In our training, catechists are urged not to focus just on acquiring knowledge – which lessons to present, how to prepare the Atrium, how to make materials – but on our own spiritual journeys.
That can be, honestly, easier said than done.
Our lives are busy and fast-paced. We have work to do, paid and volunteer. We have families, friends and pets. We have bills, books on the nightstand, shows on the DVR, errands, laundry. How often do our own needs come last?
The advice to care for our own souls, to cultivate time to be present with God, is wise. Children are careful, insightful observers. They notice when we are distracted, impatient and anxious. They can tell if we are intent on delivering a lecture, rather than listening to them or listening to God.
Catechists develop practices for readying ourselves for Atrium time. Some meditate, study, pray for the children by name, and prepare all the details of the space so it invites the children to work and nurture their relationship with God.
Beyond Sunday morning, catechists seek to fully participate in the life of the Christian community – through prayer, worship, Scripture study, sharing time and treasure, hospitality, observing the Sabbath and other practices central to our faith. Sometimes we take retreats. We seek counsel and support from other catechists as well as clergy.
This same preparation supports spiritual parenting.
How do you attend to your relationship with God? How do you share those practices with your children?
We offer you a handful of resources here that we have found helpful in our own journeys – our own up-and-down journeys to try to draw closer to God in a noisy, crazy, challenging world. We will continue to use this space to share resources, but we would love to learn about yours. We are all in this together.
What sources do you visit to listen to and be present with God?
Episcopal Café: This website offers several blogs, including the Daily Episcopalian for reflections on theology, peace and justice and Speaking to the Soul, which offers sermons, meditations and excerpts from books on spirituality.
From the Sheepfold: This blog, by catechists at Christ Episcopal Church in Ohio, offers a wonderful pictorial journey through the Atrium and the catechesis program.
Father Matthew Presents: Matthew Moretz is the curate of Christ’s Church in Rye, NY, who offers a video blog about life in the Episcopal Church.
My Monastery is a Minivan by Denise Roy
Parenting as a Spiritual Journey by Rabbi Nancy Fuchs Kreimer
Parenting: A Sacred Path by Patience Leiden Robbins (Scroll down to buy this book, and also see other titles in this catalog from the Center for Children and Theology.)