Six New Things – Week of May 13, 2024

This Mental Health Awareness Month, take a look within and gain insight on the big picture as we consider doom and hope, isolation and belonging, and how to care for self and others.

ONE

Brian McLaren’s Life After Doom: Wisdom and Courage for a World Falling Apart (Macmillan), explores ‘the complexity of hope, the necessity of grief, and the need for new ways of thinking, becoming, and belonging in turbulent times. If you want to help yourself, your family, and the communities to which you belong to find courage and resilience… this is the book you need right now’.

We’ve added this to both our Conflict/Division lib guide and Courageous Spaces Toolkit.

TWO

It’s been available for a while, but this month there’s a huge sale on the Mega Emotions Super Bundle from Mindful Amazing, allowing you lifetime, instant access to evidenced-based tools ‘designed to squash worry, anger, or big fears’ as you teach kids to make better decisions in emotionally heightened situations.’

Find more for supporting young ones in Mindfulness & Emotional Awareness in our lib guide.

THREE

A sense of belonging supports greater mental health in all of us. Neurodivergent folx can struggle to make friends and find the places where they ‘fit in’. The Boy Who Loves to Lick the Wind (Reycraft) celebrates the power of nature to fuse a single friendship that inspires welcome and affirmation from an entire community.

We’ve added this book to our Special Needs & Neurodiversity and Antibullying & Friendship lib guides.

FOUR

Grief is another challenge to mental well-being – especially complex grief. All the Pieces: When a Loved One Dies from Substance Use (Magination) helps care-givers address specific areas of guilt, shame, stigma, loss, and anger by validating and normalizing these grief responses.

For a more thorough guide to pastoral care grounded in ‘the lived human experience [as] the starting point for theological exploration’, The Empathic God: A Clinical Theology of At-Onement (Fortress) ‘calls for a practical response of caring participation in God’s ongoing work of salvation through an empathic praxis of spiritual care’.

We’ve added both these books to our Pastoral Care lib guides: Grief, Death & Dying and Spiritual Direction, respectively.

FIVE

According to Mayo Clinic, women are twice as likely as men to experience depression. Listening to women’s voices, affirming girls’ and women’s lived experiences, and celebrating women’s wisdom are steps toward equity and greater mental well-being among women and girls.

Affirm the experiences and wisdom of diverse women’s realities with:

And the ‘powerful collection’, We Refuse to Be Silent: Women’s Voices on Justice for Black Men ( Broadleaf), which includes ‘more than thirty-five accomplished women writers on the topic of violence and injustice against Black men… and how women feel about the vulnerability of our sons, husbands, brothers, fathers, uncles, friends, and other males we care about as they navigate a world that often stereotypes and targets them’.

SIX

And for a little levity and joy:

Check out Happy Birthday Church: A Celebration of Pentecost – storytelling of Acts 2:1-11(12-21, 41-42) – a ‘lively, interactive storytelling… using the elements of a birthday party’ to ‘fit your sanctuary with the surprised gasps and joyful laughter that filled the crowd on that day long ago’.

And help your families practice faith at home through the summer equipped with Summertime Family Faith Calendars from Traci Smith.

We’ve added these to our Worship: Pentecost and Family Faith: Spiritual Practices lib guides, respectively.