Making Space for Faith at Home

By Christine V Hides, Director of Ministries with Children and Youth

Last week we used a Facebook poll to ask where families were finding time and space to practice faith as a family. Not surprisingly, “Finding time is hard” was the most popular answer. Bedtime and at the table were tied for second place.

My own family’s faith practice has varied from year to year and season to season. One thing we have found helpful is to have  a visible reminder to carve out time and space. When the children were younger, books and prayers at bedtime were our sacred space. As they got older, our faith conversations and spiritual practices shifted to the dinner table.  This week, you are invited to create a space for your family at the table, on the nightstand, or even in the car.

Directions for creating a Home Faith Space:

  1.  Begin by choosing a tray or container to hold your Faith Space Tools. Our family uses a shallow tray so we can move it for cleaning the table or doing homework.
  2.  Include a candle, battery powered for safety as needed, as a reminder of God’s presence. When you light it, say, “The light of Christ is always with us.”
  3.  Add a piece of cloth (optional) for the color of the church season (currently green for “ordinary” time). This becomes a kind of calendar for children, a reminder that each year we remember the story of the people of God and the mystery of Christ’s birth, life, death, and resurrection.
  4.  As a family, choose other items to add to your faith space that encourage prayer and discussion. Some suggestions:

A prayer cube or prayer book.

Faith discussion cards.

A gratitude jar or box.

Items from nature that remind you of God.

Seasonal items like Advent candles, guiding stars for epiphany, and an empty bowl for Lent 

Children’s Bible or Picture Books

 

As you can, schedule time for faith activities at home. I’ve found that even if all we can fit into a busy week is a short mealtime prayer, it makes the family dinner discussion richer. These holy moments at home are where the rubber meets the road. They are times when our children see how faith impacts our everyday life.

Have more time?

One of our church members shared their family meeting ritual with the reality of faith at home with young children.

Parents, if you spend a lot of time in the carpool line waiting, consider carrying along some faith tools for you.  Apps like Pray As You Go are also enriching.

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