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FAMILY MINISTRY - What's Your Spiritual Support Plan?

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A message from your Director of Family Ministries for families of all ages (whether or not children live in your home!) by Kathy E. Smith

    The Rev. Tandi Rogers recently wrote: “Many families have a safety plan in case of a fire or earthquake.  We have squirreled away flashlights, batteries, candles, and water.  We’ve given a list of emergency contacts to care providers and schools.

     “But what about a Spiritual Support Plan?  Do you know what each person in your family needs when life has thrown them a challenge?  What is your family ritual to get back on track? Is it a batch of Gramma’s cookies and the movie Princess Bride with everyone all piled on the couch together? Perhaps someone needs you to rub their back and sing a childhood lullaby to ground them in their family roots. What is your code word, the signal that you can send across a crowded room to let your loved one know that you see them struggling and they are not alone?”

     Rituals are powerful medicine in times of stress.  Deliberately acknowledging our rituals makes them even more powerful. In these busy, often painful days, you may want to take some time to talk about your family’s rituals of Family Spiritual Support. When does your family feel deeply connected? What rituals do you already have for shared time? What could you add that would make you feel closer? Would you like to do something daily, weekly, or monthly? Consider some of these ideas: 

  • A hand signal that means “I love you”

  • A family playlist of feel-good music

  • A list of your family’s favorite comfort foods

  • A shared meditation or prayer at meals or bedtime

  • Dancing together or some outdoor time together

  • Side-by-side time (reading to each other, coloring together, cooking together, talking in the dark at bedtime)

  • Lighting a candle together

Whatever you do, blessings to you and your family as you support each other in love.