Six New Things – Week of August 7, 2023

Belonging and bullies don’t mix. Strengthen the former as you disempower the latter –  for individuals across generations, in homes and congregations.


Feelings of loneliness and not-belonging are rising in every generation. Sora’s Seashells: A Name Is a Gift to Be Treasured (Candlewick), is a story of how one grandmother’s visit and learning the meaning of her name helps a little girl develop confidence, face her bullies, and make new friends.

Find additional books to share between Grandparents and grandkids in our lib guide.


Encourage a strong sense of self from an early age with Every Body: A First Conversation about Bodies (Rise x Penguin Workshop), which offers adults ‘the opportunity to begin important conversations with young children in an informed, safe, and supported way’.

Find more books on the intersections of faith and Body Image in our lib guide.


When it’s adults who are experiencing bullying – or maybe perpetrating it – share It’s Not Me, It’s You! How Narcissists Get What They Want and How to Stop Them (Cascade), which affirms that victims in taking ‘steps towards a positive and healthy life lived on [their] own terms’.

We’ve got more resources on Bullying & Friendship in our lib guide.


When negativity comes out sideways, or bullies take over, and your congregation bears the brunt – in the form of conflict or what feels like (or is) a church split – Innovation Lab offers their FREE resource, ‘Your church split. Where do go you from here?’

Find more support for navigating Change / Conflict in our lib guide.


Contact The Ministry Lab: member congregations have free access through 2023 to Innovation Lab’s Innovation Culture Index. We’ll facilitate your congregation establishing a culture of openness to change BEFORE (or after) a split is imminent (or happens). Make a congregational cultural shift to openness and transformation so folx are ready to learn, try, and do new things and equipped to meet, welcome, and include new people.


If you’re concerned about the extraordinary amounts of bullying and negativity happening around the country, invite the community to read, The Writing on the Wall: Signs of Faith against Fascism (Cascade), an invitation to people of faith to ‘rethink notions of civil disobedience, nonviolence, love, prayer, and liturgy to enflesh a worthy faith in the face of a fascist creep’.


Re-evaluate the socially accepted bullying that passes for our justice system: Pilgrims and Prisoners: When Justice and Mercy Meet (Cascade) invites readers to witness how ‘justice is not achieved through imprisonment’ and to wonder, ‘If God cares [about justice], does that make any difference to the justice we seek?’

Discover organizations working to reform these systems in our Policing, Public Safety, & Prisons lib guide.