Meet Traci Smith… one busy lady! Wife, mom to two young boys, and pastor, she somehow found time to author a gem of a book named Seamless Faith. If you are interested, as I am, in nurturing children’s spirituality, Traci’s book is a wonderful resource.
The book’s description reads, ‘In Seamless Faith, author Traci Smith shares dozens of simple practices to equip families with the tools they need for bringing faith home. Filled with easy-to-organize traditions, ceremonies, and spiritual practices for many of life’s stressful and faith-filled moments, this is a resource parents will rely on for years to come.’
These are the things I love most about Traci’s book:
1. It’s so easy to read!
2. It’s filled with simple, practical ideas for introducing sacred practices to even our littlest ones.
3. It does not preach to the reader, but rather meets families where they are to help them on their faith journey.
Hi Traci! Before we talk about the book, tell us a little bit about your background, and your calling to ministry.
I grew up in a Christian home, in the United Church of Christ. My family always went to church and enjoyed family activities, but I never imagined I’d become a pastor. After college, I took a job as director of youth ministries and fell in love with ministry. I went to seminary to find out if I might be called to ordained ministry and there really felt God’s call. I’ve been an ordained minister in the PC(USA) since 2006.
What inspired you to write Seamless Faith?
When I became a mother, I thought a lot about how my husband and I might share our faith with our children in ways that are natural and part of our everyday life. I wrote a book that I wanted to read. My parents were hugely creative and nurturing and so I had a rich foundation of experiences to draw on and adapt when I was writing the book.
I love it that you wrote a book you wanted to read! The title of the book, Seamless Faith captures the very essence of what you try to achieve through its pages, namely encouraging families to weave faith practices into everyday life. Where did the inspiration for the title come from? Was it your idea, or the publisher’s?
Oooh! This is a great question. The working title for the book was “Faithful Families.” The publisher thought that title might lack a certain “pizazz” and so we tossed a bajillion names back and forth. Seamless Faith comes directly out of a sentence in the book that says “Faith is learned when it is woven seamlessly into everyday life.” It’s been a great metaphor to use to explain what the book is about.
I agree! The cover of the book also captures its essence. Where did the photograph come from?
It’s a stock photo chosen by the publisher, Chalice Press. Originally I was adamant that no people should be on the cover because families can take on so many different forms. At the same time, it’s hard to have a book about faith practices for families and not show people on the cover. The photo is fun and happy and it does capture the essence of the book, I believe.
I think so too! I know that 50 faith practices is a lot to choose from, but if you could pick one or two from the book that are especially meaningful for you and your family, which would they be?
The practice for anointing children when they are sick is particularly meaningful for me, because it is a practice that provides comfort and spiritual connection for both parents and children at a time when everyone is feeling vulnerable. Just last week my younger son, Samuel, had stitches in his lip. When I tucked him into bed, I felt a strong sense of fear and anxiety wash over me. I was grateful that it had all turned out ok, but my soul was troubled about the experience of the day. It was a great relief to me, and a comfort to my son to put the oil on his forehead, say a little prayer, and know that God was with us through that awful experience.
The pet funeral is also meaningful to me, not so much because of its importance to me, but because of how others have responded to it. Many people have written to me and given thanks for including it, talking about how important it is to mark the occasion of the death of a pet in a way that is meaningful and easy to do.
Do you see the book as mainly a resource for parents, or is it also useful for those involved in ministry?
Both. The book is designed for families to use together, but children’s ministry directors and pastors find it useful both as a resource with which to teach families how to practice their faith together and also as gifts for baptisms or other important occasions in the life of the children in their congregation.
Can we expect to see any other books from you in the future?
I hope so! Since writing the book, I’ve noticed several practices that I did not include. I would love to follow-up with a resource for families of teenagers as well. Who knows what God has in store!
Oh, that sounds like a great idea…I will look forward to reading it! Finally Traci, how can readers connect with you?
I would love for your readers to sign up to receive my newsletter. It comes out almost every month and has free downloads, ideas and links to other great family faith resources (such as your book, for example!) The sign up is here: http://eepurl.com/NwKtb Folks can also connect on my Facebook page: facebook.com/