With gratitude for the diversity that shows up in our celebrations in all sorts of beautiful ways, these resources invite us into those difficult table discussions we all should be having, but avoid. Racism and multiculturalism, special needs and ableism, and the emotional and mental health of children and youth (to name a few). We hope they foster a Blessed Thanksgiving and an honest Indigenous Heritage Day.

ONE

The extraordinary Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents [has been] Adapted for Young Adults (Delacorte). Those familiar with the original know this as a fantastic tool for exploring, ‘the unspoken hierarchies that divide us across lines of race and class’; it speaks to young people ‘who are engaged more than ever with the world around them’. Read, study, pray, confess, grow.

If they’ve already read the original Caste, adults (especially preachers!) can support young peoples’ discussions with their own guided by Becoming Human: The Holy Spirit and the Rhetoric of Race (WJK), which affirms that ‘the diversity of human bodies is one of the gifts of the Spirit’.

Find more on the History of Race in America (for adults and children), especially from Indigenous Voices and, for youth, from a diversity of Perspectives & Stories, in our lib guides.

TWO

A parallel adult conversation is offered in the revised Building Lasting Bridges: An Updated Handbook for Intercultural Ministries (Judson), which, with a ‘light humor’, includes easily accessible chapters, questions for personal or group reflection, the promise of community-building, and supplemental conversation materials available online.

THREE

People living with autism may not have a distinct culture, but The Autism of Gxd: An Atheological Love Story (WJK) weaves ‘an autistic mythology out of a rigorous survey of clinical autism’ as it ‘offers a fascinating view into how an autistic poet becomes a theologian; and what more mainstream theologies might learn from this “disabled God.”‘

Bring all ages into theological reflection around Special Needs with resources from our lib guide.

FOUR

If the dialogue inspires action, encourage it! – with Everyday Activism: Following 7 Practices of Jesus to Create a Just World (Baker), in which all ages will discover ‘7 radical practices from the life of Jesus to equip [them] for everyday activism’, i.e., practices that could change lives.

FIVE

If the everyday is overwhelming for young ones living in more than one household, Mabel’s Topsy-Turvy Home (Beaming) offers encouragement for navigating the complexities of divorce and other changes. The free downloadable educator’s guide offers kids continued learning about adapting to changing circumstances.

Youth can support research into their own mental health and spiritual life as a 2023 Springtide Ambassador. Ambassadors, ‘meet monthly to engage different Springtide findings on Gen Z, reflect on and share their own experiences, create and curate original content’. What an opportunity!! The application process is simple.

SIX

The Ministry Lab is creating a First Sunday after Christmas/Epiphany video reflection congregations can share as a Sunday sermon, prayer, or reflection (online or in-person; give your preacher a Sunday off!!), or as an opening or closing to other gatherings.

We’re using images from around the state! Send us your photos, then register to receive the video. It’s free for member congregations and will be available from January 1 through the Season of Epiphany. Learn more here.

Submit photos here.

Register to receive the link, when the video is ready, here.

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Blessed Thanksgiving and Indigenous Heritage Day!!