I've considered myself to be a Friend in Spirit for approximately 5 years now. My husband and I have found a way forward to worship and take turns within our family. This involves a mix of him (for the most part,) attending a contemporary non-denominational Christian church service, us peridically visiting Quaker Meeting and also worshipping as a family at home using a variation of a Friendly Bible Study with our two daughters age 10 and 13. I also attend MfW online, which serves my need at times due to not always being able to get out due to chronic illness. What once worried me due to inconsistancies for my daughters, has ended up for the most part enriching our children's experience. They feel free to speak, ask questions and participate. That's how I feel about it all on a good day. Some days still, I wonder if I'm simply making life more complicated but I've become accustomed to unprogrammed worship and long to continue. I'm curious if anyone is wiling to share their experiences and how this has effected your children.
In Friendship,
Jan Lyn

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Hi Jan. I just found this post. I am a Quaker, and my husband is Roman Catholic. Our children are members of both groups, which interestingly caused more controversy in my meeting than in his church. (Two ex-Catholics stood aside when their membership was approved.) I think it has been a positive thing for them and certainly better for our marriage than one of us trying to change the other's faith would have been. When the kids were young (and my son had separation issues), we all went to church, then rushed off to meeting. For the last several years, we've taken turns with both kids going to church one week and meeting the next. At home we have prayer time together before bed. During Lent and Advent, we have extended prayer time in silence with a candle and sometimes a reading. The only complication (I won't really call it a downside) is that they are questioning things earlier than children who only see one type of religion. Now at 13 and 11, they wonder, "If mom doesn't have to go to church and dad doesn't have to go to meeting, why do I have to go to either?" I'm not sure at what age we'll let them stay home on Sunday if they want to, but I think that negotiation will be coming.
Hi Eileen, I'm grateful you were led to share your experiences with me. Interesting that our children are about the same age. I also have a 19 year old son who has already asked your question, and is remaining at home every Firstday. I think it has all come down to trust and respect in the marital relationship for us to be making our separate choices and this is good. There is growth within that. I'm beginning to see more and more of that within my daughters, however rather than asking if they have to go at all, they have begun to develope and voice their individual preferences, which are of course opposites! I like the word 'negotiation' you have used here. So much of life is like that, and along with that I'm trusting that God will guide their individual steps.

This was a pleasant surprise. I had forgotten this post as I made it so long ago. ALso, as a side note, I'm looking forward to reading your book The Wisdom to Know the Difference.

In Friendship and Peace,
Jan Lyn


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