Family Liturgies

Letters of Faith

by Casey FitzGerald

073015pfpicIt is often said that parents are the primary faith leaders for their children. It is often said by parents, “I am really lost as to how to actually do that.” This week you are invited to lead like the apostle Paul, through letter writing. Your children are invited to write as well.

Opening Prayer
Holy God,
Be with us,
Teach us,
Encourage us,
Challenge us,

Paul wrote a letter to believers in Ephesus to encourage them to keep believing and following Jesus, and to remind them that they are ONE in God. Some people believe he wrote this letter while he was being held in prison!

Here is how his letter begins:

From Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God’s will.
To the holy and faithful people in Christ Jesus in Ephesus.
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.
(Ephesians 1:1-2, Common English Bible)

And here is a section from this week’s lectionary readings:

Therefore, as a prisoner for the Lord, I encourage you to live as people worthy of the call you received from God. Conduct yourselves with all humility, gentleness, and patience. Accept each other with love, and make an effort to preserve the unity of the Spirit with the peace that ties you together. You are one body and one spirit, just as God also called you in one hope. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of all, who is over all, through all, and in all. (Ephesians 4:4-6, CEB)

Paul used letters to strengthen the followers of Christ and to strengthen the church. He hoped to support the churches he had started from afar by offering them letters of encouragement and hope. In those letters he gave advice, told stories of his own life, and shared the stories of others.

This week you are also invited to write letters, not to the church, but to your family. Like Paul’s letters, these letters should focus on what you know about God, and what you hope your family will know about God. (If you don’t know how to write, perhaps someone else can write down the words for you, or you could be filmed (a video or audio letter), or use drawings as your letter.)

Ideas for your letter, PARENT VERSION:

• Story of your faith
• Questions with which you still wrestle
• What is your favorite biblical story? Why?
• Stories of people/experiences that have impacted your life
• How does being a parent change how you see God?
• What is the most important thing you want your child(ren) to know about God?

Ideas for your letter, KID VERSION:

• Write a list of the things you know about God
• What is your favorite story about God? Why do you think it’s your favorite story?
• If you have questions about God, what are they?
• Is there a special song that reminds you of God?
• What is your favorite prayer right now?

Take your time this week to write your letter. Next Sunday, take turns reading/showing the letters to each other.

Once you have shared your letters, close with the following prayer:

Great God,
We give you thanks for the ways your encourage us. Help us to encourage each other as we try our best to follow you. Amen.

Casey FitzGerald Casey W. FitzGerald is Associate Pastor for Children & Families and Young Adults at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Alexandria, VA. She writes about storytelling at Faith and Wonder and and tells stories each week on her podcast, Story Divine.


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