Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Real Kids, Real Faith, by Karen Marie Yust

Last week I had reason to revisit a book I have used frequently.  Doing so reminded me of how useful it is and makes me mention it to those of you who do not already own a dog-eared copy.  The book Real Kids, Real Faith: Practices for Nurturing Children’s Spiritual Lives, by Karen Marie Yust.  The author is addressing parents raising children 24/7 and includes a study guide for parents’ groups and church school classes, but what she offers also has many, obvious uses for worship planners both as they plan worship and as they help parents worship with their children in the pews. 
The table of contents gives you a hint:

What’s Faith God to Do with Childhood?
How children understand and grow into faith

Creating a Spiritual World for Children to Inhabit
“explore ways in which we can intentionally create a religious culture for children that is peopled with religious characters, religious symbols, and religious language so that they incorporate the religious into their lives as normal and desirable.”
Telling Stories That Draw Children into a Life of Faith
“explore ways in which we can help children hear and speak aloud the faith story and their own stories so that these narratives become intertwined in children’s lives.”

Helping Children Name God’s Presence in their Lives
Helping children becoming fluent in their religious language

Praying with Children
How children work with silence, a list of ways to pray with children at home, an introduction to the usual prayers of the sanctuary for children, and a wonderful suggestion for teaching children to pray prayers of lament (which most of us of all ages need frequently in life)

Supporting Children as They Grow in Spiritual Awareness
“explores how children make sense of common religious concepts”

Acting Out Our Spirituality with Children
The discipleship chapter

Finding a Faith Community to Call Your Own
“portrays faith communities as partners in the parental quest to nurture children’s spiritual lives and  suggests characteristics that parents should look for in a congregation.”

Well worth reading!!

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