The First Congregational Church of Darien

United Church of Christ

A community of faith since 1737

WILL OUR CHILDREN HAVE FAITH?

This Sunday is Church School Sunday. Pulling this together has been a challenge for our Kate Nelson. But it promises to be special as our children interpret Jesus walking on water, the ascension, and doubting Thomas. Our attraction to this charming yearly celebration of Church School and teachers is their fresh, winsome spin on ancient texts.

 

At a recent gathering of the Darien Clergy Association, I learned the lead churches in town all have “holes” in our Church Schools, despite receiving younger new members into our memberships. The modern Sunday School movement was born in Connecticut through Hartford’s own Horace Bushnell. It appears we shall have to take a stand here if we wish to see it shape, educate, and transform our little ones for coming generations.

 

John Westerhoff writes of five guidelines for sharing our faith with our children from birth through childhood. Of course, these suggestions are not only for the church. Parents are the biggest shapers of their own children in every possible way—including spiritual.

 

Many liberal-minded parents somehow accepted the position on child-rearing which assumed that our children were somehow “not up to” sharing our life of faith as adults. Instead of directly sharing with our children ourselves–to share our passion for Christ and the life of faith–it is enough to merely let them observe us as we pray, worship, study and perform good deeds. Many parents now know that approach holds no water. That while shaping their reading and athletic abilities, for example, we ignore their faith.

 

So here are five guidelines for sharing our faith, whether in your house or in our church.

 1.  We need to tell and retell the biblical story—the stories of faith—together.

 2.  We need to celebrate our faith and our lives.

 3.  We need to pray together.

 4.  We need to listen and talk to each other.

 5.  We need to perform faithful acts of service and witness together.

 All five will occur on Church School Sunday. We are here year round to empower you in your spiritual care of your young, with Church School as a focal point. See you Sunday!

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