It’s Six New Things light this week, in recognition of the busy season and full lives of all of you, dear colleagues. We’ve got some creative gift suggestions, self-care ideas, and a free sermon that we hope provides you with a day off sometime between Christmas 1 (January 1), and the Season after Epiphany (until February 21). Blessings of this beautiful – and just plain ‘full’ – season!!
Thanks to Traci Smith for highlighting the art of Casey Wait in a recent Treasure Box Tuesday list. Wait’s Mary the Tower is but one of her gorgeous creations; Mary the Tower, Gold Edition is spectacular. (I can’t copy and post – that’s plagiarism with art! Please treat yourself to a peak, though!)
RAWtools is building a cooperative movement to turn swords into plowshares – literally! Their mission is to Disarm Hearts, Forge Peace, and Cultivate Justice. They do this by buying back guns and turning them into garden tools. They are growing by adding Co-op stores and networks which sell products to support their own RAWtools Co-op. Join the cooperative movement by buying gifts (they also make jewelry and other art from gun parts) through RAWtools – and consider becoming a new co-op outlet.
If Christmas shopping is done and planning is in the bag and you’re looking ahead, check out Church Anew’s Lent in a Box, ‘everything you need to guide your community through a meaningful Lenten season’, including three opportunities to learn the resource and do your planning along with colleagues planning similar Lenten journeys. Find the resources and planning opportunities details here.
If the pile of Advent and Christmas and Epiphany and looking-ahead-to-Lent responsibilities has become overwhelming, listen to your body and take a break. The Embodied Path: Telling the Story of Your Body for Healing and Wholeness (Broadleaf) might help you, ‘turn toward your body with curiosity and reverence’ and ’embrace [your] inner dignity’ as you ‘make space for more agency’.
If the rest God empowers you to take still seems impossible, maybe it’s time for In Good Time: 8 Habits for Reimagining Productivity, Resisting Hurry, and Practicing Peace (Baker).
If even reading a book feels daunting, please join us for Time Boss for Church Leaders with Rev. Nicole Havelka – a New Year’s opportunity to dismantle the supremacy and consumerist culture narratives that demand more from us than God ever intended. Reimagine your relationship with time and productivity through specific practices, meditation, and developing your own calendar around healthy, sustainable priorities.
Learn more and register here.
And let us help you take care of your body, mind, and spirit with our FREE Psalm 148 Reflection: a mini-sermon from Ministry Lab director, Rev. Emily Meyer, followed by a young person reading Psalm 148 – all underscored by beautiful new music from Julia Bloom of Cabin of Love and gorgeous film and photographs from member congregations from across Minnesota. The link will be available by the end of this week; the video is appropriate for January 1 through February 21, 2023.
Learn more and register for the link here.
[The video is free for member congregations, i.e., UCC, UMC, and PC(USA) congregations of MN. You can become a member for a nominal subscription. Learn more here.]