Loving the self helps us better love others – whether we’re fighting for dreams of freedom; navigating change and loss; endorsing the full humanity of diverse identities; or embracing the bodies God calls ‘good’. Love
For those of us ‘longing for internal freedom, as well as justice and equity in our communities’, Walking the Way of Harriet Tubman: Public Mystic and Freedom Fighter (Broadleaf), reveals how Tubman’s ‘lived spirituality illuminates a profound path forward’.
Hear from ‘a chorus of …voices’ following that path, confronting racial barriers and violence with ‘freedom dreaming and resistance’ to create a new story of US education, in School Clothes: A Collective Memoir of Black Student Witness (Beacon).
One of those voices is that of Zora Neale Hurston, whose Magnolia Flower (Amistad) follows an Afro Indigenous girl who longs for freedom: three works to cover all age-groups in dreams, talks, and action toward freedom for all.
Some folx ‘grapple with the Bible’s relevance’ in the struggle for freedom. The Bible in the Ashes of Social Chaos: An Introduction to Problematic Texts (Cascade) encourages readers to ‘expand our moral imagination in new ways that can revitalize faith’.
From the dream, through the struggle, to future reality: Little Feminists’ 3-board-book Series 1 [Families (gender/sexuality/diverse forms of family), Hair (race & ethnicity), and On-the-Go (mobility, ability, & bodies)], will foster discussions around diversity and help children stand against racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia and ableism. How We Eat, (Series 2, Book 1) – facilitates discussions about ability, culture, and food.
Find additional resources for developing Faith, Love, Compassion and Forgiveness in our lib guide.
Faith and love can be hard to experience for adolescents navigating change and loss. Birdie (Eerdmans), ‘captures the poignancy of adolescence and shows what can happen when you let people in’; it includes leading questions for conversations about friendship, family changes, and other themes.
Where grief, loss, despair, or depression is becoming overwhelming, The Essentials of Suicide Prevention: A Blueprint for Churches (Cascade), promises to ‘provide the resources needed to help prevent suicide in a church, when a church does not want to start one more program’.
Let us support you in your own struggles and better equip you to support teens and their families as they navigate mental health challenges: join our Teen Mental Health & Church Culture webinar with Melissa Weinhandl, LMFT.
From healthy mind to healthy body: This Lent could be all about all kinds of well-being. Illustrated Ministry offers This Is My Body Lenten Liturgy Set, This Is My Body Lenten Devotional, and An Illustrated Lent for Families: This Is My Body. [If you don’t have it written up already, you might also check out their Burying & Raising the Alleluia Children’s Moments.]
See our Great Idea for more ideas and resources on a Body-Aware Lent.
And let love reign – for self, for others, for community – along the path toward freedom, justice, compassion, and well-being.