Parenting With Grace: A Zoom Conversation
On Sunday, May 17, Parenting With Grace hosted a live Zoom conversation with Dr. Lea Schweitz, Director of Youth Ministries of Yorkfield Presbyterian Church in Elmhurst. A trained theologian and active author, Dr. Schweitz encourages churches and families to incorporate the outdoors into their faith formation. Our Christian belief in God’s good and purposeful creation of the world, God’s incarnation in Jesus Christ, and Christ’s bodily resurrection all point to the importance of the created world in our understanding of God. And, of course, much of the Bible takes place outdoors!
With these key points in mind, Dr. Schweitz encouraged Parenting With Grace to take our faith formation outdoors: read the Bible together outside, pay special attention to the rhythms of nature and the “lilies of the field” (Mt. 6:28), dare to embrace the mess of dirt and grass stains in order to cultivate a posture or way of being that embraces God’s creation. One particularly intriguing suggestion: associate birthdays or baptismal anniversaries with seasonal plants, animals, or weather events. For example, a birthday in early June may be associated with the blooming lilacs or a baptism that took place in February may be marked with a celebratory snowfall or the appearance of dark-eyed Junco bird. This way of marking time is a wonderful, sacred alternative to how we normally measure the days, months, and years: school schedules, business reports, tax season, vacations, etc. This way of connecting nature with our faith is available to anyone, at any time, whether you live in inner-city Chicago or the rural farmland of Western Illinois.
If you missed this wonderful conversation with Dr. Schweitz, you can watch and listen to the recording on YouTube. Just email Pastor Daniel for the private link (firstname.lastname@example.org). Stay tuned for information from Stefanie Abderhalden, Bonnie Lewan, and Elizabeth Nicholson about upcoming events with Parenting With Grace.