One

Women’s History Month reminds us of women’s roles as backbones of community:

A Black Women’s History of the United States (Beacon) emphasizes the perspectives and stories of African American women to show how they are – and have always been – instrumental in shaping our country.

Prey Tell: Why We Silence Women Who Tell the Truth and How Everyone Can Speak Up (Brazos) explores dynamics of power and abuse women have historically overcome in ministry and professional settings – and the backlash they face – as it empowers others to speak up; see also the Prey Tell Summit and online groups.

Already Toast: Caregiving and Burnout in America (Beacon) shows how all-consuming caregiving can be, how difficult it is to find support, and the narratives that have locked women into providing emotional labor which keep them in unpaid caregiving roles.

Find additional resources for Women’s History Month in our Confronting Misogyny lib guide.

Two

… and of the need for hope…

When Things Are Hard, Remember (Beaming), uses gentle storytelling and poetic language to explore what it means to have hope: hope that things will get better, hope that you are cared for even in the hard times, and hope that new growth is waiting to burst forth.

Three

…and kindness…

Discover All of This Is for You: A Little Book of Kindness (HarperCollins): a beautiful collection of artwork and messages of compassion and connection for all who feel overwhelmed with life.

In Defense of Kindness: Why It Matters, How It Changes Our Lives, and How It Can Save the World (Chalice) argues that being kind is not about “being nice” and has the power to transform relationships in all arenas of life.

Four

…while building –

Church Cracked Open: Disruption, Decline, and New Hope for Beloved Community (Church Publishing), explores how communities steeped in racism, establishment, and privilege can learn to walk humbly with the most vulnerable and embody beloved community.

Hope is inspired with Faithful in Small Things: How to Serve the Needy When You’re One of Them (MennoMedia), which calls us not only to “help the needy” but also to acknowledge our own need as it exposes gaps in mainstream understandings of economic inequality and explores holistic ways of reducing poverty.

Five

– and expanding – God’s Beloved Community:

Those 7 References: A Study of Homosexuality in the Bible and Its Impact on the Queer Community of Faith (Church): a thoughtful analysis of the faulty rationale behind Christian anti-gay bias.

Six

…the work of which is empowered with contemplation:

The Seeker and the Monk: Everyday Conversations with Thomas Merton (Broadleaf) engenders a steady sense of dwelling more deeply within – and  loving more deeply – this “despairing and radiant world”.

Contemplative Knitting (Morehouse): need we say more? Knitting creates connections and communities, grounds the repetitiveness of prayer recitation, and offers enlightenment for the spiritual journey, from starting something new to how we handle mistakes.

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We’re excited about our Co-Lab Feedback Loops: established to empower leaders to live into God’s Beloved Community. Our Spring Cohort is geared toward progressive rural leaders; our Anti-Racism Cohort is in support of those who are doing individual and/or communal toward becoming antiracist and ending white supremacy culture.