Now that we’re all Back-to-School: what will we learn this year? Who are the teachers and who are the students? Diverse tutors – from different age groups, identities, cultures, and theologies – guide the willing in explorations of Latine heritage, non-binary identities, intergenerational community, challenging theologies, and surviving Armageddon.
This Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15), encourage intergenerational exchanges with I Love You Mucho Mucho (Beaming): a celebration of love’s ability to communicate beyond language barriers.
Expand on intergenerational love by reorienting engagement with children from ‘transactional’ to ‘dialogical’: The Gifts They Bring: How Children in the Gospels Can Shape Inclusive Ministry (WJK) emphasizes ‘learning and serving together’ through ministries informed by children in the Gospels and present-day children’s lived experience.
Help children deepen into their best Self with I’m Fabulous Crab (Flyaway), ‘a sparkling story about joyfully wearing your true colors – and perhaps a touch of glitter!’
Deepen awareness around gender identity with Raising Kids beyond the Binary: Celebrating God’s Transgender and Gender-Diverse Children (Broadleaf), written by a parent and their non-binary child.
Confident you’re catching glimpses of the End of Times? Choctaw elder and retired Episcopal bishop Steven Charleston offers We Survived the End of the World: Lessons from Native America on Apocalypse and Hope (Broadleaf; find a discussion guide here).
Participate in ending apocalyptic suffering and decolonize communal gatherings by Unsettling Worship: Reforming Liturgy for Right Relations with Indigenous Communities (Cascade).
Broaden the scope of racial reconciliation with Transgressing Race: Readings, Theologies, Belongings (Pickwick), which, ‘engages with racialized biblical texts and religious theologies’ – and with racial discrimination, the suffering of people in diaspora and struggles of postcolonial minoritized people, the courage of indigenous people and with the race-insensitive practices of theological and religious education; with contributors from around the globe.
Follow transgression with reflections On Repentance and Repair: Making Amends in an Unapologetic World (Beacon), ‘a crucial new lens on repentance, atonement, forgiveness, and repair from harm’.
The Godly Play team took this call seriously and is auditing all their resources. Find updated Toolkits and Resources here.
If you’re inspired, this week’s Draw(ing) the Circle Wide Great Idea is an invitation to do this important work on your own curriculum, worship, and systems.
If all this has folx wondering where God is – or if God is: Life after God: Finding Faith When You Can’t Believe Anymore (WJK) introduces readers to, ‘a mysterious, uncontainable, still-active God who loves and cares for real people with real problems’; includes companion videos, a study guide, and Reading Group Guide.
For young adults with God questions, Unscheduled Grace: 40 Devotions and Prayers for College Students (Sparkhouse) ‘can accompany students through the changes, challenges, and joys of college living’.
For folx in need of sustenance: Soul Food: Nourishing Essays on Contemplative Living and Leadership (Church) offers ‘modern contemplative reflections from new and renowned voices in spiritual leadership’.
And for the congregations with whom I’ve recently consulted whose youth groups want to learn about cults, Unsafe Sects: Understanding Religious Cults (Cascade), ‘provides a basic introduction to cults… from an orthodox Christian perspective’, including from ‘the author’s personal experience of cults’.
We’ve all got a lot to learn this year – these resources should start us off well!!