Parents (and grandparents) are the primary and most effective faith educators for their children. Studies have and are still showing this, and it makes perfect sense. During the years that a child is between the ages of two and six or seven years old, the EEG activity in their developing brains puts them in a more suggestible state, in the same way that hypnotism does for adults. All that they experience, and during this period, most of which comes from their parents and family, is "downloaded" directly to their subconscious memory. This means that 90% of the subconscious choices we make as adults are based on what happened to us during those precious years of childhood.
Lent is a perfect time to help our families guide their children in engaging in and learning about Christian practices such as prayer, being still, singing praise, reading Bible stories, serving others, and offering hospitality. Building Faith is a valuable resource for both congregations and families. Here are some curated links from their website to pass on to the families in your congregation to assist them in experiencing Lent and Easter together in meaningful ways.
Lenten Books and Devotions for Children & Families
Lent in a Bag: An Activity for Church or Home
Keeping Lent in Your Household
Creating a Lenten Prayer Space at Home
Shrove Tuesday at Home
Mardi Gras/Shrove Tuesday: A Playful Day for the Church
Easter in the Household: Practical Ideas
Why Eggs on Easter? A Christian Answer
Build a Better Easter Basket
Eight Ways to Live the Great Fifty Days of Easter
Debbie Gline Allen is the part-time Christian Education & Youth Ministry Consultant for the Massachusetts Conference United Church of Christ. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 508-603-6601.
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