Rachel Doboney Benton of Building Faith shared this Great Idea.

Benton writes, “These days when I talk to fellow families, I hear the same echoes in our voices. We’re weary. We need encouragement. The world around us brings emotions that are hard and complex, and navigating those emotions with children is increasingly difficult.”

She goes on to offer ways the church can “bridge the gap” by “framing feelings theologically” and “connecting feelings to faith practices”.

Her article includes four Core Objectives and corresponding supportive downloadable Practical Resources for Building Connections to share for at-home/family use.

In addition to Benton’s suggestions, congregations might bring in a Mindfulness or Contemplative Prayer leader to facilitate a discussion on the importance of mental health and how mindfulness and prayer practices can support mental health resilience. [FYI: Rev. Emily Meyer is certified as both, and is a speaker on depression and anxiety – and she’s a free consultant to all Member Congregations!] Such dialogue among elders, parent groups, and/or leadership teams can result in developing or strengthening intentions of being a safe and supportive space for people feeling overwhelmed or over-anxious.

You might also invite folx to participate in regular contemplative practices. There are many offered online (find our curated list here), or invite a certified facilitator to begin one as an offering to your whole community.

Connecting faith and feelings is important for young and elder alike. How might your congregation help one another and members of your broader community navigate the complex emotions of these uncertain days?

Read Rachel Doboney Benton’s full article here.