In the end we are all separate: our stories, no matter how similar, come to a fork and diverge. We are drawn to each other because of our similarities, but it is our differences we must learn to respect.
DURING TODAY'S SESSION . . .
We started assembling the photo-documentary display. We made plans to continue our work, and we planned the details for the showing of our project.
EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER: TALK ABOUT . . .
Share with your family what this experience has been like for you. How does it compare to other religious education programs you have participated in? In the next session of Families, leaders will ask you to fill out a feedback form. Giving some thought to the experience in the days before that session will assist you in providing constructive feedback.
EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER: TRY . . .
Did you form a bond with any of the families that participated in the photo-documentary project? If so, that bond does not have to end here. Your family might enjoy getting to know another family from the congregation better. Invite them over for dinner or to a picnic. Remember to keep safety in mind: make sure some adults from your family are participating in this event. Your parents or caregivers will want to build relationships with your friends too.
A FAMILY RITUAL
Start a tradition of closing out the holidays and birthday celebrations with a night of gratitude. It is important that we thank one another so that we all feel appreciated. Get out the paper and markers, perhaps some glue and magazines with pretty pictures, and make some thank-you notes. As a family, brainstorm who needs to be thanked and who will make the card. Saying thank you is an important family skill.
A FAMILY GAME
Working together on a big project can be fun. Has your family ever put together a large jigsaw puzzle? Give it a try. Take a favorite family photo to a camera shop, copy shop, or a large drugstore and convert it into a jigsaw puzzle. Plan a night for the entire family to put the puzzle together.
This idea might also make a good gift for friends. Use a photo of you and your friend instead of a family photo.
Your time studying families is coming to an end. How can you make the things you have learned stick? How can you continue to strengthen your family? One idea is to engage in an ongoing family service project. If you dedicate yourselves to a project—as a family—and repeat it year after year, you not only help others, you also become a stronger family. What is important to your family? How much time do you have to dedicate to a project? If you look back on the Faith in Action projects you did during this program, is there one that sticks out in your mind; one you would repeat or use as a model for something similar? There are many opportunities to create family service projects in your community; you probably learned about many of them during this project. Come together as a family and discuss your options. If you need more ideas, check out the website Charity Guide which has numerous ideas, and it will help you focus on what is possible.