Tapestry of Faith: Families: A Jr. High School Youth Program that Explores the Diversity, Commonality, and Meaning of Families

Taking It Home

Part of Families

The whole art of teaching is only the art of awakening the natural curiosity of young minds for the purpose of satisfying it afterwards. -- Anatole France, The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard


We found out about the activities that are a part of Families, including the photo-documentary project. We discussed ways in which all participants can help lead some activities, signed up for some future activities, and all worked together to create a group covenant. We talked about what makes a family.


What makes a family? Ask your family this question. Different family members might have different ideas. Have those ideas changed over time? In what ways?


A congregation is a lot like a family. Does the perfect congregation have a certain structure or a certain look? Do they have to love and accept you no matter what? Is there a "perfect" congregation? If so, what is it like? Can you belong to only one congregation, and do you get to pick it? Do kids need a congregation in order to grow up? How has your congregation played a role in the way you are growing up?


Most people like it when you ask for their opinion. Why not play the continuum game at home, with your family? To start, gather everyone who wants to play. Designate one side of the space to be "I agree" and the other "I disagree." Read each statement and have players go to the side of the space that reflects their answer. If you have time, ask volunteers to explain why they chose the answer they did.

Write your own statements or use the ones we used today:

  • The perfect family has a mother, father, boy, and girl.
  • If two people live together they are a family.
  • Kids have to have families to grow up.
  • Your family has to love you, no matter what you do.
  • A person can be part of more than one family.
  • Everyone is part of some family.
  • Religions and congregations should guide families.
  • A perfect family does not have conflicts.
  • You cannot choose your family.
  • You have only one family.
  • Perfect families do not exist.


Use these questions to spark a discussion: What do we promise each other as a family? Families have spoken and unspoken rules, promises, and expectations. What do we, as family members, promise each other? What are some of our family expectations and rules? How are they different from or the same as the expectations and rules of other families to which we may have belonged? How do family members know the rules? How does our family handle rule breaking? Do we hold family meetings? Do you remember a time when you broke a family rule? How did the family handle it?