An inter-faith program for accompanying children on their spiritual journey
We walk with the children in our lives in so many ways. We introduce them to the world around them; teach them how to navigate it safely and with kindness. We give them opportunities to express the ideas forming in their minds with words and pictures. Doesn’t it make sense that we should also give them the space and tools to express their spiritual feelings and yearnings?
Walking on God is a program based on story-telling. It consists of four stories, each followed up by prayer, conversation starters and suggested activities meant to lead to lived experiences related to the theme of the story. Children and their adults may take as much time as they want to with each story, and with the activities. They can pick and choose the activities that are most meaningful, easy to access, and fun for them. They can choose to make up their own activities as well. If the story is loved, it can be told over and over again, without doing any of the activities at all. This is a very open-ended program, and the age, developmental stage, and interest level of the child will determine how deeply they want to explore the story and which activities they and their adults want to choose.
Come join the adventure as parents, grandparents, and other adults walk with the children in their lives through words and action. See where the stories lead, follow their paths, try out some of the conversation starters provided or those that you and your children think of on your own. See if some of the activities are appealing to you and immerse yourselves in those activities. You and your child may never refer to the Holy One while building a bird feeder. But perhaps later, when you hear baby birds chirping from inside the house you built together you may wonder at the Divinity that called the baby bird out of its egg. I hope that these experiences of story, conversation, and activity are fun and engaging, and that they introduce the language of spirituality for children and their adults.
Dr. Denise Hackert-Stoner
Denise is a Roman Catholic priest, ordained by the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. She is an avid naturalist and nature photographer whose spirituality is rooted in the natural world. Denise offers book study and meditative walking to her beloved Upper Room community in Albany, NY. Denise earned her Doctor of Ministry degree from Global Ministries University, where her doctoral project culminated in a program of accompaniment for children as they embark on their spiritual journey.
Walking On God: A Resource for Loving Adults Accompanying Children on the Spiritual Journey