Faith@home or Faith@Go

Church #38. Meet Sister Emily Lalor – Clamser. She is a deacon on leave from call and located in the North Carolina Synod of the ELCA.

Pastors, deacons, and children, youth and family staff know the conundrum of helping people connect faith to daily life. “It’s a real struggle!” said Clamser. People long to understand how one book written thousands of years ago can impact their lives today.

Basic Purpose

Clamser asked herself: “What can the church do to help families connect what they learn on Sunday mornings to what is going on in their home life?” To answer her own question, she created Faith Boxes – a tool kit to equip families to practice faith skills at home.

Basic kit

The basic Faith Box cost around $5 to make and includes:

  • Regular pencil case
  • Wooden cross
  • Ribbons in liturgical colors (used over the wooden cross)
  • Battery operated candle
  • A FROG key chain
  • Instructions

FROGS or Fully Rely On God are questions on a key chain to help families engage in what they learned at church. Each FROG provides a set of 5 cards with three levels of questions. Participants move through the questions with ease – from small tadpole size questions to get the family talking to harder questions that make families take a leap of faith together!

Cards.JPG

The FROG questions are connected to different faith practice skills learned. Families of all shapes and sizes show up to monthly workshops after service with their kits to learn a different faith practice. Topics include prayer before dinner or at bedtime, Christmas, liturgical year, Lent, Advent, and Milestone Ministries. Sometimes new items are added to the basic faith box such as prayer cubes or bedtime prayer books.

Faith Kit Workshop

Repurposed

One thing that Clamser noticed was that not all families were able to attend the faith practice workshops. Many said, “My family is so busy that we don’t have time to do devotions with the kids!” But Clamser was persistent, and she repurposed the basic Faith Box into a new practice called “Faith on the Go!” Instructions for “Faith on the Go!” were simple:

  1. Drives to dance class or soccer practice became chapel time.
  2. No screens are allowed during the 20 minute drive.
  3. Parents place the cross on the dashboard.
  4. Kids read the FROG questions.
  5. Everyone answers the question even if it is just to say “pass.”
  6. Whenever they stop, families pray before kids exit the car.

Just like those who attended the class, “Faith on the go!” families received a new set of cards each month.

Why do these faith boxes matter? It matters because of how much God loves God’s people. Clamser says “God’s story of love is all around us!” Her aim is to pass down the faith to families, to open up caring conversations, and to help them experience God’s love outside of church. Kids need to experience God’s love in all aspects of life and families need the tools to help raise kids in faith. Faith Boxes equip families to do the work and the rest is up to God’s love.

Faith Tool Kit

For more information on this story, please contact Emily Lalor-Clamser at Eclamser@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

Faith Boxes

Church #38. Meet Sister Emily Lalor – Clamser. She is a deacon on leave from call and located in the North Carolina Synod of the ELCA.

 

Working in churches, pastors, deacons, and children, youth and family staff know the conundrum of helping people connect faith to daily life. This struggle got then-Mom-now-Deacon Clamser thinking.

 

Basic Purpose

She asked herself: “What can we do to help families connect what is done and learned at church to home life?” To answer her own question, she created Faith Boxes – a tool kit that comes with a different faith practice each month.

 

The basic Faith Kit cost around $5 to make and includes:

  • Regular pencil case
  • Wooden cross
  • Ribbons in liturgical colors (used over the wooden cross)
  • Battery operated candle
  • A FROG key chain

 

Fully Rely On God, or aka FROGs are questions on a key chain to help families engage in what they learned during the faith practice workshops. Each FROG provides a set of 5 cards with three levels of questions. Participants move through the questions with ease – from tadpole size easy questions first to get the family talking to fully grown froggers to go deep with each other.

 

Faith practice workshops were held each month. Families of all shape and sizes showed up after service with their kits to learn a different faith practice. Topics included prayer before dinner or at bedtime, Christmas, church calendar, Lent, ….  Sometimes new items were added to the basic kit such as prayer cubes or bedtime prayer books.

 

Repurposed

Not all families were able to attend the faith practices workshops. Many families said, “My family is so busy that we don’t have time to do devotions with the kids!” To that response, Clamser repurposed the kits. Yes, she still had faith practice workshops for families that did have the time. But for those who needed a quick fix, the basic kit became “Faith on the go!”

 

Instructions for “Faith on the Go!” were simple:

  1. Drives to dance class or soccer practice became chapel time.
  2. No screens were allowed during the 20 minute drive.
  3. Parents placed the cross on the dashboard.
  4. Kids read the FROG questions.
  5. Everyone answers even it is just to say “pass.”
  6. Whenever they stopped, families prayed before kids exited the car.

 

Just like those who attended the class, “Faith on the go!” families received a new set of cars each month.

 

Why do these faith boxes matter? It matters because of God’s big story of love for God’s people is not something stagnant at church. God’s love as Clamser puts it is “all around us!” Her aim is to pass down the faith to families, to help them experience God’s love outside of church, and to open up caring conversations.

 

For more information on this story, please contact Emily Lalor-Clamser at Eclamser@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

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