October 21, 2018
by Candace Kostna, Family Ministry Coordinator
Here is a closer look at Caring conversations – one of the key faith formation practices that our family ministry model is based on.
Think about the many conversations you have with others on a daily basis. What are they about? Perhaps some of the topics include the cold fall weather, work deadlines and challenges, the Bombers’ playoff chances, the civic election candidates. Throw in your family’s daily chats about such things as what’s for dinner, household chores, the kids’ activity schedule, homework and so on. Wow! Where does talking about our faith fit in?
One way our faith grows and is shared through our caring conversations – the conversations in which we take time to connect and show genuine interest in others, in their joys and dreams, their hurts and concerns, and their values and faith. These conversations occur in a variety of places – at home, at church, in the car, at the dinner table, while on vacation, and sometimes at unexpected times and in unexpected places. No matter where these caring conversations happen, they are faith-building moments – a gift from God. Our lives are strengthened and nurtured by God’s love and mercy in these experiences.
A few years ago I experienced a caring conversation that still resonates with me today. At the time I was considering a career change and my family was also working through a loss of a family member. I had a lot of questions running through my mind and I honestly felt lost. One afternoon, I was chatting with a friend. Our conversation eventually led to me sharing my questions, not something I thought I would do at the time.
My friend took the time to listen and share personal insights and own experiences. As we talked, I began to feel trust developing in our friendship and talking about faith became easier. God’s presence was with us, giving me a sense of hope, peace and renewal.
When I reflect back on this experience, I see how caring conversations are part of deepening our trusted relationships with our family, our friends and also our faith community. When we reach out to learn about each other, we open the door to opportunities for meaningful conversations about faith.
Engaging in caring conversations is also a way in which we pass on our faith and values to the new generation. Our children and youth are influenced in their faith by what we model as parents, extended family and caring adults in their faith community.
Consider these ideas as part of your caring conversations:
• share how you see God’s presence in everyday moments
• take time to listen and respond – show God’s love and understanding
• tell others about the gifts you see in their lives – encourage them
• share stories of how God has worked in your life
• pray together
Together we grow in faith!