What defines family? A traditional image is often "Mum, Dad, and the Kids". But family is more than this, and less. A single person is a family of one; some families are child-headed; others are single-parented; same-sex couples adopt children; death and divorce bring pain and chaos; new relationships bring renewed joy and hope.Tradition and new ways of being family all need to inform our picture and definition of family life. Family is less about the individuals that make up family and more about the relationships that build family. And so when we speak of "family-focus" we need to encourage each other to be as broad and embracing as possible of family life in all its variety.
Having said the above, we are aware at St Andrew's that we do not cater well for teenagers and young adults, and that there are families who feel somewhat torn as their teenagers in particular are drawn away to Churches that are more youth-focused, perhaps offering more trendy and exciting options for worship and fellowship; or who no longer enjoy our more traditional form of worship, and would rather just stay at home.
One option that we are exploring is to invite families with teenagers and young adults to join us on the second Sunday of each month in the evening at our service at 18:30. This service is generally an informal form of Evening Prayer with guitars and music from Songs of Fellowship. Of course, though, while we seek to be intentional about offering families with young people an opportunity for worshiping together, the service remains open to all who already participate on a Sunday evening, and to all forms of family!
In light of the above I write to invite you to join us on Pentecost Sunday, 8 June 2014 at 18:30, for a Family-focused Service of Evening Prayer.