Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Big Questions and Tough Stuff

These are books and resources related to the topic of our final two sessions of our parenting group. Most of these titles are available in the Lighthouse to view or borrow.

Big Questions and Tough Stuff: Religion
Hide and Seek With God
”Where one might find God differs from religion to religion; in fact, answers to this question may well be a part of what differentiates one religion from another. Jews might say they find God in historical actions of freedom and justice; Christians might say God is revealed in the love found in the life and person of Jesus; and Muslims might say they find the one God in the words of the Quran. God is found in everything that is: earth and sky; light and dark; people's caring actions; within ourselves; and even in the not knowing. For if God is a symbol for ultimate reality, values, and mystery,one's unknowing can be considered one's ultimate reality. This metaphor in which God hides and humans search is supported by the UU Principle which urges us to affirm and promote a free and responsible search for truth and meaning. We search in all of our Sources: our own experience, the `words and deeds of prophetic women and men,wisdom from the world religions, Jewish and Christian teachings, and humanist teachings.” This storybook contains 29 enchanting tales that portray God in many different forms--as transcendent mystery, the mother and father of life, peace and silence, light and darkness, and more. These delightful stories offer children the beginnings of a religious language for talking about God.

Let’s Talk About Interfaith Families: This booklet is designed to help us explore how we live our lives as UU people who embrace a pluralistic and inclusive faith. It will help us to think about and to discuss the concept and the reality of interfaith families. The booklet begins with a discussion of faith structures and practices and how we integrate different faith stances into family life. It then suggests ways to build bridges of understanding and create interfaith ceremonies and celebrations for UU families.

Parents as Resident Theologians includes 6 sessions and 12 readings to help parents and kids explore together their beliefs about God, prayer and other religious issues.

Bridge Magazine: Online magazine dedicated to a coexistence in a world made up of billions of unique individuals who all deserve the right to live as they choose. Includes resources for interfaith families.

Unitarian Universalism is a Really Long Name by Jennifer Dant
This one-of-a-kind picture book is a colorful introduction to Unitarian Universalism for children ages five to nine. Simple language and appealing illustrations offer children accessible answers to commonly asked questions such as: Who are we? What do we believe? How do we worship? Who leads us? Do we read the Bible? What is our religious symbol? Do we pray? What is Sunday school? How do we celebrate? "This appealing book answers children’s basic questions about Unitarian Universalism with friendly words and charming pictures—an excellent resource

Meet Jesus: The Life and Lessons of a Beloved Teacher by Lynn Tuttle Gunney
Meet Jesus is a picture book that introduces young children (ages 4-8) to Jesus and his lessons of love, kindness, forgiveness and peace. Meet Jesus emphasizes the humanity rather than the divinity of Jesus, giving the story broad appeal for liberal or progressive Christians and non-Christians alike. The text includes Bible references with corresponding Bible passages in the back of the book.

Big Questions and Tough Stuff: Life Issues
OWL parent guides A session-by-session guide to what children will learn through the OWL curriculum. Helps parents answer children's tough questions about sexuality issues.

Badger’s Parting Gifts by Susan Varley. A gentle book about death and the gifts our loved ones leave behind.

The Tenth Good Thing about Barney by Judith Viorst When a young boy’s cat dies, his parents help him to deal with his grief by holding a funeral for the cat. They ask him to think of ten good things about his cat, and after talking about death with his father, the boy is finally able to think of the tenth good thing: his cat is in the ground helping to grow flowers.

What Every 21st Century Parent Needs to Know by Debra Haffner
Addresses the big questions, including drinking, drugs and teen sex. Utilizing what she calls the Affirming Parent style, Haffner offers a number of viable solutions to common problems, ranging from Internet use to over-scheduling. An ordained Unitarian minister, Haffner’s tendency is to interpret the stats about children and youth from the bright side. readers will appreciate her just-the-facts-please approach.

The Shelter of Each Other by Mary Pipher An honest appraisal of the pressures on families. Phipher doesn't blame parents for everything. She gives many examples of the way in which outside pressures and the lack of a supporting culture can tear families apart. She offers principles and practical guidelines to help families bond and shelter each other while still giving each other room to grow.

Taking it Home: Families and Faith These booklets were written for congregations and families to use at home and in community to support them through life transitions and spiritual/ethical challenges. Topics include marriage and committed relationships, divorce and broken relationships, families and loss, and the time/money balance.