We all know that every child is precious and "created in the image and likeness of God." Raising children today and addressing issues and dealing with the many varied concerns and struggles of family life are indeed daunting.
The Family Life Task Force of the United Churches of Lycoming County has conducted several workshops and seminars over the years and participated and supported many community and church endeavors that have "run the gamut" on several fronts. Parents or primary care givers are invited to participate in an upcoming three-part series titled "Conversations based on the book of 'Secrets of Happy Families' " by Bruce Feiler (the book was reviewed in a "Parade Magazine" article about a year ago in the Sun-Gazette). A seed was sown at that time, and perhaps you or someone you know would like to attend and benefit from the series with your family. A meal, program and child care will be provided at no cost to you.
A child's family has the most critical influence in his/her life. Through family we build self-esteem, learn how to deal with and resolve conflict, gain concepts of right and wrong, learn how to love and forgive and 101 other values and virtues that equip us to live in today's complicated world. We know that when a family partnership extends to a positive school and community interaction and learning, small miracles can happen that help your child and family make the world a better place.
We constantly hear about the many struggles in family life and that the family is under attack. These challenges include communication and conflict, underemployment and financial struggles, divorce, teen pregnancy and single parenthood, addiction, illness, as well as forces from within and outside the home that challenges the very fabric of families. As parents we have been placed in situations no one can be or has been prepared for.
But let us be positive; most of us have turned out OK! The crisis of last week has been forgotten, and something is brewing on the back burner working its way to the front that we don't know about. But it will arrive, and you will get through it and survive.
Sometimes it might be nice to have some gentle and non-threatening support. Perhaps it would helpful in a small or a large way to hear suggestions and/or comments and be in conversation with other parents on this incredible journey of raising a family in today's world.
Albeit coordinated by United Church of Lycoming County, the series is presented by counseling staff from many area school districts and colleges. The dates are Tuesdays, March 25, April 1 and April 8 from 6-8 p.m. at the St. Joseph the Worker Parish Fleming Center, 720 W. Fourth St. in Williamsport. Registration is limited, so please call the United Churches office at 570-322-1110 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to register.
- Foran is director of Religious Education at St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Williamsport.