Six New Things – Week of January 29, 2024

Let’s prepare for a powerful Black History Month and a meaningful Lent full of essential – and perhaps difficult – discussions.


First things first: it’s Black History Month (Feb. 1-29). Add depth  and develop awareness with reads from Social Justice Books’ Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action book list.

Their focus this year is on one of the 13 Principles of Black Lives Matter, namely Collective Value, which ‘centers the understanding that we are guided by the fact that all Black lives matter, regardless of actual or perceived sexual identity, gender identity, gender expression, economic status, ability, disability, religious beliefs or disbeliefs, immigration status or location. Books found in this list uplift the message that everybody is important and has the right to be safe and happy.’

Find more books on the History of Race in America and Identity and Diversity for Children and Families in our lib guide.


Leaders are invited to develop their own awareness and skills for antiracist leadership in NextChurch’s Antiracism As a Way of Being, an opportunity to explore ‘antiracism as an embodied way of moving and being in the world’ through a newly developed resource that will be available for wider use in late Spring. Over the six Thursdays in Lent, leaders are invited to ‘preview’ and ‘engage the series’ through six video modules (approx. 30 minutes), then gather for one hour facilitated discussions weekly beginning at 12:00 PM CT on Thursday, February 15

Find additional Lenten opportunities for spiritual growth in our Seasonal Offerings listing.


Please join us today (Wednesday) for our Pop-Up Lent Planning Event.

Our theme is ‘creating safe spaces for difficult discussions’. We’ll share intergenerational resources, worship planning ideas, and hear from each other about creative approaches to spiritual and emotional resilience sufficient to the divisive year ahead.

No registration necessary.

Learn more and find the zoom link here. See you there!

Wednesday, January 31, 2024 / 12:00/noon CT


Illustrated Ministry has a vast array of Lenten resources. Our current favorites – largely because they play well in our vision for Lent – are their Lenten/Galactic Spiral and their Labyrinth Stickers (one is holographic!). Find a plethora of other Lent and Easter ideas in their Lenten Resource Guide.

We’ve got one of those, too: find learning, activities, worship ideas, and more for Lent & Easter with all ages in our lib guides.


It’s nowhere near complete, but it’s getting close to Lent – which is when we envisioned congregations using these resources. Their designed to encourage and support congregations in become safe(r) spaces for difficult discussions. Rather than wait for perfection, here’s our Courageous Conversations toolkit. We’ll keep updating – curating out and adding in – resources for reading, leading, and action; and we’ll develop discussion prompts and engagement ideas as we gather them. For now: use what’s helpful!


Nice aside: Social Justice Books also has an (unfortunately) ever-expanding Banned Books List, a ‘critically reviewed selection of multicultural and social justice books’. The list is broken into Elementary, Middle School, High School, Educators, and Not Recommended (though we disagree about some of these).

Find additional resources for supporting authors and ideas getting shunned by book bans in our Banned Books lib guide.