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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Contemplative kids

Quiet & stillness dance on the fringe of holy

So much of what we teach our children has to do with words. As they learn to talk, we tell them the names of people and objects around them. As they grow, we teach them their first phrases of prayer. But the experience of prayer doesn't hinge on words alone. Helping children tap into their natural ability to connect with God through stillness and quiet, experts say, might be as important to their faith formation as learning such Christian basics as the Lord's Prayer or the creeds.

"When you introduce kids to classic contemplative practices — even just the practice of silence itself — you're sort of dancing on the fringes of the holy," said Nathan Frambach, professor of youth, culture and mission at Wartburg Theological Seminary, Dubuque, Iowa. "You have a palpable sense of being ushered into something beyond yourself. There's an aura of mystery to it, and that's enticing to kids."


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