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Last Session of Book Discussion on Tending the Flame

This Sunday, August 29, will be the last session of our discussion of Michelle Richard's book 'Tending the Flame'. This session will cover some of the most difficult issues that can arise in your parenting. We will look at answering questions about God and the Bible; Sexuality and Love; and Death and Grief. We will asloalso discuss the chapters on Interfaith Families and on Letting Go as parents. The questions we will address this coming Sunday are listed below and next week I will post some of the content of our conversation. If you are reading the book along with us at home, please feel free to add your comments on this blog.

God and the Bible:

  • What questions about God and the Bible have your children asked you? Which questions have been the most difficult for you?
  • How can this community be more of a help to you in answering your children's religious questions?

Sexuality and Love:

  • Think back to your own sexuality education. Did you receive the kind of information -- both explicitly and by modeling -- that you felt you needed?
  • There was a lot of information in this chapter about gender identity, affectional orientation, and the spectrum of sexual identity. Are there any of these areas that you feel you need more information about?
  • What kinds of questions have your children asked you about sexuality and love? How comfortable have you been in answering those questions?
  • Are you familiar with our congregations offerings of the various age appropriate sessions of the Our Whole Lives Curriculum?

Death and Grief:

  • What questions have your children asked you about death and what happens when you die? What actual experiences have they had with death?
  • In our congregation when a member dies we extinguish the chalice in the Meeting House with the words "In mystery we are born, in mystery we live, and in mystery we die." What emotion do you feel when you hear those words? Have your children asked about this ritual?
  • What experiences have you had in helping your child deal with grief? Were you grieving at the time? How did that affect your ability to help your child?

Interfaith Families:

  • Are you in an interfaith family? How does this affect your parenting?
  • If you are, what explicit decisions have you made around maintaining your two faiths, and about raising your children in faith?

Letting Go:

  • Michelle talks about parenting as a process of letting go. In what ways have you been letting go?
  • What roots have you given your child so that they have what they need to lead a stable life?
  • As we let go of our children we have both hope for the and anxiety about their futures. Considering your child now(starting kindergarten, beginning a new grade, learning to drive, heading off for college, leaving home, getting married, having children of their own) what hopes do you have, and what anxieties?
  • What are your hopes and anxieties for yourself in this new phase in your life as a parent?

I look forward to seeing many of you on Sunday and hearing from others on this blog.

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