Looking for Family Faith resources that correspond to this Sunday’s Children’s lesson?  Click here to be directed to our Family Faith Resources page where you can find coloring pages and other resources, all designed to support the faith journeys of families with younger children at home.

We do our best to update this resource page monthly. For questions on any of the resources listed here, or for additional spiritual care and/or emotional support, connect with Jen Phillips, jphillips@concordiafaith.org or call 773-463-1600 x402.

Holiday Resources (Emotional Support and Spiritual Care)

Holidays tend to intensify everything for us – emotions, concerns, loss.  This is particularly true in this 2020 Holiday season when so many of our traditions are shifting due to COVID-19 concerns.  We invite you to explore the holiday-focused resources below and hope they provide some peace and restoration to you during the holiday season.  Click on the (+) button to expand each section.

Budget Christmas 101: Pandemic hardships don’t mean the holidays are canceled
Includes thoughtful and creative ways to celebrate with loved ones

Planning Your Holidays During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Unique ideas from experts and additional resources from the CDC.

Helping Children Focus on the Positive
This holiday season is going to look a bit different and children may have trouble understanding and coping with these changes. Dr. Gabrielle Roberts, a pediatric psychologist at Advocate Aurora Health, explains how parents can put “currency” back in their child’s emotional piggy bank.
Learn more by watching this video.

The Gift of Presence
Gain clarity and direction to keep focused on the people and passions that matter most.
From our friends at Portico, a ministry of the ELCA.

Holiday gifts that give back
Doing good for others is good for ourselves and can be a meaningful aspect of our own self-care.

Compassion Fatigue (& Recovery)
Learn how to identify compassion fatigue and what steps you can take to prevent or reduce it.

11 Ways to Reduce Holiday Stress
Rethink how you manage the holidays so you can still have time for yourself.

7 Ways to Combat That Holiday Season Anxiety
Includes some bonus tips for celebrating the holidays during a Pandemic.
FitOn (the website this article came from) has many FREE exercise routines, another important way to fight stress.

Free, anonymous help  is available from a counselor, available 24/7
Text “TALK” to 552020
as seen in 10th district newsletter

We are never alone
The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

The Work You Can Do While You Wait
A reflection from Proverbs 31 Ministries

Stop Beating Yourself Up and Take Back Your Joy
Many of us (particularly women) spend a lot of emotional energy feeling guilty about our everyday lives. Learn strategies to undo the negative self-speak.

A Prayer for Joy
from YouVersion – a free Bible app

Gratitude Changes Everything
A message for life, not just the Thanksgiving Season

A Season of Letting Go
Important questions that promote wellness

Coping with Grief During the Holidays
“During the holiday season, don’t be afraid to express your feelings of grief. Ignoring your grief won’t make the pain go away and talking about it openly makes you feel better…” Helpful Stategies from our friends at Willow House.

A grief support group can greatly benefit those struggling with the loss of a loved one.
Click on the resources below to search for a specific group (by topic, location, etc.)

  • GriefShare
  • Willow House – supporting younger children who have lost a parent and parents who have lost a child
    LOSS – Loving Outreach to Survivors of Suicide

Concordia Church Resources

The collected resources below were first assembled in 2020, in response to:

  • the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on our communities
  • the desire to lift up resources that help dismantle systems of racism and oppression
  • facilitating spiritual health and well-being for individuals and communities

Click on the (+) button to expand each section.

Shelter:A reflection from “Our Hope For Years To Come” by Martin & Micah Marty

The Center for Faith and Community Health Transformation (link to COVID-19 resources – top right)

Faith-based Wellness (a wide range of centering activities, reflections and videos) – FREE
The 2 minute centering video (from the Portico website above, video tab) is a great visual option for centering.

Bible App:
This is a free Bible app – you can read or listen to the Bible (in any version you prefer), look up verses based on  your current situation or what you are feeling, read different devotionals on a host of topics, share visual encouragement among your friends or larger social media networks, and more.  All for free.

Click here for this Sunday’s printable coloring page and activity.

Free Coloring Pages and Prayers (to calm anxiousness)
Thanks to Illustrated Ministry for supplying this download.

A free weekly family focused resource delivered to your inbox. Sign up for free here.

Emotional Support For Individuals

Why You Aren’t Thinking Clearly: The Brain Science of Fear in Uncertain Times by Hildy Gottlieb

Body Scan Practice By Elizabeth Scott, MS
“Research shows that stress reduction is one of the primary benefits of body scan…”. Try completing a body scan and notice the reduction of stress pre- and post- exercise. Here is an example of a Body Scan guided exercise on YouTube. Many other examples are available using a google search.

8 Breathing Exercises to Try When you are Feeling Anxious, Multiple Sources, Healthline.com

A Spanish-language meditation/mindfulness app that you can download on your phone. Have to register with an email, but can access many meditations without paying

Liberate Meditation
A mindfulness/ meditation app with free guides for and by people of color. Need to register with an email, but once you have an account, sessions are free. Download on your phone, but you can find more information about it here

Smiling Mind
A free mindfulness app you can download on your phone with hundreds of meditations that are organized into different programs like mindful foundations, sleep, workplace, etc. Most are between 5-15 minutes. For individuals or families

Stop, Breathe & Think
Free mindfulness/meditation app to download on your phone. There is a section that explains mindfulness, why it’s beneficial, including some of the science behind it. Also has a progress page to keep track of how your mind and body has been feeling over time and daily check-ins and option to earn stickers. For adults and children

Emotional Support For Families

Cornerstone Counseling Center of Chicago
Cornerstone Counseling Center of Chicago provides counseling and personal development services to individuals of all ages, couples, and families from a faith-based perspective.

Call 4 Calm – free emotional support text line where you can speak with a mental health professional
Text “TALK” to 552020 or “HABLAR” for service in Spanish to the same number 552020

8 Ways to Support the Mental Health of Children and Teens During the COVID-19 Pandemic By Azizi Marshall, Founder & CEO at Artful Wellness & Center for Creative Arts Therapy
Discover eight ways to best support the mental health of your children and teens during the coronavirus pandemic, according to mental health professionals across the country.

8 Yoga Poses to try as a family, Megan Murray Elsener, Chicago Parent

A social story for kids to help explain the COVID-19 situation:
Just for kids: A comic exploring the new Corona Virus, Malaka Gharib, NPR

Extensive article on how the brain works and how parents can calm a child’s anxiety:
Dealing with Anxiety in Children: How to Calm & Strengthen an Anxious Brain, Karen Young, heysigmund.com

June 2020

In my work (and as a mom), I’m appreciating the lists of resources being compiled to help parents talk to their kids about systemic racial injustices and facilitate conversations that promote empathy.  Below is a list of collected links (and where I first came across them) as a way to support families in this important work.  Please note, families are encouraged to do their own research to find what works best for them.  These are simply some starting points.  Please feel free to share with your network, as you see fit.

With gratitude,
Jen Phillips
Director of Mission Development

Epic is an on-line library for kids.  You will need to create a free account.  Through June, they are offering free ‘check-outs’ on the books curated for this list.

The Center for Racial Justice in Education offers a comprehensive list of resources for talking about race, racism and racialized violence with children:
Teaching Tolerance provides Beyond the Golden Rule for children.
Click here for additional helpful information.
* These resources were shared via Pilgrim Lutheran School’s Newsletter, first published in the CLEF newsletter.

Books for purchase via ModernMomLife.com – link shared in Holy Trinity’s Newsletter

31 Children’s Books to Support Conversations on Race, Racism, and Resistance -– link shared in Holy Trinity’s Newsletter

New York Times article
These suggestions come from Jessica Grose, editor of The NY Times’s Parenting section, after she spoke with experts.  More resources: Jessica also recommends the conversation guides from EmbraceRace and Raising Race Conscious Children.

This is taken from embracerace.org:
Lee and Low Books is the largest independent, multicultural children’s book publisher in the United States. For 25 years, they’ve focused on multicultural kid literature and have played a big part in building the field. We asked the indie publisher’s Literary Specialist, Katie Potter, to come up with read-aloud children’s books that are fantastic stories and but which also support EmbraceRace’s vision of “raising a brave generation.” Katie came up with 4 lists (!!), each corresponding to one of the four, broad goals of EmbraceRace. Those lists follow:

Donate PPE (Protective Personal Equipment)

Donate Blood

Donate Monetarily


Navigating the Corona virus quarantine:
The family lockdown Guide, Celina Ribeiro, Guardian.com

Helping kids keep a routine while they are out of school:
Free & downloadable daily list, BigLifeJournal.com

Ideas for ‘Screen-Free’ time (mostly) while kids are home:

Here is a very comprehensive list of options of educational resources for young children through teens:

The Advocate Aurora Health Coronavirus COVID-19 Information Center provides a COVID-19 Symptom Checker. (English and Spanish, PDF version)
The Advocate Aurora Health COVID-19 Hotline – 1-866-443-2584 – is for anyone who is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or has been exposed to someone who has the virus. An Advocate Aurora Health team member will advise them on the best way to proceed with care.

CPS Grab & GO Meals information
Chicago Public Schools is committed to providing meals throughout the closure, and you can pick up meals at more than 270 schools, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Check their website for more information and the specific schools where meals are available on a particular day.

Chicago Stay at Home Order Frequently Asked Questions

Center for Disease Control

Chicago Department of Public Health

Illinois Department of Public Health

World Health Organization

Collection of Special Assistance measures for Chicago
Click here to open a PDF that has additional links
Thanks to the Logan Square Ecumenical Alliance (LSEA) for sharing

33rd Ward Resources available during COVID-19
(including legal aid, unemployment assistance, where to pick up school lunches and more)

47th Ward Resources available during COVID-19
(including legal aid, unemployment assistance, where to pick up school lunches and more)

Chicago Rx Card
The Chicago Rx Card is a free and easy way to save up to 80% on prescription drugs.

Smart 911
In the event of an emergency, your Safety Profile is made available to call takers the moment your phone or one associated with your account dials 9-1-1.

Illinois Domestic Violence Hotline & Victims Services
Call 1-877-863-6338 for help and support. Hotline is free, confidential and open 24/7. Or visit their website

National Domestic Violence Hotline
Call 1-800-799-7233 or if you’re unable to speak safely, you can visit their website, or text “LOVEIS” to 22522

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) if you or someone you know is in crisis. Open 24/7, free and confidential.

National Sexual Assault Hotline
Call 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) to connect with a trained staff member who will offer support and resources. Free, confidential, open 24/7. Online chat option too.