Parenting and Faith

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Parenting and Faith2020-07-01T07:59:15-05:00


Online Faith is a courageous gesture toward God. It is hope and uncertainty. It is vulnerability and mystery. At Kenilworth Union Church, we believe that Christ calls us together to build communities of justice, kindness, and humility. Our Online Faith communities welcome all that is vulnerable, uncertain, joyful, holy, exhausting, and deeply good about creating a home together with your children. Join the conversation, be part of the beloved community.

Third Grade Memory Work Resources

Online Third Grade Retreat: On Friday, April 3 at 4 p.m. Gina Gooden and the other teachers have some fun games to help practice the memory verses.
(Connect to the Third Grade Retreat at 4 p.m. from link in Children and Family Ministry Newsletter or contact Christine Hides for access.)

Ministry Highlights

A collection of useful blogs and videos that have been published for Children and Family Ministry and stocked full of tips, family activities, insights, and stories.

Holding Our Breath

By The Reverend Christine V. Hides Passing by a stranger on the sidewalk. Standing in the checkout lane. Waiting for school announcements. Watching the news. Exercising. [...]

How to Really Love a Child

The Reverend Christine V. Hides“If they are crabby, put them in water.” This is an enduring piece of parenting advice that I received at my baby shower, [...]

The Question Everyone is Asking

By The Reverend Christine V. Hides Every conversation lately includes the question, “what is your school doing for fall?” I’m guessing it is the same for [...]

Things We Do On Sundays: Rest

By The Reverend Christine V. Hides What a joy to see so many of you sharing pictures of your family enjoying the [...]

The Good Shepherd and Holy Communion

By The Reverend Christine V. Hides Let’s baaaaaake! So begins the Great British Baking Show, which is one of my favorite binge watches. What’s not to [...]

VBS: Worship Week

By The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster Maybe worship right now is more disjointed than normal. Maybe it’s richer and deeper than ever. It’s definitely different, [...]

Anti-Racism Resources

The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster The Reverend Christine V. Hides Greta Connor Several parents have asked how to talk to children about the protests and [...]

The Power of Stories

Reverend Christine V. Hides Stories bring us meaning. Stories bring us hope. Stories offer us new life. Stories have the power to transform us into [...]

A New Path Forward

By The Reverend Christine V. Hides First, the hard news: While the Children's Ministry team looks forward to gathering together in person, the new Restore Illinois [...]

A Touch of Grace

By The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster God is doing a new thing. That's what it says in the book of Isaiah chapter 43, at least, [...]

Finding a Moment of Peace

By The Reverend Christine V. Hides Many are experiencing wild swings of emotions these days. Finding a moment of silence, taking deep breaths, and prayer [...]

A Race We Didn’t Sign Up For

By the Reverend Christine V. Hides Parents, we are on a long race we didn’t sign up for. In this video I reflect on what we need [...]

Going with the Flow

Children’s Ministry Spring Break Edition Links to this week’s online gatherings and a parent gathering poll are below. Please save this email for future reference as [...]

Children’s Ministry Goes Online

By The Reverend Christine V. Hides Even in the midst of uncertainty, the Holy Spirit brings unexpected gifts and moments of joy. It was delightful to [...]

Third Grade Scripture by Heart

As we all find ways to work, learn, and connect online please know that Children’s Ministry and the third-grade teaching team is doing everything we can to [...]

Spoiler Alert

Lent and Children By The Reverend Christine V. Hides “Spoiler Alert” is a necessary phrase in the age of the internet where we might come across [...]

God’s Love, Joy, and Peace

What a great morning with author Ruth Goring! By The Reverend Christine V. Hides “God is home.” This was the answer to the question I [...]

Third Grade Bible Reminders

Dear families of third graders participating in the Bible program: The year is flying by and the kids are doing great! Three important things to note as [...]

Is it Always Like This?

Children & Family Ministry Highlights By The Reverend Christine V. Hides “Is it always like this?” I was asked as I showed a visiting family to [...]

Four Things to Tell Children When Lent Begins

The Reverend Christine V. Hides
Lent is the time of 40 days plus six Sundays during which we get ready for Easter. Easter is such a great mystery that we need a long time to get ready. During Lent we use purple, the church color for getting ready. People might “give up” something for Lent or “take up” a new practice of prayer or giving during Lent.

“Tea” is for Together

By LaDona O'Donnell The Spring Tea will be Saturday, March 7 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the Culbertson Room. This event provides a joyous afternoon [...]

Not Like Any Place We’ve Ever Been

By The Reverend Christine V. Hides “Once there was a man who said such amazing things and did such wonderful things that people began to follow [...]

Doing What Matters

By The Reverend Christine Hides Parents who bring their children to worship, sometimes instead of Sunday school, often look surprised when I tell them, “I’m so [...]

Celebrating Sunday School Teachers

By The Reverend Katie Snipes Lancaster On Sunday night, we had our IMPACT High School mission trip orientation meeting. This year's IMPACT theme is pain, so Silvi Pirn had [...]

Second Grade Communion Milestone

On March 15 (from 9—10 a.m. in the Centennial Room), Katie Lancaster and Christine Hides will lead an interactive communion milestone gathering. At this family event we [...]

A “Wow, God!” kinda Sunday

By The Reverend Christine V. Hides We have an uptick in visiting families! Can you offer 30 minutes on a Sunday morning? We need greeters to [...]

The Habitat Project

Three Things to Know About the Fifth & Sixth Grade Habitat Project at Kenilworth Union Habitat is a beloved Kenilworth Union tradition where 5/6 grade [...]

Parent Volunteers Needed!

Classroom Helpers and Sunday Morning Greeters are Requested Please see the online schedule or contact Christine Hides for more information about these important and brief commitments. [...]

Joy! (and all the rest)

This week's newsletter is especially for the parents. The parents who are struggling to keep it all together. The parents who are experiencing sadness or grief even [...]

Finding Peace in Hard Places

By The Reverend Christine V. Hides Breakfasts and brunches with Santa, wrapping Christmas gifts for outreach agencies, basketball and hockey games, homework and chores, travel [...]

Advent Begins

By The Reverend Christine V. Hides Sunday, December 1 was the first day of Advent, the four weeks that help to prepare [...]

The Great Thanksgiving

Getting ready to create our Advent projects with preschool–first grades. By The Reverend Christine V. Hides Happy New Year! Did you know that yesterday was [...]

From “Gimmee!” to Gratitude

By The Reverend Christine V. Hides If Advent is the season of preparing for Christmas, then November is the season of parents preparing for the onslaught [...]

Where is God?

By The Reverend Christine V. Hides On Wednesday at 8 p.m. parents will gather together online to discuss how we might make room for God in [...]

Skepticism and Doubt

By The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster I used to think questions related to doubt were saved for high school, maybe junior high at the earliest. [...]

God’s More-Than-Enough

By The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster Why is everyone hungry for more? “More, more,” they say. “More, more.” I have God’s more-than-enough: more joy in [...]

Parenting in Community

By The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster Ultimately there is no right way to be a parent. Sure we've all seen wrong ways to be a [...]

Gratitude and Generosity

Faith234: Building community and cooperation through games. By The Reverend Christine V. Hides “Why give us an allowance when you could just buy us the things we want?” [...]

Don’t Skip Church on October 6!

By the Reverend Christine V. Hides This Sunday October 6, there will be no Sunday school for 2nd–6th grades so that we can participate in [...]

Prayer and Parenting

By The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster Brene Brown says that faith is part vulnerability, part mystery. Maybe you can say the same thing about prayer: [...]

Welcome Greta Connor

We are excited to welcome Greta Connor as the part-time Associate Director of Children and Family Ministry. Her experience as an art and Montessori teacher as well [...]

First Day of Sunday School

Important Information for Homecoming Sunday There will be a few updates to our 10:30 a.m. Sunday school check in process to be aware of in preparation for [...]

Back to School Blessing

By The Reverend Christine V. Hides As many of our children and youth head back to school this week, know that the congregation, the Sunday school [...]

What’s New in Children and Family Ministry?

By The Reverend Christine V. Hides “Innovation grounded in tradition,” is one of six strategic priorities named at the 2017 Children’s Ministry re-visioning session. Perhaps those [...]

Fall Children’s Programing

By The Reverend Christine V. Hides “It feels happy to be at the table with all the people,” was a child’s answer in our wondering about the [...]

On Radishes and Self-Control

By The Reverend Christine V. Hides A cleverly designed study, described in the book Switch by Charles Heath, in which people were asked to eat radishes [...]

Fruits of the Spirit: Gentleness

By The Reverend Christine V. Hides Kittens, a pad of paper, relaxing, and kind touches…these were the things that children named when I asked them about [...]

Fruits of the Spirit: Faithfulness

The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster explains how we might make faithfulness tangible for toddlers and third graders and young parents and octogenarians?

Fruits of the Spirit: Kindness

By The Reverend Christine V. Hides Yesterday we read the picture book The Story of And: The Little Word that Changed the World by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso. When [...]

Thank You VBS Volunteers

2019 Vacation Bible School, Wonders of God’s Universe  Wonders of God’s Universe was our seventh, amazing, Vacation Bible School, with 87 campers and counselors! Anne Faurot [...]

VBS Wrap-Up

By The Reverend Christine V. Hides During Sunday’s Wondertime we read Ladybug Girl, the story of Lulu who has to make her own fun while everyone [...]

Experience Peace

By The Reverend Christine V. Hides Everyone needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give [...]

Joy and Bubbles

By The Reverend Christine V. Hides Joy!  was the theme for our first Sunday of Wondertime—our Summer Sunday school for preschool−first grade children. Each week we [...]

Memorizing My Verses

Children's Day By Christine V. Hides I was apprehensive about the answers I would receive when I asked the third graders what Bible passage I should memorize [...]


By Christine V. Hides The newest parody video from the Holderness family perfectly describes the schedule that is May for many families. With their signature humor [...]

Slowing Down

By The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster I know a teenager at New Trier who has school from 7:10 a.m. (taking an early bird course) to [...]

Asking Real Questions

By Christine V. Hides “When you answer a question at church, you will be right 90% of the time if you say 'God' or 'Jesus.'” [...]

Wow, God!

By Christine V. Hides Future dogs, rainbows, “when the sun sets down in the sky,” music, moms and dads, brothers and sisters…these are just a few of [...]

Beyond the Empty Tomb

By Christine V. Hides Do not be surprised if older children begin to question the Easter narrative about the disappearance of Jesus’ body.  As pre-adolescents develop [...]

Who is Jesus?

By Christine V. Hides “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the [...]

Worship is Formational

By The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster I could write 1,000 newsletter articles about why worship is formational, for adults and especially for children, but here [...]

Faith-Play Connections

By Christine V. Hides “God’s story surrounds us!” exclaimed a room full of four year-olds when Katie and I shared the Godly Play Faces of Easter [...]

What Is Lent?

By Christine V. Hides Lent is the church season of getting ready for the great mystery of Easter. During this reflective time we seek to focus [...]

Practicing Faith with Enthusiasm

By Christine V. Hides “Parables are treasured gifts, given to us long before we were born,” we tell the children during Godly Play. Jesus used parables [...]

God and Bathtime

By The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster Add a big plastic pitcher to your bath time routine for God's sake. Every time we try to [...]

Learning About the Lord’s Supper

By The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster We gather at tables: big and small tables, full and fuller tables, ordinary and stunning tables. Every time we [...]

The Importance of Routines

By Christine V. Hides For years my husband and I sang the “moon song” to our girls before bed. By the fourth year we parents were [...]

Morning Prayers

By The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster Do you pray in the morning? Maybe it's easier to pray at night: the burdens of the day build [...]

Small Gifts Making a Large Impact

By Christine V. Hides Each Sunday children cheerfully place a portion of their gifts to God in the chapel offering. They come with dollar bills and [...]

Finding Family Time for Faith Formation

By Christine V. Hides   As parents, we hear a lot about the importance of tending to our children’s physical and cognitive growth. Spiritual growth receives [...]

What’s Next
In Sunday School

By Christine V. Hides Our journey through the Bible continues with the stories of Jesus’s life, teachings, and ministry this Sunday, January 13. Kenilworth Union Sunday [...]


Christine V. Hides I would never admit this to my seminary friends, but this week I will take down our Christmas tree. As we head into [...]

Christmas Eve Traditions

Christine V. Hides We hold our Christmas traditions close to our hearts. Never was this more clear to my family than when we found ourselves on [...]

Joy: Are We There Yet?

By Christine V. Hides This past summer our family took a 2,500 mile two-week road trip to six different national parks. We delighted in the unique beauty [...]


Second Sunday of Advent What joy at yesterday’s 76th Annual Christmas Pageant!! This special tradition of remembering the story of Jesus’ birth continues to fill our [...]


By Christine V. Hides December is a curious mix of joy, wonder, and stress. During this season of paying attention to how God is with [...]

Advent Begins This Sunday

By Christine V. Hides, Director of Christian Education ...behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. “Behold” is not [...]

La Casa Norte

By The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, [...]


By The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster It's been a while since I've sat in a Rejoice Choir rehearsal, but I have seen it in action: [...]

Second Graders

By The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster Second graders love order and structure, and might start becoming more cautious, perfectionist or risk-avoidant than they were last [...]

Fourth Graders

By The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster Fourth graders are great: they are developing listening and speaking skills so they are more ready and interested in meaningful [...]

Kindergarten through First

By Christine V. Hides, Director of Christian Education Last Sunday I had the opportunity to lead part of the 9 a.m. Godly Play Chapel that includes [...]

5th and 6th Graders

By The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster I personally love the time I get to spend with the 5th and 6th graders. Developmentally they are expressive, [...]

Ages Three–Four

By The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster Three and four year-olds at Kenilworth Union Church are invited into God's love through song, story, and prayer. In [...]

Learning Scripture by Heart

By The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster At school, third graders are building important reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills, as well as multiplication, division, and [...]