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Why We’re Publishing "Coloring Women of the Bible"

PUBLISHED: by Brad Lyons

The coloring book fad a few years ago caught a lot of publishers off-guard. That’s not to say our staff doesn’t enjoy a fresh set of crayons or engaging in the meditative art of illustration; it’s just a fad we didn’t see coming. Nor did we expect to see coloring books in the checkout line at the local hardware store, but there they are!

Last year, Chalice Press, author Christopher Rodkey, and illustrators Natalie Turri and Jesse Turri produced Coloring Lent: An Adult Coloring Book for the Journey to Resurrection in near-record time so we could have it available for the 2017 Lenten season. As soon as they wrapped up the first book, they put on the Christmas music and created Coloring Advent: An Adult Coloring Book for the Journey to Bethlehem. Both coloring books found audiences, and we hope that these coloring books continue to serve their readers (and colorers) as reflections, inspirations, and creative outlets.

Once we had the two time-sensitive books wrapped, we circled up to discuss what was next. The table was blanketed in ideas, but Coloring Women of the Bible rapidly emerged as everybody’s favorite idea.

Mind you, this was just before #MeToo emerged. As that movement exploded onto the scene, we knew the time was right for a book that introduced us to the often-ignored biblical characters whose determination, courage, and persistence shaped our faith in ways that the male-dominated church has covered up over thousands of years.

Chris, a United Church of Christ pastor, mined the Bible for stories that resonate and surprise. The selections are decidedly feminist, as are the accompanying illustrations. Natalie, a professional illustrator and painter, turned her creativity into dozens of images that will engage you in the story and nurture your creativity. Together Chris and Natalie have created a resource offering a holy experience literally at your fingertips.

But Coloring Women of the Bible is more than a book. It is an extraordinary piece of theology, devotion, and art – one well-timed for this moment in our national conversation. In this #MeToo and #ChurchToo moment, it's more important than ever to remember, lift up, listen to, honor, and celebrate the stories and images of the women whose names we know well, as well as those whose stories we are just now discovering.

Coloring Women of the Bible is the latest example of how CBP/Chalice Press celebrates women, in all their diversity, beauty, wisdom, strength, power, perseverance, compassion, and faithfulness.

Brad Lyons
CBP/Chalice Press President and Publisher 

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