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Expert on nurturing faith in children will lead conference

Mar 04, 2005
Nurturing the spiritual lives of children is no easy task, “particularly in a culture that has lost touch with love, compassion, and meaning,” says Karen-Marie Yust, who resonates with parents holding this important role in her book, Real Kids, Real Faith: Practices for Nurturing Children’s Spiritual Lives (Jossey-Bass, 2004). Yust will discuss the challenges presented and offer practical guidance at a one-day conference on April 29 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

The conference is for family ministry practitioners and parents who want learn how to create a spiritual world for children to inhabit. “Consider what Dr. Seuss and Disney can teach us about how children interpret themselves and the world and then translate that knowledge into ideas for Christian nurture,” says Yust. Participants will be invited to engage in spiritual imagination, storytelling, ritual, and conversation about community service, and how all of these practices help children to encounter God in everything they do.

The event, sponsored by the Center for Congregations and Family Ministries at Louisville Seminary, promises “to ‘get real’ about the challenges and resources for parenting and ministering with children in the twenty-first century, drawing on cutting edge research and real families’ lives.”

Karen-Marie Yust teaches Christian education and spiritual formation at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. She is the mother of three children and an ordained minister with dual standing in the United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Yust served eleven years as a parish pastor and conducts workshops around the world on children and spirituality. She is the author of Attentive to God: Spirituality and the Church Committee (2001) and Real Kids, Real Faith, which “avoids pat answers on the one hand and abstract philosophy on the other…and offers the inspiration and tools needed to nurture life-shaping faithfulness in children,” says Eugene C. Roehlkepartain, director of Family and Congregation Initiatives Search Institute.

Registration for the conference is $30 and includes lunch and a copy of Yust’s book. Contact Laura March at Louisville Seminary, 502.895.3411 or toll free 800.264.1839, or register online at www.lpts.edu/Families.
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