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The Gift of Faith

Tending the Spiritual Lives of Children, Second Edition

Jeanne Harrison Nieuwejaar

"The questions in this small book have to do with how we experience the balance of the human and the spiritual in our lives. Where and how do we encounter the holy? Where and how do our children feel its call, its majesty, its strength? To what extent do we, and our children, know ourselves to be spiritual beings? Even as we are surrounded in our living by incredible heights and breadths of thought and experience, art and science, we are impoverished if we lose touch with the holy within and around us."

Eloquent and inspiring, The Gift of Faith celebrates the importance of nurturing our children's spiritual growth. This is a call for parents to be intentional, strong and clear in their choices regarding the messages that children receive about religion. By sharing her own stories and experiences, Nieuwejaar shows that religious community can play an integral role in clarifying and deepening the faith of parents, who inevitably are children's primary religious educators. She also explores ways to foster spiritual awareness in the home and includes rituals for marking the events in children's lives as religious occasions. This important book is ideal for adults of any faith who are concerned with the spiritual development of their children.

Jeanne Harrison Nieuwejaar was raised in a small Universalist church in rural New England and has remained active in liberal religion throughout her life—as a lay worker, religious educator and minister. She has served churches in Cambridge, England; Manhasset, New York; and Milford, New Hampshire (where she has been co-minister with her husband, Olav, since 1989.) They have two grown sons.

Praise for The Gift of Life:

"Jeanne Nieuwejaar makes a simple, compelling case for religious community becoming a center of spiritual stability in our lives-especially for our 'little ones' thrown into a frantic, muddled world. Required reading for every parent-make that every adult."
—Tom Owen-Towle, author, Freethinking Mystics With Hands

"Filled with memories of a simpler time and a realistic understanding of today's challenges, this book holds out for the reader the core values of a religious upbringing. I recommend it to parents, religious leaders and caring adults who are concerned with tomorrow's children."
—Cindy Spring, religious education consultant and co-author of Starting From Scratch: How to Begin Your Own Religious Education Program

For more information contact skinnerhouse @ uua.org.

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Last updated on Thursday, November 18, 2010.

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