When the proposal for Parenting for a Better World arrived last year, it immediately captured our imagination. Combining two topics, social justice and parenting, that Chalice has been addressing for years, Dr. Ellen Ott Marshall and Rev. Dr. Susanna Snyder curated a collection of creative, inspiring essays. The result is a treasure trove of new ways to help kids craft socially responsible, compassionate lives even in today’s media-saturated atmosphere.
Each contributor offered one answer to the question: How can we parent in this world as people of Christian faith committed to social and ecological transformation? Their responses formed a story collection of caregiving and activism interwoven with scripture and theology. Their writing reminds readers that God is present in the middle of all we do – including parenting.
“We suggest,” the introduction offers, “that meditation, growing vegetables, making collages, singing, giving, eating together, praying, waiting on others, being angry, listening, cultivating kindness along with intimacy and solidarity, joining street protests, and engaging in community organizing can all contribute to social justice and the flourishing of the earth—and can all be done while parenting.”
Parenting for a Better World isn’t prescriptive; not every practice may be suitable for you and your kids. But nurturing a child doesn’t require an earth-shaking cataclysm. Teaching your kids can begin with conversation as you plant tomatoes or potatoes or asparagus, sing songs that evolve from silly to significant in the twist of a lyric, prepare for your child’s first public protest, or simply perform little acts of generosity and kindness.
Over the last several years, systemic injustices rooted in discrimination and the ominous mood changes in American society have made us more antagonistic and less civil to each other. We do not believe this is a reflection of Christ in us. With books like Parenting for a Better World, Chalice Press equips parents and caregivers to raise compassionate children who will shape a more loving, grace-filled world for generations to come.
President and Publisher
Parenting for a Better World
Editors: Ellen Ott Marshall and Susanna Snyder
Additional contributors: Chine McDonald, Ingrid C. Arneson Rasmussen, HyeRan Kim-Cragg, Carlton Mackey and Isaiah Mackey, Luke Larner, Brian Brock, Anton Flores-Maisonet, Leah Gunning Francis, Melissa Pagán, Katherine Marshall, Keith Hebden, Martha Hebden, and Don E. Saliers