Today we are sharing stories from leaders across the country who are leading faith at home with their own families.
In the words of Rev. Lisa Smith Fiegel:
I’m leading faith at home but it’s not fancy. It doesn’t have to be. The lessons are everywhere and we’re all learning faith together.
You’re invited to share your story in the comments below.
May these stories inspire you and give you hope.
by Pastor Kayla Monson
Oak Knoll Lutheran Church, Minnetonka MN
When restrictions began here in MN I was on maternity leave (we had just welcomed our newborn early March) and so in sleepless nights I would wonder what form and shape storytelling could take throughout this time of physical distancing. I truly believe that though we are separated by miles, the Holy Spirit gathers us together in the water, word, and around our tables so that we might be nourished by the stories of God’s faithfulness and abundant love for all creation as we seek to live into our identity as God’s church in the world, wherever we are gathered.
With this in mind, I started a blog titled Gathered Together.
Within it I seek to tell stories of where God is at work in the ordinary life of a mother and ELCA pastor. God shows up in the voice of my toddler reminding me that I am standing on “Holy Floor” (his retelling of Exodus 3), his bold reminders that God shows up in the midst of ordinary things, in table blessings, and in a reminder to see the promise of resurrection abundantly among us.
On the blog you will also find faith practice videos (under the By the Water section) which have been created for the families of the faith community I am currently serving in Minnetonka, MN. Together we’ve engaged in a Thanksgiving for Baptism, and we’re walking through the baptismal covenant, as together we engage in learning and living what it means to be people claimed in the water and called to share God’s love in the world.
Peace Be With You
by Pastor Dan Kuckuck, and Olivia St. Stephen Lutheran Church, Urbandale, IA
Most nights I offer a prayer on Facebook Live, after praying with my daughter Olivia (3) at bedtime. This particular evening, I asked if she’d help with the video prayer. One of my absolute joys is when she says it’s “her turn”—and she prays too. To hear her compose a prayer and say “Peace be with you” at the end fills my heart and soul. It’s that simple, and that wonderful.
What Are Your Worries? Praying with an almost 5-year-old
by Sara Ray, Director of Children’s Ministry and Outreach
Kinsmen Lutheran Church, Houston, TX
Recently I read Glennon Doyle’s book “Carry on, Warrior” where she writes a couple letters to her first born. One of the letters has changed the way I do bedtime with my almost 5-year-old.
Glennon writes to her son about how important it is to share your worries with someone you love before they become problems. Worries are easier to fix when you share them, she says. This, combined with studies I’ve read that say our memorized prayers, although meaningful in their own way, don’t always help our children own their faith, sparked something in me.
For a while at bedtime we’ve taken turns asking each other, What was the best part of your day? Did you have any sad parts? And now we’ve added, What are your worries? Then the listener prays about those worries. Have you ever shared a worry and asked an almost 5-year-old to pray for you? I highly recommend it.
And then we fall back into the easier routine of our memorized prayers, the one she knows from school, the one I know from my childhood, and the Lord’s Prayer. And then the procrastination begins…I need a drink, I need a snack, pat my back…but for a moment it’s a special time.
Weaving Faith into Daily Life
by Rev. Lisa Smith Fiegel, Director for Evangelical Mission
Alaska Synod, ELCA
I’m leading faith at home but it’s not fancy. It doesn’t have to be. Faith just gets woven into daily life, and that’s maybe deeper than a once-a-week Sunday dose in a building we can no longer enter. Sure, I’m reading children’s Bible stories at bedtime, we pray before dinner and make the sign of the cross at bathtime. But we’re also weaving faith into our new status as homeschoolers and noticing God’s abundance and beauty everywhere. It took a pandemic to help me slow down and do this work.
We planted flowers over Memorial Day and talked about care for God’s creation. We point out the beauty of nature on weekly hikes. The kids mop floors and wash sinks and we discuss serving. We made cards for a friend living with cancer and talked about helping. Books with non-White heroes teach us the wonder of God’s diversity. The lessons are everywhere and we’re all learning faith together.