A Family's Guide to Exploring Faith and Teaching Tolerance
At our house, and most likely at yours, spiritual discussions have been left on the back burner as we have tried to squeeze more and more schoolwork, meetings, and plenty of activities into our weeks. As parents we don’t always have the time to answer religious, philosophical, and spiritual questions satisfactorily. Our four year old has wondered many things like: Why is the sky blue? How does God hear? Why does Buddha have a belly? All of our children have asked important questions as they’ve heard about world-wide religious wars, hatred, prejudice, and suffering. Because my husband is Jewish, and I, Christian, we have a special need to explain both our faiths and to help our children develop their own personal identities. One day we hope they are able to find answers to spiritual questions and create a path to God on their own.
Soul Sunday grew out of the need to bring us together, as a family, to talk and understand, and to explore our faith. We wanted to create a specific time for questions, discussion, and voicing concerns. We designated Sunday evening to talk with our children about all things spiritual (and some things only generally spiritual). We have used activities to prompt discussions and have encouraged the children to stretch their imaginations. We have provided a theme and structure, which usually has included cardboard, paints, yarn, glue, and other supplies. We have been amazed at what has developed: some of the most thought-provoking questions and powerful insights have occurred while sitting together on our kitchen floor! The results have been enormously rewarding, as each child has learned about faith, and also about the diversity of the world. Best of all, they have become more self-confident, introspective, and compassionate individuals.
This book provides instructions on creating your own Soul Sunday sessions and activities. Part I of Soul Sunday explores the need for families to connect and find faith together while creating a spiritual path to follow. This section helps raise awareness about major world religions—Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Christian, and Islamic—while encouraging families to build personal relationships with each other and with God.
Part II provides hands-on projects for families to do together during their Soul Sundays. Twenty Playshops are organized by season and involve activities that delve into and teach about faiths from around the world. The Playshops include activities with whimsical names like Dancing Diwali, Mind the Matzoh, Meditating Moments, and Hiking Hajj. They are hits with our kids.
The beauty of Soul Sunday is that the entire family gets involved…whether you have one child, or a handful. Grandparents are invited too.
I invite your family to try Soul Sunday and see for yourself what strides a family can take in the quest for faith, understanding, harmony, and peace.
What People are Saying
Soul Sunday is a breath of fresh air and a welcome relief to the rising voices of religious intolerance in America. Carrie Brown-Wolf gives parents and children practical, respectful, and healthy tools for discussing different cultural and religious perspectives. With this beautiful book, families will have fun as they create, sing, and draw their way toward love, acceptance, and deeper spiritual connection. Bravo.
Executive Director, Soul Force
Parents who are searching for ways to bring more meaning and spirituality into their family life will love Soul Sunday. It’s a hands-on, tolerance-teaching approach to understanding world religions and giving regular time and space in your family’s schedule to exploring life’s big questions. What could be more important?
Contributing Editor, Parenting Magazine and author of Baby Days
Americans spend so much time and energy giving their children instruction for the mind and body, while too often neglecting the spiritual needs and joys of life. In Soul Sunday, Carrie Brown-Wolf offers practical advice for helping parents and children spend time together exploring spiritual and moral issues in a loving and affirming environment. Her interfaith marriage provides personal experiences and insights that will help develop understanding about one’s own beliefs while promoting acceptance of others.
Religion Editor; Toledo Blade and author of Sin, Shame and Secrets