Six New Things – Week of February 26, 2024

At the close of Black History Month and the early part of Lent, here are stories and practices to affirm and nurture young ones, one’s whole self, those who grieve, and the whole nation and world.


It all starts with The Spark in You (Random House Studio), ‘a jubilant picture book filled with powerful affirmations’ that ‘celebrates the beautiful magic that makes each of us special’.

Find more stories that affirm unique Identity & Diversity in our lib guide.



Encourage that spark with Sacred Self-Care: Daily Practices for Nurturing Our Whole Selves (HarperCollins), a ‘seven-week guide to help you shift your behaviors and create lifelong habits to care for your whole self— mind, body, and soul’. Get a quick glimpse of the book in, What We Give Up Makes Us Who We Are (The New York Times; 02.17.24).

Find additional support for Care for Caregivers in our lib guide.


Focus particularly on spiritual growth with Field Notes for the Wilderness: Practices for an Evolving Faith (Crown), ‘a groundbreaking and nurturing book’ that shepherds curiosity and questions with ‘tools to cultivate what we crave, and a blessing for what was—even as we leave it behind’.


When death and sorrow stifle growth, and the world ‘wants to rush toward closure and healing’ allow for Grieving Room: Making Space for All the Hard Things after Death and Loss (Broadleaf), which provides ‘permission to let loss linger’.

Find additional support for Grief, Death, and Dying in our lib guide.


This Lent, Laura Alary doubles-up on empowering caring adults to Make Room: A Child’s Guide to Lent and Easter (Paraclete, 2016), by offering a free, downloadable Discussion and Activity Guide to her book.

Find more tips and resources for Lent with Children and Families in our lib guide.


If you’ve got space in your heart and/or congregational life, please read and share Dorothy Butler Bass’s reflections on The Christian Nationalist War and Heather Cox Richardson’s, February 25, 2024.

Richardson, ‘one of our era’s most important and insightful historians’, was on MPR’s Big Books and Bold Ideas with Kerri Miller (02.23.24), talking about, Democracy Awakening: Notes on the State of America (Penguin Random), which has been heralded as, ‘a vital and urgent call to action about the precarious state of American democracy, charting its historical challenges and current threats’.

Find more information and resources on Church & State/Christian Nationalism in our lib guide.


Bonus track for the close of Black History Month: If reparations are on the horizon in your anti-racism work, please view Yes! Magazine’s new six-part digital series, Realizing Reparations, which explores, ‘what it means to be a “reparationist,” …young Black influencers’ reclamation of reparations narratives, …and how descendants of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre survivors are rebuilding the city’s economic power…’

Find additional wisdom in our Reparations & Restorative Justice lib guide.