Families Growing Together

Families Growing Together: Our Whole Lives (OWL) Program

by Margaret Evans, Director of Lifespan Learning This past summer, several people from our congregation were trained as Our Whole Lives (OWL) facilitators, a program that teaches children and youth about healthy bodies, relationships and sexuality. This program is a holistic approach to understanding our bodies and our relationships in a healthy environment. This is…

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Families Growing Together: What We Offer To The World Matters

by Margaret Evans, Director of Lifespan Learning Church is no longer common. It is not what people do anymore. More often, people are confused by those who are still committed to their religious beliefs. What would it take for us to be bold this year? I’m asking myself this question as part of our Lifespan…

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Families Growing Together: Written Words

by Margaret Evans, Director of Lifespan Learning This year, I had a unique experience of letting go of some major life events. It was a long process that involved many turns and steps backward, but eventually I made it to where I am today. One of the most influential things I did to help myself…

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Families Growing Together: Can We find a Moment to Pause Daily?

by Margaret Evans, Director of Lifespan Learning Involvement with youth and children on a deep level, whether parenting, fostering, or mentoring, has both its joys and also its frustrations. If I have spent time planning a spiritual learning opportunity for the children and it is not being received the way I had hoped, I feel…

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Families Growing Together: Welcome – Two New Advisors

by Margaret Evans, Director of Lifespan Learning March means March Break. This can be a stressful time for families who have to find childcare and appropriate activities. Attending service with your children will engage them in deep spiritual encounters and offer you an hour for the same. Please join us over the March Break when…

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Families Growing Together: Teaching A Child To Love

by Margaret Evans, Director of Lifespan Learning Teaching young people to love is easy to achieve. It is easy for a child to love their mother or father, if they are given love. It is easy for a child to love a sibling, at least at first. How do you teach a child to love…

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Families Growing Together: Resilience Can Be Taught

by Margaret Evans, Director of Lifespan Learning Resilience is a hard concept to teach to young people; truthfully, it is an illusive concept for many adults, too. I’ve read recently in Jonathan Haidt’s book The Happiness Hypothesis that some people are born more resilient than others. He calls this the “genetic lottery”; you win if…

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Families Growing Together: An Opportunity For Growth

by Margaret Evans, Director of Lifespan Learning Peace is a concept that is often misunderstood. We confuse peace with being free of conflict and calmness. December can be a time of sheer joy but it can also prime us for anger, frustration and hurt. For some, the holiday season is a reminder of how much…

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Families Growing Together: Common Good

by Margaret Evans, Director of Lifespan Learning Let’s Start A Conversation! “Parent shaming” usually occurs on social media where it is easier to criticize someone, behind the protective barrier of a computer or phone screen, than it is do in person. But it hurts no less. There is an old African proverb that “it takes…

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Families Growing Together: The Gratitude Bond

by Margaret Evans, Director of Lifespan Learning Why is gratitude so hard to teach? As children, we are taught gratitude as a social habit. We are encouraged to continue in the hope that it becomes more than just something we should do. At some point, we hope that ourselves and our children recognize that gratitude…

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Families Growing Together: Hope Can Be Fickle

by Margaret Evans, Director of Lifespan Learning A long time ago, I used to hope that there would be no hill that I had to march up to get to school every morning. I’d lay in bed and say “God, could you get rid of that hill, just today? Just this once?” Of course it…

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Families Growing Together: Finding Authenticity

by Margaret Evans, Director of Lifespan Learning Does your family need to come out? Are you struggling to keep up appearances? Coming out used to be an term to establish young women as acceptable and proper in society. Now, it has so much more meaning: authenticity, hope, realness. Envious thoughts can soon follow as we…

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Families Growing Together: Teaching Children About Doing

by Margaret Evans, Director of Lifespan Learning The work of doing is just that: work. So, we often balk at the idea of added work in our lives. We complain about our busy schedules and tired feet and yet, ironically, we tend to lend ourselves to ‘busyness’ as a tool for distraction. It is easier…

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Families Growing Together: Facing The Everyday Challenge

by Margaret Evans, Director of Lifespan Learning My community of religious educators has an ongoing conversation about “Full Week Faith”: how can faith and spirituality be practiced everyday of the week in households? Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, Eid al-Adha, Yule, Kwanzaa, or not much at all, there is a still moment somewhere within the…

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Families Growing Together: What Does The Voice of Your Family Say?

by Margaret Evans, Director of Lifespan Learning Have you experienced that inner voice? Perhaps you hear your mother’s voice in the back of your head saying, “That is a TERRIBLE idea!” Others might hear a positive voice enthusing, “You Got This!” We’ve all heard those voices. We know their helpful spirit or their hindering negativity.…

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