Activity time: 40 minutes
Preparation for Activity
- Invite parents or other adults from all the children's families to come and share their stories about finding and participating in this faith home. You may wish to adapt and distribute Leader Resource 3, Invitation to Parents.
Description of Activity
If you have time for it and expect good participation from children's adult family members, this activity is an alternative to Activity 5: Open Hearts Make a Faith Family, a discussion in which children tell about their families' involvement in the congregation. Invite an adult from each family to come and share the family's story about how they found this faith home and the ways they are involved. Modify Leader Resource 3: Invitation to Parents and email or distribute it to all children's families a few weeks ahead of time. You may wish to follow up with confirmation phone calls during the week preceding the session.
Ask the adults to bring photographs, dedication certificates, or anything else that symbolizes their connection to their faith home. Before the session, calculate how many adults are going to share and how much time you have for the session. Give the adults good guidance as to how long they should speak; it should not be more than two or three minutes. Make sure you give children opportunities to help the adult tell their family's story.
This activity may not be a good choice if some children's families are not active in or do not attend your congregation, or if you feel some families might not participate. You don't want one or two children feeling left out, which has a greater probability of happening in a large group.
However, if the group is small and adults are likely to be responsive to your invitation, this activity can provide a great opportunity for children and families to create a narrative around their experiences at the congregation. The session can strengthen not only a child's sense of belonging, but also that of their family.