The trifold global pandemics of Covid-19, racism, and environmental devastation have merged over the past year. We have been living through an apocalyptic time. As the veil is lifted and our eyes are opened, we are invited to “dive into change positively, preemptively, saying, ‘Come, what is; teach me your good lessons.'”
We are being called, urged, and equipped to follow the Divine Spirit’s leading, creating together God’s Beloved Community: the hallmark of Resurrection and promise of Pentecost (May 23, 2021). This week, we hope to participate in equipping folx to answer these calls and invitations:
This week, find tools for grounding in prayer, practicing peace, exploring Pentecost’s promises, preaching prophetically, developing diversity, and envisioning a post-pandemic(s) community.
Lots of folx are reminding us that the justice work needed for lasting communal transformation will be rooted in prayer. ()
Find other resources for inviting children, families, youth, and adults into contemplative prayer and other spiritual practices in our Bible & Prayer with Young People and Contemplative Practices: Introductions lib guides.
Personal transformation precedes communal transformation. Invite tweens through adults for the inner work of The Peace Project: A 30-Day Experiment Practicing Thankfulness, Kindness, and Mercy (Revel Fleming) and develop young leaders for community work with Something Happened in Our Park: Standing Together after Gun Violence (Magination).
Families can explore God’s vision of a new community at home with God’s Big Pentecost Story [PC(USA) Store], which includes children’s devotionals and fun and easy activities.
Get folx ready for transformation by Preaching to People in Pain (Baker), with an “important corrective to a pain-averse culture” and/or shape a new vision with prophetic preaching inspired by William Augustus Jones’ classic, God in the Ghetto: A Prophetic Word Revisited (Judson), with its “eerily striking resonance to present day affairs”, including Jones’ “analysis of systemic racism, the integral role of the church in birthing and perpetuating it, and the Black church’s response”. There will be pain in revealing the wound, but that’s where healing can begin.
Develop diversity adeptness in multiple ways with Disability: Living into the Diversity of Christ’s Body (Baker); Becoming All Things: How Small Changes Lead to Lasting Connections across Cultures (Zondervan); and with the intergenerational curriculum developed around Dan Erlander’s Manna and Mercy (Augsburg Fortress), a book about God’s covenant of life, justice, and inclusion to all people and all of creation. The set includes Erlander’s original book, an interactive edition for kids, four board books for young ones, and leader’s lesson plans for all ages.
Cast a vision for the post-pandemics church, local neighborhoods, your whole community (the Beloved Community!) starting with a special edition of Amanda Gorman’s The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem for the Country (Cokesbury).
Arrive there with your young ones safe and sound with Springtide Research Institute’s The New Normal: 8 Ways to Care for Gen Z in a Post-Pandemic World.
And be sure to get there together with the ELCA’s Thriving Beyond COVID, “a Scripture-based study to encourage, inspire, and challenge congregations for the post-COVID journey ahead”: video-based, with leader and participant guides; free & downloadable.
Blessings, courageous leaders, as we follow the Spirit’s lead into God’s Beloved Community.