Thursday 4 March 2010
The Presbyterian Church is to mark the theme of Children’s Day 2010, “Praise and Encouragement”, by sending every one of its 416 churches a specially written parenting booklet aimed at encouraging churches to run parenting courses for their communities, and support parents to be the best they can be.
The Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, The Right Rev Dr Graham Redding says that the 36 page booklet will not only be sent to all its churches, it will also be distributed to community organisations working with children and families.
“The praise and encouragement of children is integrally related to the encouragement of parents and caregivers. The home environment is the single most important factor in shaping children’s wellbeing and determining their future.”
Graham says that whilst many parents and children are doing well, the concern being expressed throughout our communities is that parents need far more support.
“Most of us know of or hear of parents struggling with the challenges of raising children in a culture that seems to throw up barriers to good parenting. Churches have a valuable role to play in their communities as a source of support for children and parents. We are exploring innovative ways of doing this.”
Quite a few Presbyterian churches, Graham says, are responding effectively to the needs of their communities by running parenting courses using Kids Friendly resources. The Presbyterian Church’s Kids Friendly initiative equips churches to affirm the importance of children and assist families using Partnering with Parents workshops and other resources.
Graham says that the Church hopes the parenting booklet will be a catalyst for rethinking what it means to be a “better parent” and a “good parent” and “will be welcomed, because parents themselves are increasingly demonstrating a growing appetite for discussion, information and advice”.
The Church’s parenting booklets will be sent out to Presbyterian churches and community organisations by mid-April and the booklet will also be available for anyone to download free from the Presbyterian Church website from early April: www.presbyterian.org.nz
Notes to reporter:
The Presbyterian Church is the third largest denomination in Aotearoa New Zealand, with 385,000 people identifying as Presbyterian in the 2006 Census, and 30,000 regular church attenders.