Native American Heritage Month is as good a time as any to cast a critical eye on the monsters and traumas of Christian texts and histories – and celebrate the saints who’ve worked toward repair and renewal.
‘A stunning array of peculiar creatures… fill the biblical heavens, jarring in both their strangeness and their propensity for violence–especially on God’s behalf.’ Discover where they’re lurking in God’s Monsters: Vengeful Spirits, Deadly Angels, Hybrid Creatures, and Divine Hitmen of the Bible (Broadleaf)
On the flip-side, check out Illustrated Ministry’s 3 Wondrous Ways to Celebrate All Saints’ Day with Kids – one of their new youth-focused resources.
Find additional All Saints and Dia de los Muertos resources in our lib guide.
One PC(USA) Delegation Rights a Historic Wrong in Juneau, Alaska -described as ‘the beginning of living into a justice-focused community’ – could inspire a wave of repair and renewed relations with Indigenous members and neighbors through intergenerational study, prayer, and awareness-building with our WaterThreads Toolkit.
One simple step in healthier colonizer/Indigenous relations is rethinking ‘Thanksgiving’. The Story of a Pumpkin Pie (Pilgrim) offers a white-bodied nostalgic lens. We offer some decolonizing ideas and Thanksgiving Alternatives in our lib guide.
If the work of decolonizing faith is growing in peoples’ awareness, it might be time to rethink other areas of Christianity:
- Good Book: How White Evangelicals Save the Bible to Save Themselves (Fortress) asserts that, ‘Whether they rebrand patriarchy or seek to untangle the Bible from sexism, white evangelical Bible-benevolence projects perpetuate misogyny’.
- Christians and War: A Brief History (Fortress), encourages readers to ‘confront the Christian church’s history’ and ‘think critically’ in order ‘to hold their own position that promotes both peace and justice’.
- The Hero and the Whore: Reclaiming Healing and Liberation through the Stories of Sexual Exploitation in the Bible (WJK) utilizes, ‘a blend of storytelling, cultural analysis, and trauma-informed care… to reconsider… assumptions about victims of sexual exploitation’ and the compassionate responses, ‘that will bring us all to the wholeness God desires’.
If rethinking sacred texts and history can be transformative, so might rethinking some of the stories we tell ourselves: The Small Church Advantage; Seven Powerful Worship Practices that Work Best in Small Settings (Market Square), ‘reminds readers of the strengths of the small church and leads them through a process of using those strengths as an advantage’.
Find additional resources for Reclaiming Rural/Small in our lib guide.
Many congregations will benefit from examining their internal stories, writes Innovation Lab Executive Director Meghan Hatcher in, ‘Under the Microscope: Church Culture Needs to Be Interrupted (A Response to Alexander Lang). [See Lang’s post here.]
Join Meghan to explore and experience tools she’s created to support congregational culture shifts in The Ministry Lab’s Where Is God in Transformation? hybrid seminar, November 7. Learn more and register here.
And apropos to nothing – but worthwhile none-the-less: ‘Learn how to have more choice and control [in] future healthcare decisions – and how you can support community members in the same – with Katherine Cherian’s Demystify Advanced Care Planning resources: For Individuals and Couples (pdf),Young Adult Workshop (in-person), an overview video, and a deeper dive webinar.