Week of February 25, 2013

Todd JonesMy Dear Friends,

One of the wonderful traditions we have established during the last decade at First Presbyterian Church is Family Facelift weekend. Each winter we have taken a weekend to focus upon the art of parenting our children. There is no more important work to which we are called than nurturing faith in the next generation, and parents play a role second to none in this high and holy calling. In baptism, parents take vows “to raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” In baptism, the congregation promises to support, encourage and pray for parents in this calling. Family Facelift has become a weekend in which we seek to offer wisdom, encouragement, guidance and support to parents, reflecting the partnership that our baptismal vows establish between parents and the church. Our Youth Ministry and Children’s Ministry teams will be sponsoring this event jointly.

This year’s leader for Family Facelift is Wynn McGregor, a nationally renowned Christian educator within the Presbyterian Church. Wynn will be with us for two days, offering a variety of opportunities and presentations to help parents and families deepen the spiritual climate of their homes. On Saturday afternoon in The Gathering Place from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. on March 9, Wynn will offer her first seminar, called The Art of Soul Meeting. While this is aimed especially at Sunday School teachers and youth leaders within our church family, it is open to all parents. Wynn will explore what practices make us more aware of God’s presence in our lives, and she will discuss and demonstrate how these practices can be used in group settings with children and youth to deepen our relationship with God.

On Saturday night in Courtenay Hall, from 6:45 to 8:30 p.m., she will lead a session for parents of newborns to high school students called Nurturing the Natural. Child care will be provided by our Recreation Department for parents wanting to participate. In this seminar Wynn will explore ways that the family can become the primary influence upon nurturing our innate longing for God. She will discuss ways that families can be more intentional about nurturing and encouraging a relationship with God. What are the attributes, qualities and skills that fit parents for this important work? Practical and inspirational ways of nurturing the spiritual life of our families will be offered by Wynn to all parents.

On Sunday morning, in the Enrichment Center from 9:45 to 10:45 a.m., Wynn will gather with parents of children of all ages to talk about Spirituality: Connecting with God, Self, Family and World. We all long for our families to be places that nurture and deepen faith in the Living God. We want our homes to be places hospitable and welcoming to spiritual growth, and places where our children are prepared to relate to the world in life-giving ways. Wynn will help us to think more deeply about these vital issues of parenting.

None of us are experts on parenting, really. We all learn how to do it was we go. Any of us who have ever been parents know how demanding, humbling and all consuming a task and calling it is. We need each other to fulfill our calling, and Family Facelift on March 9 and 10 will afford us another chance to reflect upon this sacred calling. I plan on being present to learn from what Wynn McGregor will offer to us. I hope to see you there as well!

With Love and Prayers,

Todd Jones

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