Over and over again, this is the invitation that Amelia Richardson Dress offers in her book about hope. She doesn't insist or urge that hope has to feel like any one thing but continues to invite us into the wonder of experimenting with the possibility of hope.
This is the invitation offered to your family in this never-ending pandemic season of Lent. Using inspiration from the book The Hopeful Family: Raising Resilient Children in Uncertain Times, families are invited to take on one small practice each week.
The first week, in the days after Ash Wednesday, families are invited to welcome apologies with a thank you. That's it. Just practice saying thank you after being stuck at home together for so long and then in the next week the invitation is to share important stories. The practices that follow are grounded in gratitude, hospitality, generosity, silence and blessing. Each is written with the hope that even young toddlers -- like my own -- can share in these simple practices.
In this 10-page guide to this pandemic season, in addition to the weekly family practice, you'll find:
+ a blessing from the pages of The Hopeful Family
+ a focus for your children to share in beautiful stories that move us toward hope
+ a series of questions to wonder about how hope might live in you in these days before the power of resurrection becomes real with your partner -- or maybe a group of trusted parents from church.
To keep track, there's a calendar in the last few pages to stick to your fridge to remind you what hope might feel like this week.
This resource is for congregational use only. Downloaded materials are welcomed to be shared within that church for the 2021 season of Lent. Materials are not to be duplicated or reproduced commercially, but are entrusted to the care of the purchasing congregation.