October 27th is finally here; the publication date for Growing Christians, the first book we created as the Grow Christians community. Last week I shared a sneak peek inside the book on the Feast of Saint Luke the Evangelist, and today I’d like to share why we wrote it.
I joined the Grow Christians community shortly after Nurya Love Parish launched it into the world with the support of Forward Movement and Plainsong Farm. I was the new lead parent for our two young children and trying (albeit unsuccessfully) to incorporate the liturgical year into our family routines at home. I lacked age-appropriate language and tools, and soon felt like the worst priest parent to ever live. Thankfully, Melody Shobe pointed me towards this new online ministry.
Soon, I found myself actually living into Moses’ commandment to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 6.5-9.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. Keep these words…in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
Well, we weren’t binding the words on our hands and foreheads, but we did encourage one another to recite God’s words and talk about our faith. The early Grow Christians posts helped me make my faith more visible to our children; they offered us new ways to connect with God through baking, creating, and wondering. Faith became something we lived out at home rather than learned about for 50 minutes on Sunday morning. Each post brought new age-appropriate opportunities for worship, prayer, and formation.
Growing Christians: Celebrating Saints and Holy Days at Home gathers the best of our reflections from Grow Christians on major feasts, holy days, and fasts. This is a book you can revisit year after year after year. We know the Bible to be a living document that grows as we we grow. Our interpretation of the scripture appointed for tomorrow’s Feast of Saints Simon and Jude will vary from year to year as will the way we respond to it. Your household might turn the Post-It prayer board described in the Saints Simon and Jude response activity into a yearly tradition, but the names on the notes will surely change from year to year depending on who is on your heart on October 28th. This book will help you lay the foundation for establishing faith practices with children and youth, as well as give you the materials needed to continue the building process.
As a publication gift to you, cherished member of our Grow Christians community, Forward Movement is offering a 20% discount for our book with the code GROW20, now through Saturday at 9:00 p.m. ET. I hope you’ll buy a copy for your home library and your church library, and many more to share during the Christmas season.