Several people have asked me lately about books I would recommend for children who are asking questions about death...so, I thought it may be useful to list my top picks here
When Dinosaurs Die is a good intro to the whole topic--approachable and tailorable as a "read aloud" for discussion of specifics that may apply to a particular family or situation. The illustrator has several other familiar books (he's the author and illustrator of the Arthur series) which makes this book feel familiar and approachable. http://www.amazon.com/When-Dinosaurs-Die-Understanding-Families/dp/0316119555
I have other recommendations for kids who are dealing with losing someone in the immediate family--ones that are less nuts and bolts (altho' both are necessary) and deal more with the abstract "feeling" stuff
Other books I've seen people use include The Next Place (I have an aversion to this one, largely because I think it's not open ended enough for families to apply their own theology or understanding of what may happen after death--and I think it can be a bit scary. That said, the people who love it, LOVE it). I've gifted Tear Soup: A Recipe For Healing After Loss but, I think it works better for grown ups than for kids (pet peeve of mine, "children's books" that are really aimed at grown ups). And...finally, one I've heard of but not read personally, The Invisible String. While I haven't read it, I think the concept as it's described (an invisible string connecting us to all those we love that can NEVER be severed) is a wonderful one.
Proper 21C, the scripture appointed can be found here
"By Schism Rent Asunder"
It is one of the duties of the priest to share with her
congregation news of the wider church. Last week, the Bishops of the Episcopal met in the city of Detroit and from their meeting issued a letter A Word to the Church for the World (link attached for reference, but full text printed below)
“Greetings from Detroit, a city determined to be
revived. Greetings also from the city of Flint, where we are reminded that
the gift of water has for many of our brothers and sisters become contaminated.
Here we have been exhorted to set our sights beyond
ourselves and to minister to the several nations where we serve and the wider
We lament the stark joylessness that marks our present
time. We decry angry political rhetoric which rages while fissures widen
within society along racial, economic, educational, religious, cultural and
generational lines. We refuse to look away as poverty, cruelty and…
Proper 19C, 2016, Scripture Appointed for today linked here
throughout our tradition. And the beauty
of this, is that lamentation laments what is yet hold hope for what might
be. Our passage from
Jeremiah today holds to this.Lamenting
the reality of God’s beloved people’s failings and the subsequent upheaval of
their lives while holding forth the possibility for transformation. Lamentation
holds hope when hope seems lost. Lamentation is the grieving over what is while
clinging to the possibility that this is not all that is. This is the
lament of a God who has been betrayed and God’s abiding love—a love that cannot
be turned away.And, yes, the earth will
mourn but there will be grace beyond the disaster. I was asked
recently, about the nature of suffering. How to hold the teachings of God’s
omnipotence next to our experience of pain in this world… And, in
exploring this question, in walking the journey of my own life… I have reached
an understanding that has brought me e…
The readings for this week can be found here (using the Hosea passage)
If you attend the 8:15am service in the Spring you will find
that the light comes through the stained glass window in such a way, that the
most stunningly beautiful aspect of its composition is the crown of thorns as
it sits in the lap of the Mother of God.
It radiates in ruby tones. Standing out against the backdrop
of grief, the backdrop of an empty cross from which a body has been taken and
not yet risen.
I wonder, if her hands bled, if she clutched at this remnant
of her son’s final moments regardless of the thorns.
I wonder at her wounding born of his wounds and I wonder at
this peculiarity of this place. This church in which an empty cross adorns our
space, but it is not yet the cross from which he rose and remains the place at
which he died.
And, yet we turn our faces to the light, tipping our chins
upwards to look into the light that beckons.Because while he is dead, we know also he has risen.