In July 2020 the congregation of Kelmscott starts a new project: family week. A document has been sent to the congregation and an article with Biblical background will be published in Una Sancta in the near future. In short, what is happening during family week is being described here. Material for the first Family Week can be found at the end of this article.
The congregation intends to set one specific week in every month apart, focused on the family. There will be no meetings, no evening catechism classes, no home visits during that week. The members are encouraged to spend this time with their family, relatives, or friends in a positive way. To help them with this, material will be offered at the beginning of the week to help with that.
An outline of the Sunday morning sermon and discussion questions will be made available so that families can take time to talk about the sermon. This will be available on Sunday, so that members can decide to do it either on Sunday or another time during the week.
The online Bible Studies as they took place in the FRC Kelmscott during the time of restrictions will continue for that one week per month and can be watched and discussed by the entire family or in whatever way fits best for each member. It will be available on Monday. Members are encouraged to have their Bible Study on Tuesday, together with their families, but if they want to continue to meet together as Bible Study club, the clubs can do so and members can choose another evening (or day) they want to watch this. Families can also choose to have other relatives (grandparents, aunts, uncles, or others) involved in that as well.
On Wednesday evenings, instead of having catechism classes, all the families and individuals in the congregation are encouraged to focus on reading a couple of articles from the Belgic Confession or Canons of Dort. A short outline with some information and discussion points can be distributed by the minister to help the leaders in the families in this. The evening catechism classes (year 11 and older and pre-confession class) will receive some material to discuss with their parents and others at home.
For other evenings families are encouraged to spend this time together and create a relaxed interaction between parents and children. This can also be used for families or singles to visit relatives: grandparents, aunts, uncles, others. Especially older relatives can have a supporting role for parents or can tell the younger members of the congregation about God’s work for His church in the past.
Singles in the congregation can choose to spend extra time during this week with relatives, or get together with others to do things together. If they desire to spend time with families in the congregation, families should be encouraged to invite them. When we start this up, it is good for office bearers to approach them to see what they want and if they are looked after. Once this is going, elders can ask at the home visits how they are participating in family week and if they need any help.
It should be clear that family week can be used by every member in the way they see fit. Sermon outlines, Bible study and confessional reading material will be provided, and families will be encouraged to make use of it and to spend time together. The intention is that every family, couple or single member finds the best way to make it work for them.
The sermon and the online Bible Study can be found on the YouTube account of the Free Reformed Church of Kelmscott. The sermon will be preached on Sunday morning, 5 July, and the online Bible Study will be available starting Sunday evening.
For the sermon outline on Revelation 15 and 16, click here.
For an outline of the Bible Study on Revelation 17 and some discussion questions click here.
For the confessional reading of Belgic Confession article 1 and 2, click here.
The next family week will be in August: 2 – 8 August.