On the eve of Black History Month, we’re highlighting Black female leaders, learning about the legacy of slavery and oppression in African American mental health, amplifying the immigrant experience, and getting ready for the Lenten journey.

ONE

Sing, Aretha, Sing: Aretha Franklin, “Respect”, and the Civil Rights Movement (Macmillan), tells of the powerful impact Franklin’s voice and music had in emboldening Civil Rights workers; Ida B. Wells, Voice of Truth: Educator, Feminist, and Anti-Lynching Civil Rights Leader (Macmillan) is a picture-book biography of the groundbreaking journalist and activist as told by her great-granddaughter. Both are sure to inspire a new generation in speaking their own truth.

TWO

Bipolar Faith: A Black Woman’s Journey with Depression and Faith (Broadleaf) is a personal account of “trauma, depression, and the threat of death in light of the legacies of slavery, war, sharecropping, poverty, and alcoholism” that masked one family’s history of mental illness for generations.

THREE

Even as we learn of the generational traumas inflicted by white supremacy culture, the stories of its dominance continue: Go Back to Where You Came From and Other Helpful Recommendations on How to Become American (Norton) relates Wajat Ali’s experience as a Muslim in America over the past several decades. Ali’s 1A/MPR interview would be a great way to introduce reading the book to a discussion group.

FOUR

Share a little joy – and self-love for Chinese American children – with Eva Chen’s “moving ode to the immigrant experience”, I Am Golden (Macmillan) – and maybe interrupt the cycle of distrusting the ‘other’ by embracing new neighbors.

Turn this sentiment into action with connections in our Settle In Great Idea!

FIVE

Move individuals and/or the whole congregation into a mode of neighborliness and peace-making in your Lenten journey with Fight Like Jesus: How Jesus Waged Peace Throughout Holy Week (MennoMedia).

Traci Smith is offering a printable version of her Family Reflections for Lent – which will take families all the way through Easter Season.

SIX

Watch for Fresh & Free All Ages Lenten resources from The Ministry Lab, coming soon!

And please be sure to read our New Year Newsletter – it’s full of our gratitude for your support and offers a glimpse of upcoming opportunities and resources!