St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church


St. Bart's Blog

Reading Corner

Posted by The Rev. Mary Lynn Coulson on

Looking for a gift for Christmas? Searching for ways to bring faith into your daily life? Check out these great books – they’ll become staples in your home.

The Invisible String, Patrice Karst
We are all connected, and no one is ever alone. That’s the message of this beautiful children’s book. Written to address children’s fear of being separated from the ones they love, the message of this book is powerful for people of all ages. We’re all connected by invisible strings made of love. Whether we’re separated by distance, or anger, or death, this book reassures us that love is the unending bond that unites us to everyone else.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Prayers, Julie B. Sevig
My new favorite! This book has simple, rhyming prayers that kids of all ages will love to share. In this wonderful prayer book, you’ll find a prayer for pizza, for leftovers, and – my favorite – for macaroni and cheese:

Boil the water, add the noodles,
Mac and cheese, we love you oodles.
In gratefulness for this creation,
We bow and eat with such elation.

Plus, there’s a table talk question for each prayer listed. The questions are great ways to get your family talking together, and making the most of family meal time. Check out the prayers “When Friends Visit,” “In our Sadness,” and “Vacation.” There are also prayers for each season of the church year. Highly recommended!

Call on Me: a Prayer Book for Young People, Sharon Ely Pearson and Jennifer C. Gamble
Do you ever struggle with knowing how to pray? Have you ever gone through a dry period in your prayer life? The title of this book is misleading – it’s really a prayer book for all people. I turn to this book again and again in my personal life, in conversations with teenagers, with parents, with those in the hospital, with anyone searching for genuine connection with God.

More than any prayer book I’ve found, this one speaks to real life yearnings. The prayers range from anxiety before a test, body image, and the suicide of a friend to prayers for ending world hunger. There are also daily prayers that can be incorporated into short breaks in your day.

It’s relevant and profound, for grown-ups as well as teenagers. I think every home should have one.

~The Rev. Mary Lynn Coulson