We're embarking into undiscovered territory for Family Home Evening tonight. In the LDS Church, our modern day prophets have all emphasized the importance of setting aside one night a week devoted to family (usually Monday nights.) Typically families (which come in all shapes and sizes-- with single parents or widowed spouse can and are encouraged to hold FHE regardless of your family situation) pray and sing together, have some Gospel instruction and have a refreshment at the end. It has been said that Family Home Evening is the only argument that begins and ends with a prayer. This would accurately describe the 7-8:00 hour in the Kelly home on Monday nights. Sigh. But I'm confident that someday it will pay off in dividends we cannot imagine. Anyway, last night Joseph and I were discussing what to do for FHE and we thought it would be a great idea to start the year off with a special family council: We are going to write a Family Mission Statement. I'm a little nervous about this, with our young children, but hopeful they will catch the vision of how it can unify our family. So here are my ideas for developing a family mission statement:
1. Include everyone, even small children.
2. Explain the purpose of a mission statement: "It keeps our family moving in the same direction and provides a sense of belonging." This should be treated as a road map versus a set of rules.
3. Define the family's values. (We love our family because...)
4. Brainstorm adjectives that describe the family (funny, quirky, honest, loving, etc.)
5. Develop the adjectives into thoughts and then into sentences with goal-oriented phrasing.
6. Post it where it can be referenced often. When good or bad decisions are made, tie it back to the family mission statement.
7. Reassess as often as needed, as the growth of the family changes.
Well, here goes nothing! I'll post our results (keeping fingers crossed) pending our quality of evening... this all looks good in writing, but can we carry it out successfully? Has anybody ever written one or read one that was encouraging?