What’s the big deal about Religious Education?
There is a spiritual practice wherein the participants listen or read the same passage. The passage can be as simple as, “Parents are the primary religious educator of a child”. Let’s ponder that sentence again and let it sink in. Parents are the primary religious educator of a child. One more time. Parents are the primary religious educator of a child. Now sit with it. How does that settle in your bones? How does that feel in your soul? You may find yourself thinking: Then, why am I taking my family to church? What does the religious education program at church provide that I cannot? What are the people in religious education teaching? I don’t know anything about religion; how can I possibly do this?
While parents are a child’s primary teacher in LIFE, parents are rarely prepared or may not even perceive the importance of the role of religious educator in their children’s lives. Many parents seek a religious community to invite this dynamic into their family’s life. The church community is a place to help us formulate our own religious and spiritual lives, to comfort us in times of trouble and to raise our children in a loving environment. The church provides supplemental information and direction when our parenting resources don’t quite answer life’s burning questions. We need someone to guide us through the big questions, to examine our own weaknesses, and generously share our treasure and talent. Religious education provides all this and more. Parents have told me, “I don’t want to tell them what to believe” or “We believe…”. Some parents are absolutely certain what they want their children to believe, making it difficult to allow the child to walk their own path. This is why we take our children to church and where formal religious education adds a richness to the fabric of our children’s religious and spiritual walk.
The teachers, the committee and I are here to stand shoulder to shoulder with you as you raise your family. As we move forward this year, we need to hear your voices. What are you and your children experiencing? How can we help you? This month “It Takes a Village” will focus on your experiences as a family. What do you want our children and youth to experience this year in their religious education? Please join us on Sunday, August 14, at 9:00 am, to discuss these important questions.
Director of Children and Youth Programs