Sacred Stories of Ordinary Families: Living the Faith in Daily Life

Garland, Diana R. Sacred Stories of Ordinary Families: Living the Faith in Daily Life. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2003.

Garland weaves anecdotal narratives of faith within families in America – traditional families, single families, blended families. Proposing that families are one of the most significant context in which faith is nurtured and challenged, this book is the result of extensive interviews with 110 families from four different regions in the United States. These families represented Southern Baptist, National Baptist, United Methodist, and Presbyterian congregations and were selected from two congregations in each denomination in each region.

Organized around the six different themes, each described in as many number of chapters, Garland begins with the significance of stories in the lives of families: How families identify and define who they are families; factors which keep families together through difficult times; faith experience of families in their daily lives and how it is practiced; and the experience of God within families are the overarching themes blended together. Garland shows that living the faith in families enables them to come through in times of crises and in ordinary times nurtures the faith. The book ends with a study guide on how congregations can become family-centered and become communities of families where faith is enacted and nurtured.