Family Ministries

We believe the family to be the basic human community through which
persons are nurtured and sustained in mutual love, responsibility,
respect, and fidelity.

We affirm the importance of loving parents for all children. We also understand the family
as encompassing a wider range of options than that of the two-generational unit of parents
and children (the nuclear family). We affirm shared responsibility for parenting where there
are two parents and encourage social, economic, and religious efforts to maintain and
strengthen relationships within families in order that every member may be assisted toward
complete personhood. [The Family ¶161A, The United Methodist Book of Discipline, ©2008]

We help Southwest Texas United Methodist Churches to equip families to become centers
of faith formation and faith sharing.





Advocating for Families
Many Christians are aware that our society has become more secular in orientation. We have even
been called a “post Christian society!” If a person calls your local congregation in need of help
with food, housing, employment, counseling, or other support, a helpful template will enable you to
help them obtain referrals for such services. Get details about a mission program for families and
communities, The Barnabas Connection.

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Calendar for Family Ministries
Family ministry is a congregational task. Celebrate Family Ministries in your congregation with a
calendar of helpful planning suggestions.

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Camping and Retreat Ministries
Families take time to connect in a relaxing atmosphere in camping and retreat ministries. A
valuable time and setting for families to reconnect with one another is found within the context
of God’s beauty in nature. Planning effectively will ensure a quality experience that families will
want to make a priority each year!

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Family Faith Formation
Why is teaching our faith at home to our children so important? Modern research continues to
support the biblical truth of the Shema given in Deuteronomy 6:4-9, particularly verse 7 that tells
us how to teach our children about our love for and belief in God: Recite them to your children
and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and
when you rise.

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Marriage Ministries
Maintaining a life-long marriage commitment is not an easy task, particularly in today’s culture
that often devalues the marriage vows. Romance can fade quickly when a couple is faced with
economic difficulties, the sickness or death of a child, infidelity, or elderly parents moving in.
Whatever the “abyss” to be faced, churches have an obligation to support couples with a spirituality
that enables them to cope not only with intimacy issues but also the challenges of today.

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Parenting and Grandparenting
Many families today are increasingly at-risk and in need of support. Faced with overwhelming
demands on time and many toxic societal influences, parents are often faced with crises such as
financial difficulties, illness, divorce or death. Today’s family constellations include single parent
families, foster families and children being raised by grandparents or other relatives. Workshops,
retreats, family service opportunities and guidance for personal celebrations and spiritual
disciplines abound. Congregations can support parents and grandparents in their vital role of
helping children grow to reach their potential.

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