Spring 2001
Volume 5 Number 3

Love Times Five by Steve Crocco
Parenting One Step at at Time 
by Deadra Johns
Wither Thou Goest by Ross Wagner
Supporting Parents Helps Children Thrive 
by Nancy Duff
The Art of Shaping a Family By Leslie and Chip Dobbs-Allsopp
Complementary Calls by Jacqueline Lapsley 
Center for Children is Growing 

Love Times Five


by Steve Crocco

Before I was married, I used to dream that my children would accompany my wife and me in the important ministries God would call us to. Now, marriage and five children later, I believe what my wife Mary has always known, namely that God calls parents to nothing more important than ministering to the children entrusted to them. 

The Crocco crew at one of the few times they are all together during day (from left):Martin (4), Mary, Oliver (14), Louis (11), Eliza (16), Steve and Glory (8).

Children are gifts from God, and whoever loves a child, loves the Giver of the gift. I never had much trouble believing that all children are God’s children and not our own. Perhaps that idea was easy to accept because it removed the weight of ultimate responsibility for thes children being “my” children. When we moved to Princeton from Pittsburgh in1997, we left a neighborhood and a church where our children were surrounded by adults who loved and cared for them. We, in turn, loved and cared for our children and many others. (Mary was affectionately known as “the mother of Jackson Street.”) Living this way seemed natural to us as Christian people living in community. We still look for and try to create this way of living here, but it is not easy. We are looking forward to moving to 98 Mercer Street where we’ll be surrounded by other Seminary people and be part of a more normal neighborhood. Then we’ll resume our quest for community with a new vigor. 

The Princeton area has its charms, but it is difficult to raise Christian children in a place where consumerism is flagrant, parents steer their first graders to Harvard, and people go out of their way to avoid contact with the poor. One of the joys of living in a Seminary house is that it is maintained by the Facilities Department. Now, after a few chores, much of each weekend is free to spend time with our children and their friends. Mary and I are confident that the relationships we build with these young people now will help them to navigate the increasingly perilous waters of youth.

First-time parents regularly ask me a question that goes something like this. “We love our baby so much! How do you divide your love between five children?” I chuckle at the question. Somehow, and I grant it is a miracle, I have 100% of my love for each child. Now, if new parents would ask me about picking up after five children, paying the dental bills of five children, or doing the dishes for seven every evening, I could speak of diminished energy and money, but diminished love? Never! Jonathan Edwards would have said that a parent’s total love for each of “their” children is a type of how God loves his children all over the world. 

Steve Crocco is PTS’s James Lenox Librarian and editor of The Princeton Seminary Bulletin. He and his wife, Mary, are parents of Elza, Oliver, Louis, Glory, and Martin.

 Children’s Ministry Resources 

 

Children’s Ministry Resources
recommended by and available at the PTS Reigner Reading Room

Regarding Children: A New Respect for Childhood and Families by Herbert Anderson and Susan B. W. Johnson. Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1994. An empowering book for parents and others who care for children to learn how to recognize the needs of the individual child.

Godly Play: A Way of Religious Education by Jerome W. Berryman. New York: Harper San Francisco, 1991. A practical yet innovative approach to religious education—becoming childlike in order to teach children

Engaging in Transcendence: The Church’s Ministry and Covenant with Young Children by Barbara Kimes Myers. Cleveland, OH: Pilgrim Press, 1992. An imaginative and exciting vision of how the people of the church can build a loving and educational relationship with children that reflects God’s covenant with the community of the faithful.

Will Our Children Have Faith? by John H. Westerhoff. Harrisburg, PA: Morehouse Publishing, 2000. Helpful for rethinking Christian education issues, especially about how communities can nourish and nurture the faith of children instead of just teaching them facts.



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In This Issue

Features

A World of Students: Valuable Exchanges
Welcome Them in My Name
Fighting for Children and Parents

Departments

From the President's desk
Letters to the Editor
Outstanding in the Field
Class Notes
End Things
Student Life
On & Off Campus
Alumni/ae Update
Investing in Ministry
inSpire Staff
InSpire Archives