As I worked with our cover story Nurturing Faith, I remembered a saying that became popular a few decades ago. “It takes a village to raise a child.”
According to Wikipedia, this African proverb means that an entire community of people must interact with children for those children to grow in a safe and healthy environment.
That’s also true for children to grow in faith.
Perhaps like me, you have found yourself saying or doing something just the way that your father or mother did; something you vowed you would never say or do. Of course, there are also many times that I find myself remembering that that’s something I’m glad my mom or dad taught me.
Many times they taught more to me by example than by words. And so did many other people in the communities in which I grew up, especially in the congregations to which I have belonged; a camp counsellor, a Sunday school teacher, a youth leader, a custodian; an encouraging word or example from someone, and some discouraging ones, too. (I still find myself learning from others all the time.)
We need to pay attention to the children around us because they are paying attention to us. Another saying came to mind “Little pitchers have big ears.”
We kids knew that there was something being talked about that we weren’t supposed to hear; so, of course, we did our best to listen.
Often it was simply a bit too grown-up for us to understand yet. But sometimes, it was something that should not have been said at all. Those are too often the things that are remembered most.
Nurturing Faith is designed to expand the conversation we need to have about such things. That includes how your congregation is searching for ways to support its children and their families, or your children, grandchildren or great-grandchilden. What about how you relate to the child next door or down the hall, the one who you pass by in a store or on the street? Let’s keep those conversations going.
The opportunities to nurture faith with our children are vast and varied and begin with each one of us.
Maintaining congregational archives (Q&A, p. 15) isn’t usually a topic of conversation for most. Still it’s important and might be an opportunity for some of us that should not be overlooked.
The pandemic has been dragging everyone down; some far more seriously than others. Hope internalized (p. 9) offers some encouraging observations.
Flora Pregler (p. 7) shares her reflection on leadership, mission and motivation, and in the process inspires us all.
We tend to take how our future theologians and pastors are being nurtured for granted. Theological education (p. 6) offers some insight into the current situation.
Kenn Ward, Editor