Our sister company Twenty-Third Publications has published a booklet called The Art of Accompaniment, which talks about how parishes are called to journey with their parishioners through their lives of faith.
Creative Communications offers products that help with this endeavor. Shepherd Guides cards are for use by the parish to send at milestones and church year holidays to those who were married in the church, who had a child baptized and who buried a loved one within the last year. (See links below.)
Creative also offers a journal for godparents to give to their godchildren to encourage them in their faith at their confirmation:
There are many ways beyond these publications, of course, to accompany fellow members of God’s family on their faith journey. I know that I personally have been on the receiving end of some uplifting faith-filled texts or emails from church friends who knew I was having a hard week. Those little gestures go a long way to help people stay strong and keep growing in their faith.
Personal, face-to-face interaction is important, too, of course. As Jesus reminds us, “Wherever two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20). Being together in person fosters conversation, prayer, sharing of faith stories and providing comfort in the midst of sorrow and celebration at times of joy. Inviting people over for dinner, taking a walk with a friend or having a cup of coffee with someone on a regular basis goes a long way to building faith among us.
Worship and Bible classes on Sunday morning are integral to the art of accompaniment, and the fact that such gatherings are scheduled for each week in honor of the commandment to “Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy” speaks volumes to the necessity of the art of accompaniment from God’s perspective as well.
Think of ways you can accompany someone on their faith walk this year!