We’re starting a new group for dads in November. When I try to think of scripture that captures what I hope these groups will do, I keep coming back to these words from the prophet Malachi about the role that John the Baptist would play: “…he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers….” (Malachi 4:6). We need a world in which the hearts of children and fathers are turned towards each other. That is how things are supposed to be. The word for “turn” that’s used in this verse can also be translated “return” or “restore”—as in returning or restoring the hearts of fathers and children to where they should be. But, speaking personally as a father-in-training, it takes ongoing work to have my heart in the right place towards my children and I don’t think I’m alone.
It seems like it would be good for Bryn Athyn Church to try to support fathers. By Bryn Athyn Church, I don’t just mean the paid staff but all the people who make up the church community, particularly dads of all ages in this case. There have been moms groups and moms enrichment evenings for some time in Bryn Athyn in which moms support each other in the hard work of momming; it’s now time to also have some dads groups too.
The first Dads Group meetings will be on Wednesday, November 1, with two options for time and location:
6:45-8:15 am at the Bryn Athyn Scout Building
7:30-9:00 pm at the BACS Library
The topic will be “Learning How to Be a Better Father from Our Heavenly Father.” These groups are for new dads still trying to figure out how to change a diaper, dads of teenagers, grandads trying to figure out how to be a positive role in the lives of their grandchildren and grown-up children, and even not-yet-dads who’d like to come. This will be in a discussion group format. We will have brief check-ins at the beginning. At each meeting, I will spend some time going through some concepts and/or passages to get the conversation and discussion going but I will be serving as a facilitator, not an expert. This is not a sharing group but sharing of personal experiences will be welcome for those that would like to. We will end each time giving each person a chance to share a closing thought and then we will pray together.
Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) to join the email list for this Dads Group or if you have any questions. Learn more about what we have planned at brynathynchurch.org/dads and invite your friends who might be interested in a group like this.