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Glad Tidings!

As parents, remembering that our children are the property of the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20: 28: I Peter 1:9, we will bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4) and take all possible care to preserve them from every evil influence.  For this reason we will seek to approve ourselves as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, setting an example for our children.  We will give faithful attention to the spiritual development of our children, both in the home and in the church.  We will endeavor to conduct regular family devotions.”  –Moravian Covenant for Christian Living, Section lll. B

Whew!  Camp is over, the kids are off to school and we all are off and running!  I do want to take a moment to thank all of you who were volunteers, oops. . . that is, disciples this summer with the children.  Our camps were wonderful and we shared many beautiful moments of kindled spirits and new growth with the kids.   The kids were so genuine and kind and many of us adults remarked about how spiritually gifted the children were.  And that is in a word, Gospel, dear sisters and brothers!

I want to take a moment to remind you about our resource for families, Loving Hearts United.  We are still excited that God worked through so many people to pull this off.   It is uniquely Moravian and we are grateful for all the designers, writers, parent and grandparent photographers and singers who so cheerfully shared their gifts. 

Liz Venable, Ruth Cole Burcaw, and I will be working on a short resource to use with families, so that they can explore ways as to how they might use it.  Starting is half the battle!  We really want to help people open up and make time to live into as a way of life.  Christ always calls us into a deeper relationship with one another and with our Good Shepherd.   This is vital because many families are so busy and scattered that they will need a hand-up to try to be very intentional:  

As pastors and educators, here are some ways some of our churches already have used this resource:  

1.       Give the book to parents when their children are baptized.

2.       If you give the gift of the Daily Texts or promote it, add Loving Hearts United to your gift or promotion.

3.      Give this resource to children in the moment with the children and tell the children about it.  Interestingly enough, they will love the rituals and will help parents stay intentional. 

4.      Invite me or any of the writers to come and share this with your parents.  Some churches plan a lunch after church, get a caregiver to be with the children, some have hosted Wednesday nights, one had a two-part series on parenting and served lunch and involved the children.   One little boy was very excited about the Daily Texts and asked if he might have one for his family too!

5.      Announce it verbally from the pulpit and use a bulletin insert, which we will be sending you.  You may want to tailor the insert or newsletter piece to suit how you are planning to share this gift. 

6.      Some people believe that a book means more if the parents are pay for it themselves.  It is available for sale in the resource center.  The cost is 19.95 plus tax and it includes the CD.  It is also a companion piece with the Daily Texts. Call 336-722-8026 for more information or to order.

7.      Request someone to lead the parents (grandparents and guardians) through the short resource to help them get started.  Or invite someone in your church to lead it.  We will provide a “teacher-friendly” resource for you, (which will be available in November).

This is a stand alone piece which means that families can pick it up and use it any time of the year.  Here are some examples: 

At a special event in the life of a family or church: 

They may start living into it at a special event such as the baptism of their child, the confirmation of their child or teen ager, (it is never too late!), the day Bibles are given out, a child’s birthday or when a new family joins the church, on the anniversary of a child’s adoption ( fondly called, gotcha day).

At a special season in the life of the church:

You could promote the resource or give the resource before Advent since this is the beginning of the church year, at Christmas,  since Jesus was born into a family, in the new year, when the new Daily Texts are given or sold, during Lent since this is a special time of devotion or on Easter, (of course!).   One teenager asked for the Daily Texts for a Christmas present.  Then again, you could simply give it to your own family for Christmas. 

If your church has any ideas of how you have invited families or shared Loving Hearts United , lease send us you good news.  We always welcome glad tidings!

Faithfully yours,

Rev. Lisa Mullen, Director of Children and Family Ministry

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Recognizing the home as a community of faith, Roots & Wings provides avenues for families to discover and develop their spiritual roots and wings in today’s world. Roots & Wings celebrates and enriches family connectedness within the Moravian Church community.

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