Six New Things – Week of April 5, 2021

Happy Easter!

In this Resurrection Season, we’re putting two weeks’ worth of New Things into one post – and it’s all about New Life experienced through Justice & Liberation; Self-Awareness and Personal Growth; Belonging; Community Transformation; Faith & Hope; and Dying Well.


Justice & Liberation

Archbishop Desmond Tutu has said, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.” Desmond Gets Free (Skinner), from Matt Meyer and Khim Fam, explores the implications of this quote in a timely, nuanced, kid-friendly way.

Jesus for Farmers and Fishers: Justice for All Those Marginalized by Our Food System (Broadleaf) engages adults in similar – though perhaps deeper –  conversations, moral appraisals, and faith-based social actions.


Self-Awareness and Personal Growth

Guide teens, tweens and children with a spate of journals, devotionals, and parenting tools:

You Are Worthy, Girl. Never Forget That! Creative Devotional Journal (Barbour) explores faith, friendship, forgiveness, and more – just for teen girls. Choose Adventure: 180 Epic Devotions for Brave Boys and Choose Extraordinary: 180 Faith-Building Devotions for Courageous Girls (both Shiloh Kidz) encourage growing in faith, courage and bravery.

Free Spirit’s Name & Tame Your Anxiety: A Kid’s Guide (Free Spirit) empowers young ones to learn about anxiety and how to manage it.

The Mommy & Me and Daddy & Me 100 Devotions to Share (both B & H) support regular faith conversations between parents and children.

The Relationally Intelligent Child: Five Keys to Helping Your Kids Connect Well with Others (Northfield) promises to not only change the life of a child, but have a positive impact on parents’ relationships, as well.

Find more resources for developing faith, self-awareness and personal growth in our Faith, Love, Compassion & Forgiveness, Bible & Prayer with Young People, and Mental Health Practices for Children & Youth lib guides.



For a delightful exploration of self-discovery and affirmation, see Elephant’s Music (Magination), a “playful yet important story about individual differences and finding ways to belong”.

For a more grown-up version on the themes of embracing uniqueness and developing belonging, see Padraig O’Tuama‘s In the Shelter: Finding a Home in the World (Broadleaf).


Community Transformation

When it’s the community that needs to shift to make space for difference, check out Miguel de la Torre’s Gonna Trouble the Water (Pilgrim), which considers the sacred nature of water and the ways it is weaponized against non-white communities.

And DO NOT MISS Rev. Tyler Sit’s Staying Awake: The Gospel for Changemakers (Chalice): “a practical exploration of Christianity for people who want to show up for justice and stay in the movement. Discover nine practices of Christian community that will transform you to transform the world.”

Round out this discussion at a leadership level with Building a Multiethnic Church (Thomas Nelson Publishing), to expose how homogeneity causes the church to suffer and fall short of our call.

Find additional resources for developing congregational diversity in our Reimagining Church: Diversity lib guide.


Faith & Hope

Discover an unexpected resource in personal faith development in Pillars: How Muslim Friends Led Me Closer to Jesus (Plough), in which personal stories of Muslim friends’ devotion to the Five Pillars of Islam enable author Rachel Pieh Jones to rediscover ancient Christian practices her own tradition had lost or neglected.

Encourage at-home and neighborhood change agents with Signs of Hope: How Little Acts of Love Can Change Your World (Zondervan) and discover how individuals can alleviate suffering in tiny and enormous ways.


Dying Well

Death is always the precursor to New Life. In The Art of Dying: Living Fully into the Life to Come (Intervarsity), Rob Moll offers “a gentle companion for all who face death… Christians can have confidence that because death is not the end, preparing to die helps us truly live.”