February 24, 2019
by Candace Kostna, Family Ministry Coordinator
Over the recent long weekend, my Facebook and Instagram feeds were filled with posts about families spending time together. Many were outdoors enjoying God’s creation, braving the cold temperatures! No matter what the activity, it was clear that this family time was special and full of making memories.
This got me thinking about how time spent together with family is a big part of our faith formation. These cross+generational experiences shared with children, parents, grandparents, friends of all ages are opportunities to build relationships. Conversations about faith, God, and Jesus can naturally emerge, creating faith-building opportunities.
SPLC’s family ministry model includes such opportunities. We have moved away from the traditional Sunday School format to a cross+generational approach to Christian education. We encourage families to attend worship together and have Family Events in which children, their parents, and congregational members can learn together.
So what is a Family Event? Each Family Event has a theme based on a church season and/or bible story. Families participate in various activities designed to explore the theme and encourage faith conversations. Congregational members of any age are encouraged to join in as well. We also enjoy some food and fellowship together – an excellent time for all participants to connect and get to know each another better. Each family is given a take-home resource to extend their learning at home.
So, are these Family Events supporting our families in their faith formation? YES, yes they are! Families are interacting with each other – children, parents, and congregation members alike – beyond Sunday morning worship, building a sense of community. The congregational members who have joined in are getting to know our families and revisiting some favourite bible stories in a new way. Children are actively learning about God’s Word in a variety of ways alongside their parents and this learning carries over at home. Parents have shared with me how their children have picked up on the themes we’ve explored together. One child retold the Easter story using the bracelet we made on the way home from a family event. Another family shared how their child took the lead in setting up the Advent wreath that they made when they got home. Other families are using the table graces and prayers from a take-home resource. It’s awesome to hear how our young ones are sharing the nuggets of faith they are learning!
Have you been to one of our Family Events? If yes, share your experiences of interacting with followers of Jesus of all ages with others. If not, I encourage you to join us and share in passing on our faith to the next generation.
Watch out for more information about our next Family Event which is Saturday, April 6th at 10:00 am.
Together we grow in faith!