Bethany Family Institute was created:
- To connect those who practise or encourage marriage and family life ministry in the UK & Ireland & elsewhere
- To assist clergy, pastoral leaders, educators and catechists to reflect on various ways of serving families more effectively
- To offer educational opportunities for leaders in family ministry and spirituality
- To identify and describe the spiritual experiences and needs of families
- To highlight and create resources for families in supporting their spiritual lives
Why the name Bethany ?
Back in the time of Jesus, Bethany was a small town just outside Jerusalem. Sometime during his travels, Jesus met a family who lived there. As far as the Bible described them, the family included two sisters and their brother: Mary, Martha and Lazarus. There may have been more in the family. We don't know.
Jesus seemed to visit them often. He stayed with them when he was near Jerusalem. With their family he experienced comfort and safety. He was kind to them and they were the same to him. He truly loved them. He experienced their hospitality and their troubles.
Sometimes Mary and Martha didn't get along. Supportive words of Jesus helped them. We most remember this family at the time Lazarus had died. We know what Jesus did for them. He gave them life as individuals and as a family. Bethany for us is a symbolic place of affirmation, support and healing. We'd like our institute to do this for families who come our way.
We had a particular interest in:
Enriching infant baptism and other sacramental experiences with Christian parenting education
Connecting family prayer with good family communication
Translating church teachings into ordinary family language and experience
Understanding the particular challenges facing inter-church and inter-faith families
We wanted to learn more about:
God experiences within the family
Passing on faith within the home
Effective family rituals
The spiritual lives of inter-faith and inter-church families
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for family spirituality
Links The Family Life Cycle Ministry with families Contact us