Wonder, connection, growth and transformation are beautiful gifts God grants us in the face of stress, loss, anxiety and grief. This week’s resources are a variety of guides offering a variety of modes for moving through challenges into the New.
Little Mole Goes to School (Beaming) is the latest in Glenys Nellist’s beloved series. Little Mole faces anxiety and self-doubt and – with encouragement from mama – he and his equally anxious forest friends discover talents and gifts they didn’t know they had.
Find additional Back-to-School/Backpack Sunday resources for faith formation and worship in our lib guide.
Encourage joy in discovering new things – about one’s self and creation: You Wonder All the Time (Free Spirit) celebrates Littles’ questions and amazement and invites their caregivers to lean into the wonder we can all experience viewing God’s astounding creation with open eyes and minds.
Adults might supplement their awe with Matthew Fox’s recent reflections on the Webb Telescope – and its incredible images of the expanding universe.
No one needs a study from the Center for Youth Ministry Training to tell them that your tweens and teens are experiencing anxiety and depression in unprecedented levels. But in case you don’t have a cadre of the world’s most informed, aware, and articulate parents, their Stress & Anxiety Case Study, is full of helpful insights for why youth are disengaging from church activities – a starting point for your own (teams’) conversations about creating relevant, life-giving opportunities for tweens and teens.
Enhance wellness throughout your age-ranges with our 7-part webinar series Belonging: Welcome Wellbeing, with pastors, therapists, coaches, and artist moving us from self-care, through family health, to deepening diverse community. Learn more here. The registration link will be live soon!
If the anxiety is congregation-wide, check out The Art of Leading Change: Ten Perspectives on the Messiness of Ministry (Fortress) which will talk you out of maintaining the status quo in favor of allowing the challenges of change to become transformative community builders.
Invite your Tweens (ages 9-12) to deepen their spiritual connection with Earth, one another, and their more-than-human relatives with A Joyful Path, Year 3: Earth Is Sacred (Progressive Christianity), a 38-session curriculum based on Jesus’ parables which remind us of the importance of relatedness and that it is our nature to be loving, generous, and united.
Make it intergenerational using OnBeing’s delightful videos, A Wild Love for the World: The Natural World, Joy, and Human Flourishing or Natural World Sound Meditation: A Doorway to the Wild.
And in case you need a reason to be re-amazed at the Bible, the church, and the world, check out the astounding research of Elizabeth Shrader – Duke University PhD student and friend of Diana Butler Bass – who invites us to wonder about Mary the Tower: What Would Christianity Be Like if Mary Magdalene Hadn’t Been Hidden from View? in her sermon, All the Marys, shared at last week’s Wild Goose Festival Closing Worship (July 17, 2022).
All we can say is, ‘Wow.’