Newborn held feature

By Melinda Wenner Bradley

When a new baby or child arrives in our lives, into our care, we learn to assess their needs: What does my crying child need? Is the baby hungry? Does she need to be fed? Is his diaper wet? What does my child need to help them fall asleep? We learn how to feed, change, bath and soothe a child. And at times we find ourselves overriding a child’s wants to meet these needs: You need to take a bath. You need to get to bed. Do you need a hug?

And yet, where our children’s spiritual lives are concerned, parents and caregivers are sometimes uncertain of both the needs and our role in nurturing their young lives. As we continue to explore and grow in our own spiritual lives, this is a place to start – for we are called to be on this journey with them, walking beside them on our own spiritual path and modeling participation as much as guidance. We might consider what tools our Quaker faith offers us in this aspect of our parenting? How might queries be a resource for parents to use when approaching behavior and needs of their children? How do Friends testimonies help to guide and affirm our choices and decisions for our family? How do these foundational practices and beliefs of our faith tradition support our nurture of children’s spiritual lives?

PDF Icon Download Nurturing Children’s Spiritual Lives in printable booklet format here.

Author: Melinda Wenner Bradley


Publisher: QREC

Age Group: Nursery, preschool

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TopicsBabies, welcoming, Children's Spirituality, Home, Home Religious Education, Parenting

An Introduction

The Quaker Religious Education Collaborative (QREC) is an international, cross-branch, grassroots network of Friends sharing a stewardship for lifelong Quaker faith formation through religious education. We formed in April 2014 and now serve more than 300 Friends in our network. We actively engage and support each other across languages and continents. We gather for regional and annual conferences and offer monthly Conversation Circles via an online conferencing platform. 

Steering Circle

We share leadership as part of our collaborative mission, making decisions using the Quaker ‘sense of the meeting’ process, sitting in expectant, worshipful waiting for the emergence of shared truth. Read more…

Working Circles

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Our work  takes place in ‘circles’ or small groups of Friends who labor on a common task, usually meeting by video conference due to the geographic diversity of the membership. Read more…

The Resource Library

Finders Guide, a sampling of the collection

The QREC Resource Library is a place to share lessons and other educational information in support of our work as Quaker religious educators. This library is a forum for curricula, articles, videos and other educational materials on Quaker themes. You will also find principles, policies and procedures to strengthen operation of your child, youth and adult religious education programs.

Children's Education

Adult Education


African Quaker Library

Youth Education

Small Meetings

Young Adult Friends

Biblioteca QREC


Find renewal, companionship, and help for nitty gritty issues in Quaker religious education, all the while opening spaces for Spirit to work and listening together for God’s way forward.

QREC holds an annual conference and retreat. In addition we hold online Conversation Circles and post other religious education events as we learn about them.

Conversation Circles

Online conferences for Quaker religious educators to share about their work. Conversations are scheduled for two sessions per topic to encourage international participation.  Join the conversation…

Other Events

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Religious education events of interest to Quakers from all parts of the world. Please let us know about upcoming online or in-person events happening in your area. See the list of upcoming events…

Love at the Heart

Spiritual Practices


Active Caring

Quaker Family Culture

Finding the Light

Faith at Home

Home is the heart of faith formation for all families. This is especially true for Friends. As an experiential religion, Quakerism is best learned through living in loving community. Indeed, the vast majority of faith formation for our young Friends happens at home in the busy swirl of daily life.

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Get Involved

QREC depends on all of us sharing our gifts and skills as religious educators. Here are some of the ways you can get involved…