Six New Things – Week of May 20, 2024

Identity and transformation, marginalization and mental health, congregational and communal well-being: they’re all wrapped up with one another. What affects the smallest part affects the whole; the health of one is intertwined with the health of all.


What story would you hair tell? What story does your hair tell? In, If My Hair Had a Voice (Beaming), one girl, ‘discovers that Black hair …tells the story of a rich cultural history filled with diversity, resistance, artistry, and, of course, beauty.’ It includes the history of each hairstyle in the book. Fun, informative, and inspiring!

We’ve added this to our Anti-racism: Children & Families: Identity & Diversity lib guide.


Further encourage a sense of identity and self-awareness with All I Need to Be (Simon & Schuster), ‘an inspiring picture book guiding children in heart-centered and mindfulness-based practices in the face of fear, anxiety, and racial injustice’.

Find more for young activists in our Contemplative Activism lib guide.


Empower greater self-awareness in adults with:

We’ve got additional resources for Discernment/Vocation in our lib guide.


Find unexpected direction for congregational discernment in Jesus and the Abolitionists: How Anarchist Christianity Empowers the People (Broadleaf) – which engages an anarchist lens, ‘to help us build a more ethical and just world’, and Improvising Church: Scripture as the Source of Harmony, Rhythm, and Soul (IVP), which builds on jazz music and Christian community to, ‘unfold a biblical, practical, and inventive vision for churches seeking to receive and extend the healing of Christ.

Find more on Reimagining Church in our lib guide.


Develop greater awareness and skills for pastoral care with individuals and families with Borderline: The Biography of a Personality Disorder (Beacon), ‘an intimate, compassionate, and expansive portrate’ that ‘rejects the conventional wisdom that the condition is untreatable and those diagnosed with it are ‘difficult’.

Find more in our Pastoral Care: Mental Health & Addictions lib guide.


Increase capacity and joy for adults working with neurodiverse children and youth with the Neurodiversity Training Handbook Resource Toolkit (AdaptEd4SpecialEd), 102-pages of therapy best practices, challenging behaviors, parent collaboration information pack, and more – built for schools, but adaptable for congregational leaders and families.

Find more support in our Faith Formation: Special Needs & Neurodiversity lib guide.


P.S. There won’t be a Six New Things next week due to Memorial Day, so here’s an extra tid-bit in preparation for Pride Month: Illustrated Ministry has five new designs that come in t-shirts, hoodies, and sweatshirts – and of course, a rainbow of colors. Check out their swag!

Find more for Pride prep in our Worship: Pride lib guide.


Be sure to come say, ‘HI!’ We’ll be at the UMC Annual Conference in Bloomington, May 29 & 30; and at the UCC Conference at St John’s, June 7 & 8. We look forward to seeing folx at both!!