The cover is so gorgeous and the concept so compelling, we must start with Talitha Shipman’s inaugural author/illustrator adventure, Finding Beauty (Beaming), which “[transforms] girls into beauty-seeking adventurers charging out into the world with confidence and ambition to find and make beauty wherever they go.”
Immerse all ages in the beauty and poignancy of Black History by diving into Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha Blain’s Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019 (One World), in which “a chorus of extraordinary voices comes together to tell one of history’s great epics” (We can’t recommend this one highly enough!); The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks: Young Readers Edition (Beacon); and Henry Louis Gates, Jr.’s The Black Church: This Is Our Story. This Is Our Song. (Penguin), which is the companion book to the PBS Series by the same name.
Let the beauty of healing ground challenging conversations sparked by Emily Joy Allison‘s #ChurchToo: How Purity Culture Upholds Abuse and How to Find Healing (Broadleaf); What Loss Can Teach Us: A Sacred Pathway to Growth and Healing (Upper Room); and Lamar Hardwick‘s Disability and the Church: A Vision for Diversity and Inclusion (InterVarsity).
Let the beauty of justice and reconciliation roll: inspired by Daneen Aker’s Holy Troublemakers and Unconventional Saints (Watchfire), which now has an accompanying curriculum; fueled by Osheta Moore’s Dear White Peacemakers: Love Letters on the Journey to Racial Reconciliation (MennoMedia); empowered by Crystal Cheatam’s Our Bible App and her fantastic Deconstructionists Playbook (which folks can support through the Kickstarter campaign); and enacted by Praying with Our Feet: Pursuing Justice and Healing on the Streets (Baker).
Prepare for a beautiful celebration of Easter with Illustrated Ministry’s Good News: A Virtual Easter Pageant: check it out, find inspiration in some of their Christmas Pageants, get a Good News sample, and/or join their Virtual Easter Pageant Pop-Up Community Facebook Group; and enjoy beautiful art and music from A Sanctified Art and The Many along your Lenten journey.
And – crazily enough – despite the current Polar Vortex, you can start preparing for a beautiful summer with Sparkhouse’s Good Stewards Together: Twelve Intergenerational Summer Events – an alternative to traditional VBS/Bible Camp that invites the entire congregation to “build relationships and have fun together while exploring the many ways we are called to be good stewards by using our gifts and talents to care for God’s creation”.