Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (NRSV)
The Shema is the beginning of daily prayer for Jews, said in the morning and the evening. It roots faith in the home, and exemplifies the importance of parents as being the keys to passing on faith (beliefs, traditions, scripture, ritual, etc.) to their children.
For recent generations in the Christian tradition, much of passing along the faith (learning about prayer, bible stories, faith practices and traditions), as been relegated to the Church. Parents have turned over this responsibility to others, abdicating their role as primary faith formers of their children. For many parents, this is because they themselves were not raised in a faith-filled home.
However, more and more families seek to nurture their children’s faith at home and learn the traditions that previous generations practiced. Churches are seek to support families, and thankfully there are a growing number of resources that we can share and provide to families to begin at home. Church can still remain central, especially as the community gathered for worship. But we know that with busy schedules of work, sports, travel, and children who may spend different weekends with different parents, offering other ways than the Sunday School for faith formation is important.
Here are a few resources to check out.
Faith at Home: A Handbook for Cautiously Christian Parents by Wendy Claire Barrie (Church Publishing, 2016) offers practical ideas and advice for families to engage children in discovering God in the everyday events and specials occasions every day of the year.
My hope is to continue to add to this list as they become known to me. What would you add to this list?
- Candle Press has “To Go” sheets that you can email to families
- Godly Play videos that are “authorized” and provided on the Godly Play Foundations YouTube channel.
- Forward Movement’s Daily Devo: Devotions for Families
- StoryPath uses children’s literature and matches it to the lectionary, church season, or theme:
- Faith Formation Journeys
- Worshiping with Children from Carolyn C. Brown
- Vibrant Faith at Home offers a number of resources to purchase, plus articles and best-practices
6 thoughts on “Faith at Home”
Good Morning, Sharon! ~ My name is Cathy Dudley. In my retirement, God has been using me to write two unique Christian books for children and their families. I LOVE sharing the messages God supplies! Recently a Lutheran pastor friend, Suzanne Stierwalt, introduced me to Debbie Streicher who in turn introduced me to the CENetwork. WOW … there is a wealth of wonderful information here to assist families in their home faith formation, including this resource link that brought me to your website. Sharon, I’d be honored if you’d consider reading my two books and perhaps find them worthy to list among those you list. The titles are Toddler Theology – Childlike Faith for Everyone … and Faith, Family, & Fun – Monthly Lessons to Color and Connect with God’s Love. There are reviews on Amazon as well as descriptions of the books and a little about me on my website, cathyddudley.com. If you’re interested, I’d be happy to mail you copies. No hurry, but please respond when you can. Thank you for all you’re doing to support young families growing in their faith together! May God keep you and yours safe especially in these pandemic times. BLESSINGS, Cathy
Hi Cathy – happy to look at your books.
Hi again, Sharon ~ Oh Me! I’m just now seeing your response. Sorry. I had been checking my email and should have come back here sooner. But please tell me an address to use, and I’d love to mail you my books. They both have great potential for families looking for “Faith at Home” tool options. Thank You! Cathy
17 Pumpkin Lane, Norwalk, CT 06851
Thank you for this address!
I’m hoping to get to the PO the first of next week.
Hello again, Sharon ~
Yesterday, I finally got out to go “Krogering” for a few things we needed … and mailed you my two books. I was told shipping is VERY delayed these days. But I hope you’ll receive them in a week or two. Please Enjoy! And then when you have time, I’d love to hear your impressions.
I read your post on the Trinity earlier today. This was GREAT. It brought to mind a little book I read years ago with our own three children that used an apple analogy to explain the 3-in-1 concept. The peeling, pulp, and seeds were ALL the same apple! But your three stations ideas are lovely with all the fun hands-on things to do.
I’ve also recently enjoyed listening to your “Texting God” webinar. This is timely for me and my husband as our six grandchildren are in the Gen Z and all live out-of-state. There’s definitely been a gradual but noticeable shift from the “Oh Boy!” Grammy and Grandpa are coming to visit and can’t wait to play together … to a quick hug and then them being occupied with friends or by themselves in their rooms with a device of some sort. I appreciate the common traits you described and how faith can best fit in. We DO like to DO things with them and will definitely continue asking. Taking walks with the dogs and sports are still good choices 😉
I’m not sure if this is the best way to contact you? Perhaps fb? Whatever you decide is fine with me.
Take care, Sharon, and Thanks for sharing!!!