by Stephen Dafoe
The Father’s House will be putting on a series of courses over the next nine months that offer information for families on parenting, marriage, and finance. The first of the series of three-month programs is on parenting and begins Oct. 8. The program will run on the first Wednesday of each month for 90 minutes and will take place at Morinville Community High School.
The marriage courses will take place on the first Wednesday of the month January through March 2015, and the finance courses will take place on the first Wednesdays of April through June.
“These are practical, down-to-earth programs,” said Pastor Lou Brunelle, who will be teaching the first series along with his wife Shirley.
“This is for the community of Morinville, sponsored by the Father’s House, but it will be geared to reach everybody. It doesn’t matter if you go to our church or you don’t go to church at all.”
Brunelle said the parenting course would include information on the difference between discipline and training, relational parenting, the importance of fathers, and how to have a happy child. “This is going to be geared towards children from the age of two to about the ages of nine or 10,” he said. “We’re not talking about the preteens or teens in this particular go round. It’s about early childhood years, and it’s going to be practical, hands on … with time for questions and answers at the end of each session.”
Brunelle said the idea for the series of classes came from Father’s House Pastor Greg Fraser and was embraced by the other pastors in the church. “The idea came from what is our responsibility as a church for our community and our town,” Brunelle said. “What do people struggle with? What are issues people have? The big three that we came up with in our research and our discussions was parenting, marriage, and financing. It’s where people live. People live in the parenting world, marriage world, and finance world. All of those things will be covered and it’s just our way of reaching out to the community and to do something for our town.”
Brunelle is the principal of Morinville Christian School; his wife Shirley is a junior and senior high school teacher at the school. The couple are the parents of two children and grandparents of five. “We’ve taken quite a bit of training in this ourselves and we’ve done a lot of courses over the years,” Brunelle said.
The pastor and course organizer said he believes parents struggle with their role as a parent. “A lot of parents tend to indulge their children and provide everything for them,” he said. “Their goal is to make them happy and really the goal is to build character in your children so they can be successful as adults. If our goal is to just raise happy kids, very often they can become dysfunctional when they reach adulthood and have all this responsibility. They have bills to pay. They have to show up at work. They need to support their own family and they just have not been prepared for that.”
For the Brunelles the three-month course can be boiled down to a philosophy contained in 13 words: You get one shot at raising your kids. Don’t live with any regrets. “Parenting is a verb. It is an action word,” Brunelle said. “You start from day one affirming, correcting, and disciplining. It’s a very active, intentional process to raise those charactered kids. So many parents wish they could do it over again. They didn’t have the techniques. They didn’t have the training.”
The Father’s House is hoping to get 15 to 20 couples out for the classes in addition to families from their own church.
Classes take place on the first Wednesday of the month from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. There is no cost for the program. For more information call The Father’s House at 780-939-2992.