The best gift, to your child, is faith; faith in God, faith in
family, faith in themselves. At this time of year there is a lot of
planning and preparation for the start of the school year, and there
should be. Amidst all of the hustle and bustle it is also good to
remember that faith communities of all types are also getting ready
for the enrollment of children. Just like education, faith
formation is a life-long journey best begun early.
At First Congregational Church our faith formation programs for
children have evolved. The Bible will still provide basic
foundational truths, but many programs now are experiential and we
let the activities instruct, in such places as the kitchen, the
playground, the computer lab, the games room, as well as the classic
classroom. There are many residual benefits.
There is positive value development where children can share,
compare and test their own belief systems. New friendships develop
and fellowship occurs in caring spirit. Children will interact with
positive adult mentors and role models and ministry is often both
given and received. Children will grow spiritually and stories
reveal truth in tested curriculums. Most programs provide options
for service to others; first identifying needs and then responding
with compassion. Often there will be some prayer time and children
will learn to talk with God and also learn to listen for His
message. Youth in faith communities are supported and comforted in
difficult times. Most importantly, faith formation will be fun,
creating feelings of joy and fulfillment.
It is said that faith is important; not because you can see it, but
because you can see so much because of it. It is that time of year
again, for pencils, notebooks, and school. Donít forget faith. Help
your children unwrap the gift.