Parents and caregivers are our children’s primary religious educators, through offering explanations and advice, and by modeling attitudes toward faith, meaning, and purpose that children will notice and copy. Our Family Ministries program offers tools for families to support one another in discovering and rediscovering a seeking, active faith in the context of our family lives.
During this time of quarantine and social distancing, it is all the more important to find ways to connect with one another. Though we aren’t meeting in person, our church is not closed–we continue to learn, grow, worship, and support one another through creative online connections and sharing of physical resources:
Our online family support circle meets the 1st and 3rd Wednesday from 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. Anyone parenting children or youth is welcome to attend. Click here for the meeting link.
Parent Facebook Group: You can also connect with other Saltwater Church families with children and youth for support through the Parents Facebook group, open to members and friends of Saltwater church who are parenting children or youth:
Classes and Camps: This summer, children and youth have opportunities to connect online with peers from other Unitarian Universalist congregations. Check out our Sunday morning children’s class, Sunday afternoon youth group, and weekday summer kids camps!
Borrow Books! Have your children run out of books to read, with school and public libraries closed? Would you like to borrow a collection of books, along with some crafts and activities your kids could enjoy for a while, then pass along to another family? I’d love to loan a collection of books to your family to enjoy while we can’t be in our building together. Contact Melinda Einander to borrow books from our library.
Resources for Talking with Children about Racial Justice: If you are struggling to know how to talk about current events with your children, or looking for other resources to support you in anti-racist parenting, this collection may be helpful.
- Guidance for building a family home altar, growing it each week by adding a new component one by one.
- A family worship to honor those weekly additions to your altar
- A couple of “after-worship” activities to continue your family Sabbath time by connecting and relaxing together.
Want to Host a Social Gathering? The Saltwater Church Zoom Room or Family Ministries Zoom can be reserved for gatherings. Have an idea of how you’d like to connect with folks? Maybe you’d like to host a game night, a dance party, a crafting time, a story time, etc.? Maybe you have a different idea for staying connected that doesn’t involve Zoom that you’d like to organize? Contact Melinda with your ideas.
Why Come To Church?
Children who come to church regularly:
- Make friends they look forward to seeing on Sunday.
- Know their teachers and develop a valuable relationship with them.
- Understand the theme of the curricula.
- Are familiar and “at home” with the church buildings.
- Naturally memorize the repeated words and songs in worship.
- Know and look forward to the cycles of events and rituals of the church year.
- Develop a sense of belonging; know names of many people of all ages.
- Develop a sense of stewardship about the church and feel fulfilled when they have helped.
- Feel a sense of ownership of their religion, their church and the RE program.
- Adults who come to church regularly experience similar satisfaction.
Children who drop in once a month or less do not experience the richness of the community. It becomes another ‘thing to do’ rather than an integral part of family and spiritual life.
Busy lives need spiritual practice that binds the family and community in shared experience. Angus MacLean once said, “Religion is caught, not taught.”
At Saltwater Church, we support the involvement of children, youth, and families in all aspects of congregational life:
Resources for Families
- Weekly email to families
- Parent Group (online)
- Roots and Wings group (for those parenting teens and tweens)
- “Soulful Home” Family Class for children and adults
- Family Ministries Library
- Online Resources
- Family Ministries Team
- Chalice Circles
- Caring team and lay ministers
- Children’s religious education
- Youth religious education
- Adult religious education
- Child care for church events
- Rites of passage
- Comprehensive sexuality education (Our Whole Lives)
- Meeting with Director of Family Ministries or the Minister
What are my responsibilities as a parent in my child’s religious education? You are your child’s primary religious educator. Share your religious beliefs with your child. (Need help with this? Check out some of our religious exploration offerings for adults. Let your child know why you chose this church and what it means to you. Talk about how you act on your beliefs about fairness, tolerance, caring for the earth, etc. and provide your child with opportunities to act on his or her beliefs.