Family Ministries Blog

All Saints' Episcopal Church in Lakeland, Florida provides this forum as an exploration of family life with an emphasis on parenting, children, and teens. We hope that you will join our conversation and visit our children & youth ministries.
Kathy Hulin

Power of Prayer

I attended the movie War Room on Sunday afternoon when it was advertised as a church outing, and it was great to have 20+ people from our church throughout the theater. I have to admit that I was a little skeptical going in because I was worried about predictable storylines and dialogue, and even though there was a measure of that in the movie, the power of what the writers wanted to teach the audience about prayer was significant. I ended up coming away with a renewed sense of vigor for being faithful to family, friends, my church, and the world-at-large through prayer. The storyline did well to teach us that we shouldn't get caught up in trying to fix each other or the ills of this world without first and foremost going to God in secret with our heartfelt concerns and desires. One of the main characters was worn out from trying to fight psychological battles with a loved one and she learned that she need not do that anymore, but turn those battles over to God. When she did so, it created room in her heart to pray for love toward that person instead of reliving the battles over and over again. It was a fresh reminder of Jesus' command to "love one another as I have loved you" (John 13:34).

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Kathy Hulin

Back to School

Back to School

I read an article in the Sunday Ledger called "Parents Need to Prepare for School Year". It is a very good reminder of how the process of getting back to the school routine takes an emotional preparation for everyone in the home, not just the students. The author Berney Wilkinson writes of "time - anchors" to keep each day to help provide stability, and I think we at All Saints' could add an additional anchor - the time of Bible reading and daily prayers with our children or the time set aside for teens and adults to do that at the beginning or end of the day. Here is the link to the article: Ledger Article by Dr. Berney. I hope you find it useful!

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Kathy Hulin

Being on Mission

Being on Mission

I just finished an amazing week with several of our teens. It was Homegrown Mission Week (July 27-31), and I was joined by 18 teens plus I had help from a total of 19 adults and 2 children to do a variety of projects in and around downtown Lakeland. We played and taught children at Parker Street Ministries, we provided food and toiletries for homeless, we cleaned at Lighthouse Ministries as well as at homes of some of our members, we did propertry improvement projects at Second Chance Ministry, we organized and implemented a Meet Our Police Officers Event in Barnett Park, and we visited with residents at Lake Morton Plaza! I can't get over how well we got along and became one big happy and mission-oriented family for five days. The teens were supportive of one another and really opened up to how God was speaking to them through our various projects and times of devotion.

When I continue to reflect upon last week, I am profoundly grateful for how the team embraced being on mission within our local community, something that teams usually struggle to do. Typically, teams do mission projects away from home and there will be hope that members will find a way to see the need in the local community. Our team realized the needs as they embraced them and want to continue to do more in the future - amen to that! I am extremely grateful to have had this opportunity to grow in the Spirit together!

 

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Kathy Hulin

Healing & Relationship

A few years ago after my husband and I adopted our teenage son, we were working with a family counselor to try to help us understand our role as adoptive parents. That counselor had a motto that kept coming back in our times together: "Healing comes through relationship." That's a great phrase to keep revisiting...

All of us need the healing which God provides to us through belief in Jesus as Savior - the ultimate relationship in our lives. We could stop with our meditation at this point, couldn't we?! This is an ongoing meditation as Christians to continue to mull over what it means for us personally to be healed time and time again through a daily walk with Christ!

If we continue the meditation, however, it takes us to contemplate the relationships within our home or the people closest to us. Are we pursuing these relationships to the fullest and can we recognize healing within ourselves and in others? This might be harder to discern, depending upon being able to identify what needs to be healed, but I imagine we can all think of some measure of healing that can take place. Let's keep the relationships strong and healthy!

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Kathy Hulin

Importance of Community

Importance of Community

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Community is so significant to the life of the Church. If you haven't started to glean this about me, I am an encourager when it comes to this topic. I love to see people get together, and more importantly, I love to see our children and teens get together. It's how they know that the Christian family is larger than their families at home. It's how they know that as a child of God, they have brothers and sisters in Christ. It's how they know they can lean on others who share a common faith. 

I was so truly blessed by the experience of taking a group of our teens to Sunny Acres Lodge this past weekend. The smiles on all of our faces says it all! Some of us played card games and board games; we played group games outside; girls did hair and talked about life experiences; guys played ping pong and tossed around a nerf football; fathers and sons spent time together; parents had chances to bond; we had a group devotion and time of worship; we had a campfire and cooked marshmallows; some watched a movie or two; and I made pancakes in the morning. We were a happy little family together! 

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Kathy Hulin

Serving With Joy

Serving With Joy

I had the wonderful opportunity to accompany some of our children and teens at the recent diocesan Acolyte Fest at the Orlando Cathedral. I have to say I love worship, so I was really looking forward to what it would be like to worship at the Cathedral, but I found that it was all the more special and meaningful to share it with members of our church family.

The service began with everyone seated in our respective pews, and we were one of 36 churches represented and more than 530 people in attendance! Our pew had Wanda Schulz on one end, Gabby Memmoli, Jack Perkins, Annalyse Torres, Kaycee Torres, Jake Memmoli, and Henry Spake in the their vestments, and me and my son on the other end.

As the opening hymn unfolded, all of the acolytes in attendance began to do a grand procession while carrying their church banners. It was pure pageantry! And I so enjoyed seeing some of our kids as part of the procession. The sermon was probably the highlight of the service for me because Canon Tim Nunez did an excellent job at sharing what our acolytes could and should be taking away from their role of service.

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Kathy Hulin

Easter Happened...Now What?!

I've been doing a lot of thinking about what it means to be in the Easter season. I was really excited about our worship experiences during Holy Week and then the triumph of Easter. It was a significant time of worship and I was on one of those spiritual "highs". How about you?

So now we find ourselves a few weeks out from that celebration of our resurrected Christ and I find that it is harder to ward off the mundane activities of everyday life. How about you? In some ways it doesn't feel like Easter took hold, but I don't want to lose it. I want this season to reorient my priorities and how I see the world. I want it to make me see the world as God sees it and to be passionate about those who don't know Christ. I want to be purposeful in doing things that will transform my life and the life of others. How about you?! 

I've been using the passages from the Gospels to remind me what it was like for Jesus' friends to be in the world, to have experienced Jesus' teachings first hand, to have watched him go to his death, and then to realize that he came to life again and walked among them. It is a radical faith that we have, isn't it? I love getting caught up in knowing our God who can overcome death to live again and to live for me.

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Kathy Hulin

6 Practices for Parents and Congregations

I was blessed by the opportunity to attend a ministry conference at the end of January where gifted speakers from around the country gathered to impart the knowledge they have been cultivating through their research and life journeys. I have so much I could share, but a presentation entitled “Helping Parents Translate Faith at Home” seems most appropriate at this time. Below is a summary of what Kenda Creasy-Dean, United Methodist Pastor and scholar shared and I hope that it both resonates with and challenges you and your family. 

6 Practices for Parents and Congregations to Grow a Child’s Faith

1. Invest in your own faith.

Do your children and teens see your Bible study and prayer life? Do they see the fruit of your practices?

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Recent comment in this post
Guest — Rev. Dr. Al W. Jenkins
Thanks for a great post! Excellent information for parents and grandparents.Father Al Jenkins
Thursday, 05 March 2015 2:02 AM
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Woman's Bible Study is a weekly study following The Gospel Project for adults, led by Kathy Hulin

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