Milestone 3

hand in hand graphicCelebrating Life through Belonging

Celebrating Life through Belonging is the Milestone for children in the Rainbow and Sun Sunday School groups (two turning three year olds) and their parents.

See what love the Father has given us that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are.” ~ 1 John 3:1

Until now, most likely you have been the one who began prayers or spoke of God. Soon your child will remind you of a missed mealtime prayer or will give thanks spontaneously to God at the sight of a ladybug or a rainbow. Watch for these moments. They are evidence that your child is developing a mind of his or her own – just the way God intended! God has gifted us each uniquely, and we each have a special place of belonging in His arms.

This milestone symbol of two hands overlapping reminds us that we belong to each other and to God.

Gifts for Remembrance

This milestone gifts each family a tent card with helpful tips and suggestions on how to incorporate prayer and a sense of belonging into every day life. They’ll also receive a deck of prayer cards with nighttime prayers and “I love you” rituals, and a book about bedtime prayers. At future Milestone celebrations, parents will receive additional prayer cards to add to this deck.

Books for the Home

For the Family

For Parents

Faith Practices for the Home

Caring Conversations

  • Talk about God in the ordinary times. As you are waking up, greet God with “This is the day that God has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)
  • Read Bible storybooks to your child. Invite your child to snuggle on your lap and help turn the pages as you read God’s Word to them and enjoy the pictures together. Allow your child to ask questions and talk about what they see and hear in God’s Word.

Daily Devotions

  • Ask God to bless family and friends. Explain to your child that this is asking God to watch over the person, which is our acknowledgement that this is what God does.
  • Pray together. When you wake up, when you eat, when you go to bed. Pray aloud and invite your child to pray aloud.  Thank God for the simple things.

Family Traditions

  • Celebrate the Baptism anniversary of your child. Look at photos of the Baptism day, tell stories of that day, light the Baptism Candle and let it burn for a time, a reminder of God’s presence in your child’s life. Invite family and friends for a special party and invite each person present to bless your child.
  • Model faithfulness as you attend church as a family to know God and worship God in the community of faith.

Servant Acts

  • Teach politeness and kindness. This is more than manners, of course. You are building an understanding in your child of how we treat one another because each person is a child of God. Make a point to stop and speak kindly to people in the church halls, grocery store, and neighborhood.
  • Teach sharing and caring. These acts are the beginning of your child’s stewardship education. How she or he learns to treat God’s world, to share with others known and unknown, and to contribute to the church or community will be based on an understanding of caring and sharing.

Professing our Faith: Catechism Connections

Presbyterians have historically professed their faith through their creeds, confessions and catechisms. Belonging to God:  A First Catechism provides simple language for parents and children as they profess their faith.

Question 1. Who are you?

Answer: I am a child of God

Scripture background:Galatians 4:6-7; I John 3:1; John 1:12; Romans 8:15-17; Galatians 3:25-27

Question 2. What does it mean to be a child of God?

Answer: That I belong to God, who loves me.

Scripture background: Matthew 18:14; Matthew 19:14; I Corinthians 3:23; 2 Corinthians 10:7; Galatians 3:28-29

Question 46. Why do we pray to God?

Answer: Because we were created to live with God, who desires the prayers of our hearts.  Our hearts long for God, for we need God’s help and guidance every day.

Scripture background: Psalm 42:1-2; Matthew 6:5-8; Romans 8:26-27; Psalm 38:9

Question 47. What do we do when we pray?

Answer: When we pray, we adore God, we confess our sins, we give God thanks, and we pray for the needs of others and ourselves.

Scripture background: Psalm 63:1-3; Psalm 51:3-4; Psalm 92:1-4; Philippians 1:3-5, 9-11

Faith Development for Birth-3 Years Old

It is never too soon to tell children about God. Instead of memorizing commercial tunes and product logos, our children could sing songs of love, joy, and faith, and learn to fold their hands before every meal. There is no such thing as letting the child grow up to decide for herself or himself. From the beginning of life, we are surrounded by choices in values and beliefs. Which ones will we help children make?

Recent research in brain development makes it clear that the first years of life are critical for intellectual, emotional, and relational growth. Infants are greatly affected by sights, sounds, and touch – the experience of their immediate environment. The advertising industry knows this well enough to make it a goal to create product loyalty by age three. From Vibrant Faith Milestones Ministry

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