Six New Things – Week of June 12, 2023

Summer’s rest and renewal – elusive as they may be – can inspire and empower individual and communal transformations, molding us a little more fully into God’s image and belovedness.


From the author of Julián Is a Mermaid, comes, A Bed of Stars (Candlewick) ‘a tender new story… [that] celebrates first-time camping, father-child bonding, and feeling at one with the universe’ – a gentle guide to helping anxious children develop a sense of belonging within family and amidst the cosmic backdrop.

For adults unsure of their place in the grand scheme of things, Searching for Agabus: Embracing Authenticity and Finding Your Way to You (Broadleaf) affirms the ‘blessings in anonymity’ and that ‘we can live quietly and find our way home to ourselves and to God’.


Anxious leaders might find respite in Dancing through Fire: Daily Poems of Wisdom, Passion, and Peace (Pilgrim); if that doesn’t usher in some calm, J. Dana Trent, author of For Sabbath’s Sake (Upper Room) is featured in a new two-hour documentary, SABBATH: An Ancient Practice Meets the Modern World – watch for free online here; sponsor a public screening here.

Find more on Sabbath & Rest in our lib guide.


On the flip-side, rather than ‘race toward the pat resolution or the quick fix’, The Gift of Restlessness: A Spirituality of Unsettled Seasons, (Broadleaf), helps us move ‘deeper into the life of the Spirit and our own belovedness’…

…a state we may discover similarly by stepping into a role of The Everyday Advocate: Living Out Your Calling to Social Justice (Augsburg), which encourages leaders to ‘identify injustices that still reign, and respond faithfully by incorporating big and small actions into their everyday lives’…


…actions we may take In Trembling Boldness: Wisdom for Today from Ancient Jesus People (Broadleaf), which ‘draws meaning and connection between ancient followers of Jesus and the most pressing issues of today’…

…much as What Would Jesus See: Ways of Looking at a Disorienting World (Broadleaf) ‘applies Jesus’s unique ways of seeing the world to key challenges facing society’ and finds ‘a call to look at our world – especially those who are most disadvantaged – with radical empathy’.


To that end, PBS suggests What to Watch: Celebrate LGBTQIA Pride Month with a collection of documentaries and programs that highlight LGBTQIA voices and experiences…

…while Tripp Fuller and Dorothy Butler Bass have something to say about key challenges of today and do so while Ruining Dinner in their Secret Pod on the Donald Trump Indictment (just in case you wanted more/theological commentary on that).


When you’re feeling rested and radical empathy has lit the fire of social transformation, bring the community along with Building Up a New World: Congregational Organizing for Transformative Impact (Pilgrim), an effort that will assuredly be enhanced by Innovation Lab’s Community Discovery Package and/or Innovation Culture Index (which 10 Ministry Lab member congregations can utilize for free – contact Emily Meyer for details); and nourish them all with Do This: Communion for Just and Courageous Living (Pilgrim) – ‘a starting point for (re)engaging the life-shaping themes of Communion:

  • belong and memory
  • bodies and violence
  • food and creation care,
  • labor and resilience
  • reconciliation and healing

And if you’d be so kind as to help The Ministry Lab do our own transformational work, we would be most grateful for your input in this three-question Keep It / Cut It survey (less than a 5-minute process).