Are the Mennonites who are teaching contemplative spirituality to children leading them astray?
In 2005, at a Mennonite Educators Conference workshop, Dr. Sara Wenger Shenk taught child educators to:
using a biblical story for guided meditation, pausing to ask prayerful questions that invite imaginative engagement at various points in the story. Source: How do we cultivate faithfulness in children?
Mennonite Educators Conference September 22-24, 2005 Workshop: Practices for Nurturing Children in Faith Presenter: Dr. Sara Wenger Shenk http://www.emu.edu/seminary/resources/practicessws.html
The primary source for ideas in this workshop was a book called Real Kids: Real Faith—Practices for Nurturing Children’s Spiritual Lives by Karen Marie Yust. Since then, the deas in this book have since captured the imagination of other child educators. In 2011, this same book by Yust (among others) was used as a reference source for an article about children and contemplative prayer in The Mennonite. Here is an excerpt…
“there has been an increased recognition that children in our society have an intense yearning for silence and meditation (see Real Kids Real Faith by Karen Marie Yust). There is also a growing understanding that children have the capacity to enter the meditative silence of various spiritual practices and often with greater ease than some adults. The keys to helping children enter these practices are creating space and providing them with the tools and understanding necessary to connect with God in prayer.
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