Family Life Ministries

The Church of the Brethren family life ministry
seeks to embody the healing love of Christ
by affirming, equipping, and supporting
families of birth and families of choice
to live in healthy, resilient relationship.

Being a part of a family is a gift from God. Our families care for us physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. We, in turn, care for our families in the same ways. This cycle of caring is both a natural and a learned skill. Creating and sustaining healthy relationships is crucial to sharing a life in Christ.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

SAFETY ALERT: If you are in danger, please call 911, or the National (U.S.) Domestic Violence Hotline: 1‑800‑799‑7233 or TTY 1‑800‑787‑3224.

Would you know if someone you love is a victim of domestic violence? How should you respond to someone in an abusive situation? Perhaps you are in an abusive relationship—where can you turn for help? And just what is considered “domestic violence”? Find out more

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Children’s Sabbaths® - October 18-20, 2013

Sponsored by the Children's Defense Fund (CDF), the National Observance of Children's Sabbaths Celebration is a way for faith communities to celebrate children as sacred gifts of God, and provides the opportunity for houses of worship to renew and live out their moral responsibility to care, protect, and advocate for all children.

The third weekend of each October, your congregation is invited to join thousands of churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples across the country in this celebration by holding special worship services, education programs, and advocacy activities to engage people of faith in the lives of children and their families.

This celebration aims to unite religious congregations of all faiths across the nation in shared concern for children and a common commitment to improving their lives and working for justice on their behalf.

The 2013 Children’s Sabbaths observation will be the weekend of October 18-20. The theme this year is “Beating Swords into Plowshares: Ending the Violence of Guns and Child Poverty.”

To assist communities with planning and implementing their Children's Sabbaths® Celebration, CDF produces an annual National Observance of Children's Sabbaths Manual: A Multi-faith Resource for Year Round Child Advocacy. The worship resources and prayers are intended for use throughout the year.

The Church of the Brethren joins more than 200 other religious denominations and organizations in supporting the National Observance of Children's Sabbaths®.

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Connecting Generations

Connecting Generations, 200 x 154

Connecting Generations is an occasional meditation about aging. While written specifically with older adults in mind, people of all ages are encouraged to read it and think about the issues each edition addresses.

Each Connecting Generations contains a scripture, meditation, and prayer about some aspect of growing older: spiritual tasks of aging, role changes, the challenge of caregiving, transitions, and leaving our legacy. There are also several questions to think about and discuss with your friends, family, and members of your faith community, as well as reading suggestions related to the topic.

You can receive Connecting Generations by e-mail or download a PDF of each edition by visiting the Connecting Generations webpage.

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End-of-life decision making: video resource available

“Unexpected travels in healing call for multiple Samaritans on modern Jericho roads”

2011 National Older Adult Conference (NOAC) keynote presenters Curtis W. Dubble and David E. Fuchs, MD, tell the touching and powerful story of the Dubble family's experience making end-of-life decisions.
Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford

2011 National Older Adult Conference (NOAC) keynote presenters Curtis W. Dubble and David E. Fuchs, MD, tell the touching and powerful story of the Dubble family's experience as Curtis' late wife Anna Mary suffered brain damage following a heart attack. Dubble and Fuchs speak frankly about the need for having and communicating advance directives, the importance of developing a strong support system of caregivers, and how crucial a life of faith and prayer is during difficult times.

Read more about the presentation here.

The hour-long presentation is a helpful resource for individuals, families, deacons, and congregations as they explore end-of-life issues. The audio CD is $10.00 and the video DVD is $15.00.

Download the order form here.

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Let’s Move

Let's Move logo 200

As a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle, Sunday school teacher, or someone who just cares about the well-being of children, you are invited to participate in Let's Move! Let's Move! is a national initiative focused on solving the challenge of childhood obesity. Recently, Let's Move! launched a component specifically encouraging the involvement of faith and community leaders, and the Church of the Brethren was asked to be a part of this launch.

Visit the Church of the Brethren's Let's Move! website to learn more about the program, ways the denomination's ministries are connecting to Let's Move!, and how your family and congregation can be involved. You can also share ways you and your church are moving and being active.

www.brethren.org/letsmove

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We can all play a part in strengthening families

The Family Life Ministry of the Church of the Brethren encourages all individuals and congregations to play a role in making their communities better places for families. Research shows that five important factors are present in healthy families:

  • nurturing and attachment
  • knowledge of parenting and child and youth development
  • parental resilience
  • social connections
  • concrete supports for parents

View the Strengthening Families and Communities: 2011 Resource Guide (PDF). *Note: This document is 94 pages and may take awhile to download.

A set of six parenting tip sheets (in English and en Español), is available below. Topics include bonding with your baby, dealing with temper tantrums, connecting with your teen, teen parents, ways to be a better dad, and raising your grandchildren.

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