One

Inspired by real-life events, For Beautiful Black Boys Who Believe in a Better World (Flyaway) looks at one family’s response to racism and gun violence. (Includes a discussion guide created by the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, KY).

Two

the colors of culture (InterVarsity) shows the beauty of diverse friendships and the risks inherent in them. Readers are empowered to initiate culturally diverse relationships; learn to treat people with value and worth; and step away from cultural assumptions toward humility.

Encouragement for kindness and growth can also be found in The Mister Rogers Effect: 7 Secrets to Bringing Out the Best in Yourself and Others from America’s Beloved Neighbor (Baker)

Three

Empower your teens to navigate emotions through self-reflection with the simple journal prompts, art projects and writing offered in Dream Up Now: The Teen Journal for Creative Self-Discover (Free Spirit).

Four

Congregational empowerment comes from Just Faith: Reclaiming Progressive Christianity (Broadleaf), Might from the Margins: The Gospel’s Power to Turn the Tables on Injustice (MennoMedia) and Brave Talk: Building Resilient Relationships in the Face of Conflict (Broadleaf).

For a deeper dive in congregational and leadership encouragement, join Presbyterian Outlook for Holy Imagination + Race: How the Church Can Be a Healing Force in America’s Racial Divide, the Damascus Project’s Being a Faith Change Agent, or for a more rest and renewal approach, join The MN Conference (UCC) Outdoor Ministry for three monthly Contemplative Gathering Retreats starting October 17.

Five

Empower and engage all ages with Michelle Gribble-Dates’ Liturgical Yoga series for the month of September: Choose Love connects the children’s book Elizabeti’s School (Lee & Low) to Matthew 21:23-32 (for Sept. 27); Stepping into the Unknown pairs Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach (Kids Can Press) with Exodus 16:2-14 (for Sept. 20); Live and Let Live uses The Grumpy Pets to explore Romans 14:1-12 (for Sept. 13) and Work It Out uses Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse (Scholastic) to explore Matthew 18:15-20 (Sept. 6).

Six

Inspire your whole community to work toward water-wellness with Growing Green Hearts’ Water Where We Live: Rain Gardens for Churches. Get inspired with Water Story of Rain Gardens at Macalester Plymouth United Church; join Rain Gardens & Maintenance Workshop with Capitol Region Watershed District; and/or participate in their Rain Gardens for Churches Lunch’N’Learn (contact Emily Meyer for the zoom link).