregivers who want to learn more about gender identity and expression in children, along with coloring pages – here.

SIX

Kindom Crafters: Imagine, Build, Discover is Chalice Press’s first Vacation Bible School curriculum. Inspired in part by the popular ‘Minecrafters’ game, it is hailed by Building Faith as both theologically grounded and fun, while its, ‘attention to justice sets it apart from many others’. Plus, it’s ‘easily adaptable and has plenty of room for your own imagination’.

Find more VBS/VBC ideas in our lib guide.