I didn’t plan to post anything this week due to the Memorial Day break, but with two horrific shootings in the past two weeks, the anniversary of George Floyd’s murder, the persistence of war, and the mounting toll of Covid-19 – which many of us would like to pretend is a thing of the past – it seemed wise to share these timely and hopefully helpful, resources.

ONE

Mass shooters seem to have one common thread: they were the quiet kid who got bullied or beaten and never quite fit in. Legislation to limit access to deadly weapons is essential, but so is the need to create communities where all of God’s children are loved; where everyone finds a place of belonging. I can’t think of a more timely title than When We Belong: Reclaiming Christianity on the Margins (Herald). This ‘hope-filled book’ helps readers ‘rediscover a reality of love, belonging, and beauty’.

TWO

For Christians tired of sleepless nights and days of bad news – but who feel powerless or constrained by ‘Christian decency’ – the reminder that Jesus Takes Sides: Embracing the Political Demands of the Gospel (Herald) may be liberating. ‘For the sake of your faith, the least of these among us, and for Christ’s sake’, let yourself stand for truth, peace, and justice.

THREE

Convinced that your congregation is not ready to take a stand? Unsure of how to mention any of these tragedies without creating a congregational split? Teresa Cooley encourages us to embrace conflict as an opportunity to learn and grow in Transforming Conflict: The Blessings of Congregational Turmoil (Rowman & Littlefield).

Find additional resources for navigating Change/Conflict in our lib guide.

FOUR

Struggling with how to address these latest events with your young ones – or anyone? We share age- and need-specific resources for processing Grief & Trauma with:

We’ll continue to update these resources in the days ahead.

In the meantime, as you prepare for worship, you may find our Justice & Lament resources of use.

FIVE

If you’re ready to move from prayer to action, but not sure how to proceed, here are some pertinent engagement opportunities for individuals, households, congregations, and communities:

If antiracism is your focus – or you’d like it to be but are struggling to get started, we’ve broken down books, curricula, webinars, and trainings by age-group:

Ready to move from study to action? Here are areas of engagement to help end Systemic Racism & White Supremacy Culture.

SIX

To help congregations become more and more the Beloved Community we are called to be, we encourage Contemplative Practices that restore our soul as they teach us to listen – for the Divine and to one another; Social/Emotional learning that helps us show up as our best selves, and Mental Health and Addiction interventions that move toward healing and restoration for individuals and communities.