By Doug Petering
19 September 2022
There are few more daunting moments in the life of a father than when that first small baby bundle comes home for the first time. All sense of planning, regular sleep, and predictable mealtimes seem to fly out the window. And all feelings of competency in the newly required skills go awry. At least, that’s what many dads reported during this three-week series at St Alfred’s, Blackburn North in the weeks leading to Fathers’ Day.
Each evening up to 50 dads, grandads and father figures gathered keenly around tables of five to explore what it means to be a dad in 2022, lead by facilitators, Andrew Jones and Michael Petering. As they arrived, participants were greeted with warm fellowship, a nametag, and tasty refreshments before settling down to input and conversation about how they might exercise more confidence and competence in their parenting styles.
By the close of week three, evaluation feedback confirmed that this had been a resounding success. Men from the local parish, neighbouring churches and others from unexpected suburbs had all shared their experiences, and challenged one another over their fathering exploits.
Everyone was reminded of the words of the legendary, Dr Billy Graham: “A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society.”