The Pastor’s Offering: Children and Youth Families Visioning Circle
Why is it important for you and your family to be part of a faith community? What are you as a parent or as a youth member looking for to feed your own spiritual needs? What nourishes you? What has nourished you in the past? These are some of the questions that guided last Sunday’s Children and Youth Families Vision Circle.
The gathering was a mix of families who have been a part of the FCCA community for many years and folks who have joined in recent months. Infants to high school students were present along with parents and representatives from Church Council. While sitting in the circle, listening to the conversation as it emerged, I was moved by each person’s commitment to FCCA, and was inspired by the depth of insight that can be shared, even in 45 minutes on a hot day.
When asked, “Out of all the places you and your family could be active, why Church?,” the most consistent theme was because church is a community of both peer groups and intergenerational relationships, grounded in shared values, rituals/traditions, and service to community and world. One youth member shared that church is a place where other people care about what they care about and can find support to grow and take action in ways they couldn’t alone. Parents shared that church is a place where their children can form meaningful, healthy relationships with adults outside of their family. There were hopes and dreams about integrating children and youth more fully into the life of the whole community and challenges named by parents that it can be hard to balance leadership with a need for spaciousness to tend to other spiritual needs.
How can we nurture each of these elements, together, as a whole church? This Sunday, I invite you to find someone of an entirely different generation than you, be it in worship or during fellowship time, and say hi. It’s a small move but each moment is an opportunity to deepen the connections in our church. And each connection is an opportunity for the Spirit to move in inspiring and surprising ways.
These are just a few of the themes that emerged as we talked. I encourage you to ask yourself these guiding questions, to talk with families you may or may not know about their responses, as well as myself, Eric our Council Moderator, and any member of the Church Council.
Grateful to be the church with you,