As we begin a new ministry year, acutely aware that things are far from normal, we have an opportunity to equip families to live faithfully in the midst of challenge. What many parents need most right now is not things to do, but simple, effective, daily practices that fit into new and unfamiliar school and work routines.
I developed this discussion starter prompt sheet and reflection page, available on Etsy as both an individual and group download, as a tool to help parents have conversations grounded in what is most important right now: connection in a physically distanced world, gratitude for all that God is doing even when things are hard, moments of everyday joy, and our ability to shape our attitude and experience (agency). Churches may wish to share with families as they begin the school year.
Sacred scripture reminds us that God’s ongoing presence is often revealed to the people of God in the midst of great hardship and challenge. Wandering in the wilderness can be both literal and metaphorical. The COVID-19 pandemic is just such a wilderness.
We will continue to experience loss, grief, and uncertainty as well as unexpected blessings and joy as we remain somewhat sheltered at home. Sacred scripture, worship, prayer, and community help us to find meaning in what often seems senseless. God offers us the opportunity to put faith, hope, and love into action.
It is perhaps when our minds are most preoccupied with challenging decisions about fall school plans and other disruptions that COVID-19 has thrust upon us that we most need to center ourselves in God’s gifts of agency, connection, basic needs, and joy.
Now more than ever, faith formation is less about what we know and more about how we live. The life-long practice of growing to know, love and serve God and neighbor, is as relevant today as it has ever been. I pray this tool helps your family to engage in caring conversations that point to God’s ongoing presence in troubling times.
A note about resources for purchase:
Along with a collection of over 300 posts that provide free resources for parents and faith leaders, from time to time I offer items for purchase on Etsy. These purchases offset the maintenance costs of the ChristineVHides.com website. Thank you for your support which helps me continue to offer valuable materials to a growing audience. If you are an individual experiencing financial difficulty and would like a copy of this resource, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and I will share it with you.
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