Sunday, July 27, 2014

Faithful Families Resources July 27 2014

The family is, so to speak, the domestic Church. In it parents should, by their word and example, be the first preachers of the faith to their children. ~ Vatican II: Constitution on the Church

Family Closeness
Balloon Bounce
This is a simple game that everyone can play. Simply blow up a balloon and see how long you can keep it up in the air. To make it more challenging make everyone stay on their knees or on their backsides, or make it that you have to hit the balloon into every room in the house.

Family Fill-Ins
With your family complete as many of these statements as you can:

We are a family who
cares for…
would never…
would rather…
loves to…
will someday…

(Adventures for Growing Families. Wes & Sheryl Haystead)

With your family read Mathew 14.13-21
Questions for Discussion: 
  • How many loaves and fishes did the disciples have?
  • What did Jesus do before he broke the loaves of bread? How might you give thanks for what God gives you?
  • What do you think this miraculous story tells us about Jesus? Why do you think Jesus performed this miracle? 

Prayer and Celebration
Weaving Prayer into Daily Life

Prayer and worship are not just activities, they are a whole of life response and orientation to God. There are many ways that we might encourage our families to weave prayer, thankfulness and worship into our daily patterns. One of the easiest ways to do this is to connect it to the activities that we have to do everyday, such as brushing our teeth or hair, going to the fridge for food, feeding our pets or leaving the house for work or school. Think of one of your daily routines that you would like to connect prayer to such as brushing your teeth. Attach a sticky not or label to your toothbrush with a word that will remind you to prayer for a specific thing. The same thing can be done with out routines. Make sure it is something that will catch your attention. When you see it, don’t stop the activity but pray in the midst of it ask God for help of give thanks for what God has given you, pray for a family member or someone in the world in need. 

Service Project for Families with Elementary Age Children
  • Have families cut out grocery coupons to give to a local foodbank
  • Make gift baskets for a nearby nursing home or assisted facility for older adults
  • Schedule a time for families to hold and rock babies in a hospital nursury
  • Be welcoming attendants as a family at a shelter or drop in centre.
  • Have families volunteer to stuff a church bulletin with a large mailing at your church. 

Bonus Family Activity
Crazy shopping night
This is a strange idea but good for teaching your children about the use of money. Go to a shopping centre on a relatively quiet night and provide your children with a small amount of money, maybe four dollars. Their goal is to see how much they can buy using that amount 
of money.

(This material is based on and draws from earlier Faithful Families emails by Stephen Harrison and Richard Browning: An Unless Ideas Production.) Unless otherwise noted all material on this blog is copyright Stephen Harrison and Richard Browning

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Faithful Families Resources July 20 2014

Australian research reveals that over 70% of Anglican & Protestant believers became Christians before age 20  (39% before age 10 and 34% between 10-19)

NCLS Occasional Paper 5 - Social Influences on Faith Development

Family Closeness
Metal Detector
One person leaves the room. While they are away someone else chooses an object to hide and hides it somewhere in the room. When the person returns they must find the hidden thing without knowing what it is. The person who hid the object makes a "beep-beep" sound like a metal detector, slower when the person moves away from the object and faster as she moves closer. (Ideas Number 13-12. Group Specialities)

Self Description
Choose one word that starts with each letter of your name that describes you. For example if your name is Joe you might choose jolly, optimistic and exhausted. Parents might need to help younger ones with possible words.

With your family read Mathew 13.31-33

Questions for Discussion:
  • Why do you think Jesus told stories like these to explain what the kingdom of God is like?
  • People can plant seeds, but can we make them grow? Why not? Can we encourage them to grow?
  • What might it mean for the kingdom of God to be planted like a seed in us?
  • What happens to dough when yeast is mixed through it? How might the Kingdom of God be like yeast in us?

Prayer and Celebration
Passing of the Cross
At the dinner table a holding cross is passed from member to member. Whoever holds the cross is the person who prays.  This prayer begins with one person who either says a prayer out loud or silently says or imagines a prayer. The cross is passed when the person who holds it is finished.  Each person takes their turn.  Prompts may be given by parents as the cross is passed.
Eg. See…a friend in need, a hurt that needs healing…etc.
Pray one sentence…prompt:  thank you God for
Project Ideas
  • Collect toys for young children who are either hospitalised in foster care or in a crisis nursery
  • Ask families to make may baskets and fill the baskets with candy and small toys
  • Invite families to sort through their childrn's outgrown shoes and clothes
  • Have families with young children draw pictures and make greeting cards for people in your congregations who are sick

Bonus Family Activity
If your children’s grandparents or uncles or aunties live some way away (or even if they don’t) get them to record a story about their childhood on a tape recorder or to write it down, and post it to you. Your family can then listen to the story during family sharing time. Your children might like to record one of their own stories to post back to their grandparents. 

(This material is based on and draws from earlier Faithful Families emails by Stephen Harrison and Richard Browning: An Unless Ideas Production.) Unless otherwise noted all material on this blog is copyright Stephen Harrison and Richard Browning