Six New Things – Week of February 05, 2024

The conjunction of Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday – in the middle of Black History Month – at the outset of a divisive years – is a relationship-renewing, anti-racism, justice-engagement,  trifecta. Let’s be on a Lenten journey of Love this year!

ONE

Explore the power of sending, ‘loving, kind thoughts to yourself and others to make the world a better place’ with Share Your Love (Bala Kids).

We’ve got lots of love to share, too – in our New Year Newsletter, 2024! It’s full of gratitude for our judicatory and subscription members and everything you enable us to do in service to the congregations and leaders we serve. Thank you!

TWO

Brian McLaren’s and Gareth Higgins’ Cory and the Seventh Story (Penguin Random House), has been refurbished! Journey with Cory the Raccoon and Owl as they discover the ‘six old stories’ behind the fighting, bullying, and division distressing their once-peaceful village. A story of peace in which the hero is love(!), teaches Cory, Owl, and all of us ‘how we can all extend peace, love, and laughter to everyone we meet’.

This could be a primer for adults reading Michelle Norris’ recent gift, Our Hidden Conversations: What Americans Really Think About Race and Identity (Simon & Schuster), which ‘reminds us that even during times of division, honesty, grace, and a willing ear can provide a bridge toward empathy and maybe even understanding’.

THREE

Let those conversations catalyze the community to action: Be a Revolution: How Everyday People Are Fighting Oppression and Changing the World – and How You Can, Too (HarperCollins), in which author Ijeoma Oluo, ‘wishes to take our conversations on race and racism out of a place of pure pain and trauma, and into a place of loving action’.

FOUR

Ready for action but not sure what your next step is? Join our Envisioning Ecumenical Possibilities for Anti-Racism Panel Discussion – featuring leaders from the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area, MN Conference UCC, and Minneapolis Area Synod, ELCA – and depart with inspired next steps  and applicable resources for your congregation – no matter where you are in your anti-racism work.

Thursday, February 22, 2024 // 7:00-8:30 PM CT – in-person at United and on zoom. Learn more and register for the link here.

FIVE

Let love ‘overflow’ with A Cup of Love: Relationship Goals for Kids (Penguin), in which one dad, ‘uses the faucet, a pitcher, and cups of water to illustrate how… when we make room for ourselves to be filled with God’s love and care for our most important relationships, nobody’s ‘cup of love’ will run dry’.”

Find additional resources for Valentine’s Day and nurturing Faith, Love, Compassion, & Forgiveness in our lib guides.

SIX

Beloved author Glenys Nellist is out with ‘Twas the Season of Lent: Devotions and Stories for the Lenten and Easter Seasons (Baker), a 40-day devotional that will ‘guide children through the Lenten season as they explore the life, words, and works of Jesus’.

And for adults: A Different Kind of Fast: Feeding Our True Hungers in Lent (Broadleaf), which helps us ‘enter our hearts’ as we ‘fast from rushing, planning, being strong, holding it all together, seeking certainty, and control’ by reorienting toward that which nourishes and fulfills through, ‘lectio divina, breath prayer, visio divina, meditation with desert wisdom, contemplative walks, and creative rituals’ from Christine Valters Paintner.

It’s a veritable feast of love as we enter the season of fasting.