The topic of choice – made by you! – for the August sermon series is family! Happily, this topic aligns well with the concerns of our Christian education team, who has been researching ways to provide Christian support both to individual families and the church family.
Members of the Christian education team attended a conference this past spring and are currently studying the work of Dr. Rich Melheim, who focuses on how churches can encourage people of all ages to come together to deepen their faith, learn from one another, and support one another. How can the church facilitate a deep and purposeful re-connection with God and each other in a world that drives us apart and isolates us from one another?
For Dr. Rich Melheim, part of the answer to this question is Faith5, a daily faith practice of family conversation and support. In this model, families gather to share the highs and lows of their day, engage with scripture, pray for one another, and bless one another (see graphic below). The flexibility of the model allows those who live alone or apart from family to connect with others via phone or skype to join the conversation.
This month, we will hear biblical stories of families who encounter challenges and blessings and reflect on how these stories intersect with own experiences of being a member of a family:
• How do we process change as a family?
• When has being a member of a family been painful?
• How do our family relationships teach us the importance of forgiveness?
• How do families bring together different people through love?
• How does God walk with our family in all of these experiences?
We will also learn about Faith5 as a way to strengthen our families throughout the week. I encourage everyone to try engaging with this model at home. There are countless stories of how daily and faith driven conversation has transformed families struggling to connect with one another. I pray that this coming month will be one of discovery, renewal, and re-connection with God and with family.