Creative Family Worship
While working at a camp during college, I was taught a type of corporate worship that was creative, collaborative and fun. The summer staff was divided into groups and given one portion of a traditional church service to present in a brand-new way.
There were people working to come up with a call to worship and others planning the service of reconciliation. Still more staff members were imagining a new way to understand the assurance of pardon. Other groups were assigned the Scripture reading, the message, the offering and the benediction.
With a limited time to plan and the whole of creation to use, we put together a worship experience that offered a new way of praising God. We gathered outdoors and walked to planned spaces to offer words or song, to explore nature and reflect, to pile stones into altars or burn offenses, written simply, in fires we built. It was simple and heart-felt and new and refreshing. Twenty years have gone by and those experiences are with me today.
There are times when our faith needs a new way to worship and a new way to connect and a new way to see what God is doing around us. Finding the time to experience this can benefit our Sunday services, too. Connecting with our home church is important and so is offering our time to serve there. But helping our children understand that worship can happen outside of church is a valuable lesson to teach. Taking time to plan a creative service can open our children to seeing how worship and praise can become a part of our everyday world.
Planning a service at home (or on vacation or in a nearby park) that follows the pattern of your worship at church can do just that. Brainstorm as a family about what it means to call people to worship. How could you do that today? Then, do that plan together! Work through the parts of the service that are familiar to you, but see them each in brand-new ways.
Raising children in faith is a life-long work. Helping them to see the place that worship holds within our ordinary days can strengthen the experience we share on Sundays and help our children (and ourselves) to better understand how to worship the Lord the rest of the week, as well.
Step families come with a variety of challenges to weather from the moment they say “I do.” Ron Deal addresses specific challenges and offers biblical insight as well as clinical experience as a marriage and family therapist to help equip couples for the journey ahead. He offers hope and encouragement for helping families navigate establishing working relationships within the new family as well as with the extended family.
http://glendora.patch.com/articles/your-marriage-is-a-gift Advice for weathering the storms of marriage from the Glendora Patch
"More importantly, if it is so difficult, why bother trying to make marriage work? For starters, it is one of the greatest gifts you can give your children. Research consistently shows that children tend to fare better in married, two-parent households. The investment you make in your marriage not only rewards you and your spouse, the dividends spill over to your children as well"