One church revisions VBS into community outings where parents can meet one another and bring crafts and faith formation home.
It is a joy to support new parents, but what to write and when? Here are 7 tips for how to write a new baby card, including special circumstances.
When Erin saw the rocking chair, she knew this was a child friendly church. Easy tips for making your church welcoming to parents and children.
As people engaged in communicating the love of God to children, we know the value of age appropriate learning led by loving teachers using pedagogically sound resources. And we also understand the importance of including children in intergenerational worship. Too often I’ve witnessed parents, weary and worried about disrupting the service, apologize to the people around because their children were wiggly or loud. They shouldn’t have to feel that way. Parents, grandparents and other caregivers may wonder at times if it is worth all the effort. This letter is for them:
As religious educators, we often bemoan the lack of commitment made to faith practices among those we wish were more faithful. But how often do we make clear exactly what we believe is critical for parents to do in order to raise children in the Christian faith?
When we stopped homeschooling after the primary years, and the boys went to grade school, finding time to read the Bible in the morning was a lot more challenging. There was no peaceful time when everyone was together in the same room. I ended up settling into a pattern of reading to them as they ate breakfast.
There I stood by the tub with two shivering little girls, cowering in the corner - as if naked and ashamed in the Garden of Eden. The older one became the tearful spokes person as she stammered out their heartfelt question, "Mother, do you still love us?"
We both begin and end our journey in this life as helpless sheep in God's fold, and certainly, there are critical times of illness or crisis in between in which we might need to be fed and cared for by others.
It didn’t take long for Jacob to discover the water in the font. I merely whispered to him, “This is the baptismal font,” and allowed him to touch the water. It was no surprise that he would want to submerge his hand into the water, but I was not prepared for what would come next.
Normally Sunday School happens during our main service; leaving parents to worship without the distraction of their children’s presence. They like it that way. And like any congregation the support from non-parenting adults ranges from “Let the children come,” to “I survived sitting silent through church every week why shouldn’t they?”
As adults, the most important thing we can do is listen to children and value what they tell us. We need to stop worrying over what we can teach children about spirituality. We should be wondering instead what children might teach us.
Now, the world needs opportunities for new leaders and new ideas. Kids need opportunities to lead and succeed. Are you ready to make the match? Because the world's problems shouldn't be the human family's heirloom.
As a professional Christian educator, too often I have believed that my job is to meet parents’ expectations: to provide curricula and program that will give their children a half-hour or an hour of Christian formation, once a week. After all, that’s how Christian formation works . . . isn’t it?
Spirituality is an awareness of living in the presence of the Holy. It is rooted in experiences and can lift us up to self transcendence. For example, Moses had a spiritual experience on Mount Sinai - he experience the presence of God and was forever changed. Religion is the container for the life of the Spirit. It is grounded in responsibility.
Does your congregation try to engage parents in practicing faith at home? In today's world, many parents did not grow up with any faith practices or traditions that they can pass on to their children or practice as a family.
I can't tell you whether the "f" word was used or implied with a bleep. I can't tell you how many times the bullies did horrible things to the boy on the bus. I can't even tell you if what I saw was rated R or PG-13. What I can tell you is that I will be taking my youth group to see this film.
Start by being clear about your purpose: the formation of hearts and minds and souls in community. From this will follow intentionality about the content of the service. For me, the "stuff" of Christian family liturgy is hospitality, compassionate loving, mystery, inclusivity, social justice and servant leadership.
As we become a global society, more intercultural and "blended" in our extended families, more and more children are being raised in homes where more than one faith tradition is practiced. While differences may be more pronounced during the holiday season, it can still be challenging to provide children a grounded faith while not confusing them at the same time.
When you thought I wasn't looking I heard you say a prayer, and I knew that there is a God I could always talk to, and trust.
Parents of pre-teens struggle with a difficult reality of the almost-but-not-yet, which seems to inform every action. This is a consistent trait from early childhood, as the child learns how to do things for herself, struggling to do what everyone else has mastered. In this way, a two year-old and a twenty-two year-old are the same. But this seems particularly acute for the pre-teen. Each action is her trying on teenage behaviors and expectations.