As promised, this is a Lent-full post – loaded with devotions and study guides – supported by deeper dives into trauma-informed preaching, Jesus-infused justice, racism-undoing guides, LGBTQ2S+-embracing welcome, and life-enriching reads.
Let’s begin with Lent: if you’re not fully prepared, you’re not alone. Here are some wonderful preaching and worship ideas, small group studies, personal and group devotionals, and justice-based discussions for all ages:
- The Desert of Compassion: Devotions for the Lenten Journey (WJK)
- free digital resources included: group study guide, sermon series guide, images for worship, study, and promotion, found here
- Meeting Jesus at the Table: A Lenten Study (WJK)
- includes: chapter-concluding small group discussion questions or personal reflection; preaching suggestions; and food-related outreach and hospitality ideas
- Seeking: Honest Questions for Deeper Faith (A Sanctified Art)
- 11 downloadable multimedia resources for RCL Year A, including: a free theme infographic, devotional booklet, liturgical pieces, daily devotional cards, sermon planning guide, children’s curriculum, children’s bulletins, visual art, Good Friday Service of Silence and Sorrow, branding bundle, poetry for Lent, theme song and original hymns
- My Body Is Good: Giving Up Diet Culture and Embracing Body Positivity for Lent (Baker)
- written specifically for women, each daily meditation offers: scripture, reflection, prayer, journal prompt, other spiritual practices set with the intent of healing from diet culture
- [We’re building a pastoral care lib guide specifically on Body Image here.]
- Unsettling Lent: A Devotional (Chalice)
- revisit Biblical stories through a social justice lens
- Find additional resources for Lent and Easter Faith Formation with all ages here; find Lent and Easter worship resources here.
Another good ‘fit’ for Lent: read two chapters a week of People Get Ready: Twelve Jesus-Haunted Misfits, Malcontents, and Dreamers in Pursuit of Justice (Eerdmans).
Inspire all ages by the example of justice-seeking leaders with books from our new Change-Makers lib guide.
Or let the Lenten journey lead toward internal and external transformation by Deconstructing Racism: A Path toward Lasting Change (Fortress).
Where the traumas of racism – or any other terror – have been real, let this be a season of healing with sermons informed by Fractured Ground: Preaching in the Wake of Mass Trauma (WJK).
Set your New Year’s intent to do no more harm with Becoming in the New Year (self-published by United student and admissions counselor, Cindy Bohrer), a free, downloadable curriculum and resource packet for creating safe, inclusive spaces for all, when you really mean ‘all’.
If any of your regularly gathering folx aren’t quite on the same page with regard to what inclusive welcome and hospitality is – or why it matters – share Transgender or Devoutly Christian? An Iowa Teen Refused to Choose (Washington Post). [This is also a great article to read if you’re wondering about the importance or effectiveness of online worship platforms!!]
Give folx a glimpse of the rich, abundant life of the Easter promise with two completely different approaches to a shared theme: ‘(coming) upon paradise in the midst of our very real lives’ in The Half-Known Life: In Search of Paradise (Riverhead) and/or ‘(discovering) that there is no chasm between heaven and earth’ in The Seamless Life: A Tapestry of Love and Learning, Worship and Work (IVP).
Blessed Epiphany, dear leaders, may your light shine as brilliantly as the just-waning Wolf Moon.