CFM Resources

CFM Resources

Visit and download a copy of Life at GSL Program Guide (Winter-Spring 2023  | January 1-June 4)  Worship, Formation, Community, Music & More.

The Episcopal Church recognizes how difficult it is to equip our children and ourselves to grow into a loving relationship with God, themselves/ourselves, and others! Prayer 47, For Young Persons,  in The Book of Common Prayer summarizes our challenge: “God…you see your children growing up in an unsteady and confusing world…” And that is the truth! Violence, war, pandemic and the everyday trials of life can lead us all, especially our children and youth to feel unsteady and confused! Racism and  Yet, as Presiding Bishop Curry reminds us: “The Way of Jesus is the Way of Love and the Way of Love will change the world!”

This page is an invitation and tool. The invitation is to grow in our discipleship to Jesus and to help disciple our children and others into the way of love! The resources here are tools to help us learn, grow, and become more joyful disciples and friends of Jesus in our own lives and to pass along this joy to our children, youth, and each other! Some of us have physical children and youth, others have created their own families and some have spiritual children, youth, parents, grandparents. These resources are for all. Let us walk in love as God loves us, together!

What follows is meant to aid you in your journey! There are resources on the Bible, Christian Beliefs and how to understand and communicate difficult topics like racism and sexuality. Some will equip parents themselves with deeper knowledge and strategy, while others, especially storybooks, can serve as a tool to open space for discussion. GSL has many of these titles for use by parishioners. To check availability of resources or to suggest additional additions, email Director of CFM Anthony Calzia at

All attempts have been made to highlight inclusive resources, knowing that those most directly affected by injustice understand more about the harms than those indirectly affected. Racism, Sexism, and all other isms that exclude humans from the good life and worship, hinder our walk with God and one another. Thus a third purpose of the resources on this page, is our growth in metanoia, which means our repentance. In order to be the change we want to see in the world, we must be changed! This is why Jesus says, “Keep on repenting, for the kingdom of God is at hand!” (Matthew 4:14). When we are born, we begin a life of growth and change that never ends! When we are baptized, we also begin or take a deeper step into the life of the Holy Spirit. This is probably why St. Paul writes, “Work out your own salvation, for it is God who is at work within you, to work and to will for God’s good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:12).

Whether it is the Bible, Grief, Death or something else entirely, Grace-St. Lukes wants you to have to tools and opportunity to faithfully, accurately, and confidently start and have life-affirming conversations! Brene Brown, through the following quote from a former president, rightly highlights the reality that when we take risks and try to stretch ourselves, we will inevitably make mistakes. We will at times think, say and do things that may not be helpful, true and/or may cause additional harm. Pain is a part of growing. The alternative is stagnation. Becoming murky people like a murky pond or pool that has no running water. In hopes that GSL will dare greatly, here are the resources and Brene Brown’s favorite quote:

"It is not the critic who counts: not the [person] who points out how the strong [person] stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the [one] who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if they fail, at least they fail while daring greatly. –Theodore Roosevelt (1910)

About the Bible/Children’s Bibles
About Christian Belief
About Death
About Injustice (I) Race
About Injustice (II) Harming Creation
About Mental Illness
About Parenting
About Sexuality

About the Bible/Children’s Bibles

Growing in the Love of God: Storybook Bible

Help nurture the faith of the children in your life with Growing in God’s Love: A Story Bible. This engaging resource features 150 popular Bible stories that are organized by 13 themes, including Strong Women and Men; Listening for God; Parables; Healings and Miracles; and more. Growing in God’s Love features diverse artwork from more than twenty artists to appeal to a variety of ages and learning styles. Three reflection questions—Hear, See, Act—are included at the end of each story to help children further ponder the message of the story. (3-7 year olds)

God’s Big Plan, Elizabeth F. Caldwell and Theodore Hiebert, Flyaway Books, 2019. (Storybook)

The world is full of so many different things: animals, plants, foods, languages, people. But it might not have been that way if it weren’t for God’s big plan . . .

This vibrant picture book illuminates a new understanding of the story of Babel in Genesis, revealing God’s plan for wonderful diversity throughout the world. God’s Big Plan includes a note for parents and educators. (3-8 year olds)

How Does God Listen?, Kay Lindahl, Skylight Paths Publishing, 2005.

The simple yet profound text, accompanied by vibrant, colorful photographs, captures the experiences common to children of all faiths and backgrounds as they begin to understand the many ways God listens to us. Filled with wisdom and love, How Does God Listen? delights the senses and expands the ways we think about God and God’s presence in our lives.

I Wonder: Storybook Bible

Ever since imagining the world into being, God has placed wonder in the hearts of children. The Bible is full of 'I Wonder' moments for all who open their hearts to experience them, and The I Wonder: Exploring God’s Grand Story helps show little ones how to begin.

The I Wonder: Exploring God’s Grand Story, an Illustrated Bible:

  • Encourages children ages 4 to 8 to ask questions and consider the mystery of the Bible
  • Is an inspirational storybook Bible that speaks to the hearts of children everywhere by asking thought-provoking questions at the end of each story that children and adults can read and discuss together as they consider God’s love
  • Is based on a simple but brilliant idea: all good teachers know that the best way to get the attention of their students is to inspire wonder, and God is no different
  • Contains30 stories—15 from the Old Testament and 15 from the New Testament
  • Is written by Glenys Nellist, bestselling children's author and creator of two popular series: Love Letters from God and Snuggle Time

Miracle Man: The Story of Jesus, John Hendrix, Abrams Books, 2016. (Storybook)

In this moving interpretation of the life and ministry of Jesus, John Hendrix brings to life the Biblical accounts of Jesus’s miracles, crucifixion, and resurrection. From the feeding of the five thousand to walking on water, this is a story of faith told through Jesus’s miraculous deeds.

The story of the Miracle Man is one of the best known in human history, and it has been retold by countless writers and artists for more than two thousand years. In this handsome edition, Hendrix brings his signature style—interweaving hand-lettering with original illustrations—to create a sophisticated approach that readers of all Christian denominations will find both extraordinary and inspirational. (6-9 year olds)

Shine On: A Story Bible

Shine On has colorful illustrations designed by a variety of artists and clear, engaging language that stays true to the biblical text. Each full-page spread includes sidebars that offer questions and activities to reach children’s hearts and minds. An ideal choice for a presentation Bible for younger children.

Telling God’s Story: A Parents’ Guide to Teaching the Bible, Peter Enns, Olive Branch Books, 2011.

In this accessible and engaging book, Peter Enns provides parents and teachers with a straightforward and intelligent twelve-year plan for teaching the Bible. Written for lay readers but incorporating the best scholarly insights, Telling God’s Story avoids sectarian agendas. Instead, Enns suggests beginning with the parables of the Gospels for the youngest students; continuing on with the more complex stories of the Old and New Testaments for middle grade students; and guiding high school students into an understanding of the history and culture of biblical times.

The Bible for Children by Murray Watts

A classic treasure that vividly captures the eternal theme of God’s unending love and the many people and occasions that fill the Old and New Testaments. The Bible for Children contains more than 200 Bible stories, retold by playwright and filmmaker Murray Watts and elegantly illustrated by beloved artist, Helen Cann. The stories comprehensively cover key themes of the Bible; they are faithful to the meaning and spirit of the original Scripture. The imaginative style reflects the variety of the biblical text—riveting stories, reporting, poetry, history, letters. The Bible for Children is a visual delight, filled with illustrations that add meaning to the stories. The rich color, the exquisitely drawn faces and settings draw readers into the emotion and power of all that happens. This book for 7-12 year-olds has the design and drama of a modern classic. Author Murray Watts has written many books and plays. He has also directed and produced for the theater and for film, radio, and television. Helen Cann is an experienced illustrator of books for children, including several that deal with ancient stories. Her art has been widely exhibited and can be found in private collections in the United States and Europe. (3-8 year olds)

The Unlikely Chosen: A Graphic Novel (Jonah, Esther, and Amos), Seabury Books, 2008. (13 and 17 year olds)

A graphic novel of three books of the Bible; 'Amos',  'Jonah' and 'Esther,' based on an original bible translation.  The Unlikely Chosen is storytelling that's designed, in format, for readers from middle school to early high school. Through the stories of Amos, a shepherd called to be a prophet to people in the highest places of society in ancient Israel; Jonah , a prophet who runs from God's will; and Esther, an orphan and exiled Jew who is called  to be the queen of Persia, the reader is provided a fascinating assortment of the kind of people God chooses.

These stories challenge the notion that God chooses one kind of person, and they underscore that chosen people are not favored above others but chosen for the purpose of carrying out the special responsibilities to God and God's world.  Each of these stories is illustrated by Earnest Graham in a unique style designed to highlight the tone and conflicts within the story.  Graphic novels continue to gain acceptance as literature and as a teaching tool.  The Unlikely Chosen furthers that trend, and is perfect for discussion groups, bible study, and  classroom education.

About Christian Belief


Holy Troublemakers and Unconventional Saints by Daneen Akers

Holy Troublemakers & Unconventional Saints” is an illustrated children's book about people of diverse faiths working for more love and justice in their corners of the world, even when that means rocking the religious boat. With original portraits from more than two dozen artists and engaging profiles of people from different faiths and different eras, these are stories that inspire, educate, challenge, and encourage.

Images of God for Young Children, Marie-Helene Delval, Eerdmans Books, 2010

The Bible describes God in many different ways: God is light; God is joy; God is wisdom. God is the beauty that fills the earth and the rock we stand on, the promises we live by and the fire that purifies us. This volume offers a collection of these images, presented in simple language that young readers can easily understand. This book's bright artwork and lyrical text, written by the bestselling author of Psalms for Young Children, explores how, even though we cannot see or touch God, we can still discover him in our world. (4-9 years old)

New Directions for Holy Questions: Progressive Christian Theology for Families, Claire Brown and Anita Peebles, Morehouse Publishing, 2022.

New Directions for Holy Questions: Progressive Christian Theology for Families by Anita Peebles and Claire Brown is a theology primer for children that explores these holy questions. Through an open, progressive lens, weaving together prayer practices and pondering questions with Bible stories and theology, we invite you to explore new directions!

Pictures of God: A Child’s Guide to Understanding Icons, John Kosmas Skinas, Ancient Faith Publishing, 2013

When the Son of God came down from heaven to become a man like us, He made it possible for us to see Him, touch Him, and make pictures of Him pictures which we call icons. This little book brings God and His saints vividly into children's lives through icons, explaining in the simplest terms what each icon means and what the role of these holy pictures and the holy stories and people they depict can be in our lives. The colorful pages of Pictures of God are perfect for occupying little hands in church, for explaining the world of icons in the first years of Sunday school, and for read-aloud time with little ones at home.  (8-10 years old) 

What Is God Like? Matthew Paul Turner, Convergent Books, 2021

Children who are introduced to God, through attending church or having loved ones who speak about God, often have a lot of questions, including this ever-popular one: What is God like? The late Rachel Held Evans loved the Bible and loved showing God’s love through the words and pictures found in that ancient text. Through these pictures from the Bible, children see that God is like a shepherd, God is like a star, God is like a gardener, God is like the wind, and more. God is a comforter and support.

And whenever a child is unsure, What Is God Like? encourages young hearts to “think about what makes you feel safe, what makes you feel loved, and what makes you feel brave. That's what God is like.” (3-7 years old)

When God Made the World, Matthew Paul Turner, Convergent Books, 2020.

For spiritual parents who are looking for a different kind of creation book, Matthew Paul Turner’s When God Made the World focuses on the complex way that God created our vast and scientifically operating universe, including the biodiversity of life on our planet and the intricacies of a vast solar system. (3-7 years old)

When God Made You, Matthew Paul Turner, Convergent Books, 2020.

From early on, children are looking to discover their place in the world and longing to understand how their personalities, traits, and talents fit in. The assurance that they are deeply loved and a unique creation in our big universe is certain to help them spread their wings and fly. Through playful, charming rhyme and vivid, fantastical illustrations, When God Made You inspires young readers to learn about their own special gifts and how they fit into God's divine plan as they grow, explore, and begin to create for themselves. (3-7 years old)


New Directions for Holy Questions Podcast


Pictures of God: A Child’s Guide to Icons Video

When the Son of God came down from heaven to become a man like us, He made it possible for us to see Him, touch Him, and make pictures of Him pictures which we call icons. This little book brings God and His saints vividly into children's lives through icons, explaining in the simplest terms what each icon means and what the role of these holy pictures and the holy stories and people they depict can be in our lives. The colorful pages of Pictures of God are perfect for occupying little hands in church, for explaining the world of icons in the first years of Sunday school, and for read-aloud time with little ones at home.  (8-10 years old)

About Death

Online Articles:



Grandpa's Tent, Mary Davila and Sarah Kinney Gaventa, Forward Movement, 2018.

Written by two Episcopal priests―and mothers―Grandpa's Tent is a companion for children and families as they experience death, perhaps for the first time. The book explains what the Bible says about death―and life after death―and walks gently and honestly through the process of saying goodbye, attending the funeral, and grieving a loved one. The book also includes helpful talking points for adults to discuss death with children. (Ages 7-12―Perfect for emerging readers as well as for adults and children to read along together.)

The Invisible String, Patrice Karst, Little, Brown and Company, 2018.

Parents, educators, therapists, and social workers alike have declared The Invisible String the perfect tool for coping with all kinds of separation anxiety, loss, and grief. In this relatable and reassuring contemporary classic, a mother tells her two children that they're all connected by an invisible string. "That's impossible!" the children insist, but still they want to know more: "What kind of string?" The answer is the simple truth that binds us all: An Invisible String made of love. Even though you can't see it with your eyes, you can feel it deep in your heart, and know that you are always connected to the ones you love. Does everybody have an Invisible String? How far does it reach? Does it ever go away? This heartwarming picture book for all ages explores questions about the intangible yet unbreakable connections between us, and opens up deeper conversations about love. (3-7 years old)

The Memory Box: A Book About Grief, Joanna Rowland, Beaming Books, 2017.

From the perspective of a young child, Joanna Rowland artfully describes what it is like to remember and grieve a loved one who has died. The child in the story creates a memory box to keep mementos and written memories of the loved one, to help in the grieving process. Heartfelt and comforting, The Memory Box will help children and adults talk about this very difficult topic together. The unique point of view allows the reader to imagine the loss of any they have loved - a friend, family member, or even a pet. A parent guide in the back includes information on helping children manage the complex and difficult emotions they feel when they lose someone they love, as well as suggestions on how to create their own memory box. (4-10 years old)

When Someone Dies: A Book about Death for Kids who are Curious or who are Experiencing a Death, Laura Camerona, Words Worth Repeating, 2021.

When Someone Dies is a straight-forward book about death for children to read with a trusted adult. The book teaches kids about death, customs regarding death, and feelings that are associated with death in words that they can understand. When Someone Dies does not give one way to think about death, but rather explains a variety of beliefs about death and gives the reader a chance to share their own beliefs and thoughts. The book prepares the child for things they may encounter after a loved one’s death (cemeteries, caskets, cremation, etc.) in gentle, but honest words. The book gives a family or a group a starting point for further discussion. The illustrations are calming and diverse. The book does not depict one specific race, culture, or religion. When Someone Dies is appropriate to read to kids after they experience the death of someone they know. The book is also appropriate for a curious child who has been asking questions about death. It was initially intended to be read to children between 4 and 12 years old. When Someone Dies includes tips for adults regarding talking to children about death, advice regarding explaining a specific death, and a link to activities that would be appropriate following reading the book. Laura Camerona, CCLS, the author of this book, worked in a children's hospital for years as a Child Life Specialist. She created this book in the hopes that it could be used as a tool for parents, caregivers, and teachers, giving them gentle and honest words to talk about death and what happens after someone dies. (4-12 years old)

When Someone Dies: A Children’s Mindful How-to Guide on Grief and Loss, Andrea Dorn, PESI Publishing, 2022.

Written and illustrated by a therapist (and mother), Andrea Dorn, MSW, When Someone Dies walks children through the bereavement process in a simple, concrete, and developmentally appropriate way. Through the lens of mindfulness, children will learn how to say goodbye, make space for any emotions that arise, and work through their grief.

Written for parents, teachers, and therapists alike, this straightforward yet powerful book includes:

  • Optional engagement questions to build connection and personalize the reading experience
  • Short mindfulness and self-compassion meditations
  • A developmental guide to children’s understanding of death


The Invisible String Video Storytime

About Injustice (I) Race

Online Articles:

A Guide to Talking About Race for White Parents

9 Examples of Systemic Racism Children can Understand

15 books to help kids understand that Black Lives Matter

American Psychological Association Book List and Resource Guide

Lists of books for young children about resisting racial bias, advocating for civil rights, accepting oneself, and valuing diversity; books supporting racial pride for children of diverse ethnicities, resources for multicultural families, anti-bullying books, resources about community violence, and resources about racial injustice for older children; resources for parents; and resources for teachers.


Showing Up For Racial Justice: The Word is Resistance Podcast


Colorfull: Celebrating the Colors God Gave Us, Dorena Williamson, B&H Kids, 2018.

Let’s Talk About Race, Julius Lester, Amistad; HarperTrophy, 2005.

Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation, Duncan Tonatiuh, Abrams Books, 2014.

She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World, Chelse Clinton, Philomel Books, 2017.

Throughout United States history, there have always been women who have spoken out for what's right, even when they have to fight to be heard. In this book, Chelsea Clinton celebrates thirteen American women who helped shape our country through their tenacity, sometimes through speaking out, sometimes by staying seated, sometimes by captivating an audience. They all certainly persisted.

She Persisted is for everyone who has ever wanted to speak up but has been told to quiet down, for everyone who has ever tried to reach for the stars but was told to sit down, and for everyone who has ever been made to feel unworthy or unimportant or small.

With vivid, compelling art by Alexandra Boiger, this book shows readers that no matter what obstacles may be in their paths, they shouldn't give up on their dreams. Persistence is power.

This book features: Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, Clara Lemlich, Nellie Bly, Virginia Apgar, Maria Tallchief, Claudette Colvin, Ruby Bridges, Margaret Chase Smith, Sally Ride, Florence Griffith Joyner, Oprah Winfrey, Sonia Sotomayor—and one special cameo.

Something Happened in Our Town Video: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice, Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, and Ann Hazzard

Something Happened in Our Town follows two families — one White, one Black — as they discuss a police shooting of a Black man in their community. The story aims to answer children's questions about such traumatic events, and to help children identify and counter racial injustice in their own lives.


Something Happened in Our Town Video:

Magination Press Story Time - Celano, Collins and Hazzard Read Something Happened in Our Town

Video of authors reading the story. Something Happened in Our Town follows two families — one White, one Black — as they discuss a police shooting of a Black man in their community. The story aims to answer children's questions about such traumatic events, and to help children identify and counter racial injustice in their own lives.

Lets Talk About Race Video

About Injustice (II) Harming Creation


Something Happened to Our Planet: Kids Tackle the Climate Crisis by Marianne Celano

Join the Earth Patrol! Written to help parents to begin conversations with their children about a challenging and important topic, Something Happened to Our Planet describes the narrator’s efforts to help the planet, with her friends, by advocating for reusable plates at her school. 

This book will inspire kids to make a difference in their own schools and communities. Includes a Reader's Note with more information about the impact of climate change, child-friendly definitions, sample dialogues, and guidance for discussing climate change with children. This book is printed with vegetable-based inks on responsibly sourced paper.

Online Articles:

Resource Page by Blessed Earth for Creation Care/ Christian Environmentalism

About Mental Illness

Blessed Youth: Breaking the Silence about Mental Health with Children and Teens

Through vivid and powerful storytelling, Blessed Youth: Breaking the Silence about Mental Illness with Children and Teens will remove the barriers of stigma and shame associated with mental illness in children and teens. Readers will know they are not alone and be reminded of God's grace and loving presence in the midst of the heartache and struggle of mental illness. In addition to stories of children and youth experiencing mental health challenges, Blessed Youth includes practical resources such as prayers and a guide for having age-appropriate talks with children about warning signs and how to get help for themselves and friends. Ultimately, this important resource offers hope and help for everyone who loves a child or youth with mental health challenges. Also available is Blessed Youth Survival Guide, a pocket-size companion guide for youth.

About Parenting

Parenting Forward by Cyndi Brandt

How do we build a better world? One key way is by learning to raise our children with justice, mercy, and kindness. In Parenting Forward, Brandt equips Christian parents to model a way of following Jesus that has an outward focus, putting priority on loving others, avoiding judgment, and helping those in need. Parenting Forward shows how parents must work on dismantling their own racial, cultural, gender, economic, and religious biases in order to avoid passing them on to their children.

Bless this Mess: A Modern Guide to Faith and Parenting in a Chaotic World by Molly Baskette and Ellen O’Donnell

In Bless This Mess, readers will gain practical tools as they learn how to talk to their children about money, God, ethics, bullying, disabilities, sexuality, and their bodies. Parents will also glean insights on how to actually stress less, as well as practices for the whole family, like serving others and living a life of generosity and gratitude. Perhaps most important, readers will learn how to stop being so afraid all the damn time as we raise our kids in an increasingly chaotic and often scary world. With real-life examples, humorous personal stories, and strategies to address the challenges of raising a toddler, preteen, or teenager, Bless This Mess guides parents of children at all stages of their development. Read a summary, here: Summary of Bless this Mess

Mindful Discipline

The Wholebrained Child

About Sexuality

These Are Our Bodies: Foundation Book:Talking Faith & Sexuality at Church & Home by Leslie Choplin and Jenny Beaumont

This book serves as a theological and practical guide to conversation about the complexities of sexuality in today's world grounded in the Episcopal tradition. This book includes the role of sexuality in our lives in all its dimensions as well as a practical guide to help inform church educators, clergy, parents, youth leaders, or anyone who seeks to broaden their knowledge on this subject. This book also serves as a resource for the These Are Our Bodies program modules, supplementing and supporting those educational materials.