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Inside Out Families

Living the Faith Together

Diana R. Garland

Publication Year: 2010

Utilizing the research methods for which she is well known, Diana Garland here guides congregational leaders and counselors to encourage families to engage together in the Christian practice of service. The fruit of family service, she writes, is not only a deeper understanding of one another and of what God is doing in the world but also the reordering of a family’s values and time together. It is this communal service, she demonstrates, that will develop in children and adolescents a resilient faith that will carry them into adulthood – and, ultimately, prove essential to maintaining a vigorous, resilient faith in congregational life.

Inside Out Families features stories of actual, ordinary families, and draws on findings from the Church Census Project and the Families and Faith Project, both funded by Lilly Endowment, Inc.

Published by: Baylor University Press


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Table of Contents

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p. vii

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pp. ix-xi

My profound appreciation goes to the families who gave so freely of their time, a scarce commodity in family life today, particularly for these families that are deeply engaged in serving their communities as well as working jobs and caring for one another. ...

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pp. 1-12

During the years our children were growing up, my husband and I were colleagues in the same seminary, where I taught church social work and David taught New Testament. Our children’s growing-up years were therefore spent in a family steeped in seminary life and in the church. ...

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1 Families and Faith: Used Furniture, Saws, and Lawn Mowers

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pp. 13-26

When I first met them, Brad and Lisa had just retired. He had spent years on the road as a long-distance trucker. Lisa had been on her feet day after day as a store clerk. Two of their three sons still lived at home. Twenty-four-year-old Tyler worked in a grocery store and Toby, age sixteen, was in high school. ...

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2 When Did We See You Hungry?

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pp. 27-48

In chapter 1, we reported our surprise to learn that service beyond the house walls is central to the faith of the Christian families we have studied. That finding surprised us because when faith is discussed in our culture, it is often in terms of what we believe—a set of propositions we agree to, ...

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3 The Path into Family Ministry: Chutes and Ladders

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pp. 49-62

Heather and Jim Hall have been married almost twenty years. They belong to a nondenominational congregation of more than three thousand members. Jim is a chemical engineer, head of a large division of a petroleum company. Heather is a physical therapist in the Catholic hospital. ...

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4 Come, Go with Me

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pp. 63-80

I have a closet full of fabric for the sewing projects I dream of, and I subscribe to quilting magazines. But I have not made a quilt in years. Buying fabrics is a start, but it does not make me a quilter. I love to plan such projects and gather all the tools and materials, but then I have to live with the guilt ...

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5 Remembering Why We Serve

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pp. 81-106

The expert in the law who asked the question was hostile, challenging and testing Jesus. He wanted to make himself look good, presumably at Jesus’ expense. This was not a genuine question—“Who is my neighbor?” This lawyer was asking, “Theoretically, Jesus, what do you mean when you say love your neighbor as yourself?” ...

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6 Becoming an Inside Out Congregation

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pp. 107-136

Service needs to be at the very heart of Christian education and the life of a congregation. It is a significant factor in growing the faith of Christians because it is a central theme in Jesus’ teaching. Not all Christian service and work for justice needs to be part of congregational life, but certainly, every congregation ...


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pp. 137-152


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pp. 153-164


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pp. 165-171

E-ISBN-13: 9781602584976
E-ISBN-10: 1602584974
Print-ISBN-13: 9781602582453
Print-ISBN-10: 1602582459

Page Count: 150
Publication Year: 2010

Edition: 1

OCLC Number: 794698774
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Inside Out Families

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Theology, Practical.
  • Service (Theology).
  • Families -- Religious life.
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