Trauma is our current epidemic; our current epidemics seem to be endlessly, repeatedly, and multiply traumatic. Let emerging theologies and practices guide leaders and communities to embrace Black siblings; empower women and girls – from divers religious background; center – and love – marginalized voices; enhance understanding; and journey toward becoming communities of belonging.

ONE

Dualistic theologies – which pit light vs. dark – have traumatized humanity and creation for eons.

Finally! A children’s book that breaks through the duality, revealing Divine beauty and redemptive presence in God’s Holy Darkness (Beaming).

If you haven’t already, share with your adults Resmaa Menakem: My Grandmother’s Hands, introduced us to generational, embodied trauma; his follow-up, The Quaking of America: An Embodied Guide to Navigating Our Nation’s Upheaval and Racial Reckoning (Central Recovery) will be essential reading for wading through the current morass to some kind of hopeful future. Listen to his MPR interview with Angela Davis here.

TWO

Inspire and uplift struggling female-bodied persons in your community by reading together Girls That Never Die: Poems (One World) – Muslim poet, Safia Elhillo’s, conception of a future in which girls and women live free from threats of violence and constraint. Share it for constructive interreligious dialogue and for every woman’s need for safety and autonomy.

THREE

Safety and autonomy are basic needs regardless of gender identity: in Gods of Want: Stories (One World) author K-Ming Chang ‘mixes myth and migration, corporeality and ghostliness, queerness and the quotidian’ in a feminist voice that questions power and memory; while Dianna Anderson‘s In Transit: Being Non-Binary in a World of Dichotomies (Broadleaf) ‘looks forward to a world where being who we are, whatever that looks like, isn’t met with tension and long-winded explanation, but rather with acceptance and love’. The In Transit Discussion Guide is great for book clubs, small groups, or individual study.

FOUR

Embolden your congregation to become a space brimming with acceptance and love with Dawn of Sunday: The Trinity and Trauma-Safe Churches (Cascade). Hospitality isn’t just saying ‘hello’ and inviting folx to coffee after worship; awareness develops welcome and well-being for all.

FIVE

Nor are the people in the pew or the neighbor not-yet-met the only ones in need of a safe haven: A Path to Belonging: Overcoming Clergy Loneliness (Fortress) is written just for you, dear leader.

Learn more from authors Mary Kay DuChene and Mark Sundby in our upcoming BELONGING Blue Whirl Webinar Series. We’ll start publicizing soon for this early fall series!!

SIX

Speaking of fall: Backpack Sunday is on its way! (WHAT???!!) If you’re already getting ready, check out Traci Smith’s Blessing of the Backpacks Toolkit sale happening right now (and ending soon!!).

Find a bunch of other resources for blessings, liturgies, and give-aways in our Backpack/Back-to-School Sunday lib guide.

Help parents through another time of transition with Little Did I Know: An Anthology on Loving and Companioning Young Lives (Skinner), a ‘beautiful and inclusive anthology of reflections on the spiritual gifts and challenges of raising young people’ – inspired and compiled through the past two+ years.

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Blessings as you journey toward ever-more Beloved Community, gracious leader; may these resources offer guidance and respite along the way!