A Wonderful Way to Help Families Form Faith at Home This Fall

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I love the ways in which virtual church gatherings have given us glimpses into the lives of our families with children. Watching families participate in worship as they sit around the kitchen table or side-by-side on slouchy couches; seeing parents pass out communion crackers and juice, wipe up spills, and settle sibling disputes; and catching sight of multiple heads bowed together in prayer provide us with us with real time reminders of the energy it requires to raise children and of how much nurturing their kid’s faith matters to parents. (The sporadic attendance of families with children at church programs prior to the pandemic was never about their not caring.)

Within each of our congregations there are busy families who long to see their children grow in faith and who would be blessed by our encouragement and support. As we approach a fall season in which we can’t yet predict what programs might look like or if we’ll even be able to offer them on Sunday mornings, we’ve been given a wonderful opportunity to nurture faith formation practices in families as they dwell at home. The challenge is to equip families in ways which don't add to the burdens they're already experiencing, particularly as they begin what may be a stressful education year.

So how might we show our families some love while providing them with resources which are simple, meaningful, and fun to use? Bless each family with a Dwell at Home gift bag, filled with faith formation tools to use both this fall and into the future. Inside a simple gift bag marked Dwell at Home (using the attached printable page), place the following fun, easy-to-use, and theologically sound faith-forming resources:  

  • One box of God’s Big Story cards

  • A set of the Dwell Children’s Resources for each child in that family, providing enough for however many weeks you think you won’t be gathering. Note: Even if your church will be meeting in person this fall, providing every family with print resources for their child ensures that every child receives every story, no matter how often they are able to attend. #ministry

  • A physical copy of 5 Ways to Pray with Kids and 5 Ways to Wonder with Kids, free resources you can download and print from the Dwell at Home page.

  • A colorful pad of Post-It notes. 

  • Other items you think families at your church would enjoy: popcorn, pretzels, or a gift card for coffee or ice cream. 

  • A note to families like the following: 

Dear Family, 

While our church education year may look different this fall, one thing hasn’t changedour desire to support you as you nurture the faith of your family. Inside this bag you’ll find the following resources to help you dwell in faith at home together: 

  • God’s Big Story cards are filled with simple, fun, meaningful ways to spend time in God’s story as a family. 

  • Colorful age-specific children’s resources that can be used with your child in whatever way works for your family. One fun idea: have your child find the God’s Big Story card story symbol that matches the one on their paper and then use that card along with their paper to explore the story together each week.

  • 5 Ways to Pray with Your Kids and 5 Ways to Wonder with Your Kids. We hope you’ll find the ideas they contain helpful as you grow in faith together. 

  • A pack of Post-It notes for creating a gratitude list. Designate a special space on which to stick each note and be encouraged as you watch your list grow.    

As we go into a new season, please know that we’re praying for your family. And we’re here to support you every step of the way. 

Love, God’s Family, Your Church

No matter how you gather together as a congregation this fall, let families know how much you love them, that you’re praying for them, and that you’re there to support them as they dwell in faith with their children. Encourage them to use the tools that you’ve provided in whatever way works for their family. And remind them that God who is our Shepherd is with them every step of the way. 

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