Gifts to the Community through Gloria Dei Children and Families
From January to May of this year, the Racial Justice Committee completed the task of providing anti-racist and diverse children’s literature to the Sunday School children of Gloria Dei and their families, as well as to the Highland Park Elementary and Gloria Dei libraries. This ministry has been designed to equip the parents and children of our church to be able to talk together about important and sometimes difficult racial and cultural issues. And, as a pebble thrown into a pond creates ripples, we hope this has rippled further into the community of Saint Paul and the surrounding area as children and their parents have also placed the books into Little Free Libraries near their homes. In this way, they also have been equipped to be agents of racial justice in the metro area. Part of our mission was to provide the Sunday School children and their families a way to also make a difference.
God has been at work in our faith community in many ways through this project. We distributed over 180 books. Some were picked up by children who attended Sunday School from the Beginners Class (age 3) through the 5th and 6th Grade class. A greater majority of the books, however, were delivered by a team of 13 drivers, some Racial Justice Committee members and some not. Further, your offerings which were given through the 2020 Mission Grant helped to purchase the beautiful and helpful books that were shared in the Sunday School and Saint Paul community.
Many have requested the names and authors of the books chosen by the Little Library team. As a subcommittee of the Racial Justice Committee, that group worked since last summer to review and select good literature. We believe these books could also be wonderful gifts to children you know and love, helping them to grow in their understanding and awareness of diversity and racial justice. We believe that is a part of the discipleship of following Jesus Christ, who shares the love of God for all the children of the earth. Consider the following books as good possibilities for giving. You can purchase any of the books at Birchbark Books in Minneapolis (owned by indigenous author, Louise Erdrich). Click here to read information from the Racial Justice Committee about each of the books.
– All the Colors We Are, written by Katie Kissinger (ages 3-6)
– Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem, written by Amanda Gorman (ages 4-8)
– Dreamers, written by Yuyi Morales (ages 4-8)
– The Proudest Blue: A Story of a Hijab and Family, written by Ibtihaj Muhammad (ages 4-8)
– Greet the Dawn: The Lakota Way, written by S.D. Nelson (ages 4-8)
– A Place Inside of Me: A Poem to Heal the Heart, written by Zetta Elliot (ages 4-8)
– Something Happened in Our Town, written by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, Ann Hazard (ages 4-10)
– Yang Warriors, written by Kao Kalia Yang (ages 5-10)
The Gloria Dei Little Library team is exploring further steps with this project. We continue to look for ways to equip parents and children with resources for understanding diverse culture and racial justice, and that all may be agents of that justice. May the ripples in the pond continue to move out from us as children of God, sharing the love of Christ.