Love is at the heart of New Life. As we inch our way toward transformation, Love is our Source, our mission, and our goal. Here are resources to help expand, express, and exchange Love in grace and hope.
Show the Littles in your life that distance and separation don’t have to keep us from sharing a special, “Hello!” with those we love with, Hello from Here (Worthy Kids).
May is Mental Health Awareness Month.
For congregations of any size wishing to become a place of radical belonging, the UCC Mental Health Network and the United Church of Canada offer Radical Belonging: Mental Health Sunday Liturgies and Resources for All, which includes ‘challenges to the systemic sins that create “otherness” and ableism, shareable stories of people living with mental illness and disabilities, and words of grace and celebration for the opportunities we have as the Body of Christ to love, care for and accept one another’.
Sarah Robinson’s I Love Jesus, But I Want to Die: Finding Hope in the Darkness of Depression (Waterbrook) might be useful in developing personal, pastoral, and/or congregational awareness, compassion, and care for folks struggling with mental illness.
Deepen your focus with resources from our Contemplative and Mental Health Practices for Children & Youth and Mental Health & Addictions Pastoral Care lib guides.
Love Makes Room: And Other Things I Learned When My Daughter Came Out (Broadleaf) may help families and congregations embrace LGBTQ+ members with greater empathy and fullness.
If love doesn’t open hearts and minds, perhaps fiscal practicality will. See: The Economic Case for LGBTQ Equality: Why Fair and Equal Treatment Benefits Us All (Beacon) for a fully pragmatic approach to welcoming LGBTQ+ siblings fully into the Body of Christ.
Those who love the church may find challenge and hope in Gary Guyton’s Reawakened: Activate Your Congregation to Spark Lasting Change (Herald). It could be a novel way to celebrate Pentecost.
For a more family-based Pentecost observance, check out Traci Smith’s Faith at Home: Pentecost Edition.
Find additional Pentecost resources in our constantly developing Faith Formation lib guide.
Look ahead to Juneteenth celebrations and remembrances and prepare a worship service accordingly with the ELCA’s Prayers, Litanies, and Laments for the Commemoration of the Emanuel Nine (June 17).
For a lengthier stretch of community-building and equity-developing liturgies and studies, see A Sanctified Art’s fantastic package, I’ve Been Meaning to Ask…, which includes:
- Study Journal – sample
- Words for Worship – sample
- Sermon Guide – sample
- Conversation Church Liturgy – sample
- Theme Infographic
Right now, receive a 10% discount (Discount Code: CONNECT21), bonus resources, and free supplements, including:
- an original hymn, A Covenant of Grace, by Rev. Anna Strickland
- additional hymn and music ideas
- Lessons for Children
- Content Calendar for social media
Further strengthen community by challenging lies, fostering the art of conversation, and encouraging playfulness and prayerfulness by tending to words through Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies (2nd Edition) (Eerdmans); and encourage folks toward a “better understanding of what th e news is for and how to read it well” with Reading the Times: A Literary and Theological Inquiry into the News (IVP).
So many fantastic new, updated, or “on sale” curricula presented themselves this week that we created an entire Six New Things dedicated just to them. Find what’s hot off the press – or ready for preview or download – here.
If you’re thinking about doing children’s or youth or any-age learning and/or ministry in whole new ways, we’d love to have you join our Round Table discussions – where we’ll inspire one another to think outside the box for all parts of congregational life as we “tip-toe” our way into whatever is next…