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An Introduction to Faith Formation
Many of us think faith formation is just a new term for religious education classes for our children. Truth is, faith formation is a never ending process - a process of equipping ourselves to live as disciples of Jesus. Parents begin this 'process' by initiating a child into the faith family in their earliest years through the sacrament of baptism. As a child grows, parents and family members further a child's faith foundation in many simple ways - prayers before bed, learning to recognize Jesus in books and photos, bringing children to mass with them. etc. By the time a child reaches school age, which is when most children begin the 'formal' faith formation process, a child has already formed an impression of what faith and God are all about.
Nourishing the lives of each parish family member by building and supporting a strong moral and spiritual foundation, encouraging active participation of all parish family members in weekly worship, good works, and opportunities to grow our faith individually and as a community of believers includes all ages, generations and perspectives on faith is what faith formation is all about at Assumption.
But, becoming a disciple of Jesus is much more than 'knowing' about our faith. Jesus 'formed' his disciples by integrating knowledge about the Kingdom of God with practical expressions of living that Kingdom - helping a neighbor, reserving judgment of others, caring for the sick, hungry and poor, stepping up to do the right thing when it's not so easy. Faith is celebrated and expressed in and through the sacraments and prayer and lived out loud in who we are and what we do.
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