Faith Family Reunion: Parent of a Prodigal - Retreat | Grand Rapids | Michigan District, LCMS

Faith Family Reunion: Parent of a Prodigal - Retreat | Grand Rapids

Saturday, January 27, 2018 - 09:00 am to 03:00 pm EST

St. Matthew Lutheran Church
5125 Cascade Rd SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49546

Event Description: 

Faith Family Reunion: Being a Parent of a Prodigal

All of us have someone in our lives who has strayed away from faith in Jesus Christ.  How can we reach out not only to the prodigal but to the parents, families and friends of prodigals who struggle to know what to do?   Join us for a retreat on these important issues and an introduction to a ministry opportunity that churches everywhere can easily implement.

Paula Isakson (Founder of Faith Family Reunion) will share the Faith Family Reunion curriculum that she and her father, Dr. Jakob K. Heckert (Co-Founder and Theological Editor) which they developed together, that addresses the subject matter head on.  Additional resources will be presented from the Faith Family Reunion interactive website:

Help families’ welcome home family members who have wandered away.

Introduction to Curriculum

Testimonial from a Previous Attendee

After seeing an announcement in our church bulletin for a Faith Family Reunion conference at our church, I thought that could be helpful. I signed up but was somewhat reluctant to show up. Everyone there would think my husband and I had a prodigal child (we actually have two children and both had fallen away from the faith). That was a hard thing for me to "put out there." It meant, to me, that I was a failure as a parent. If I had done "parenting" correctly, I would not have prodigals.

Well, I went to the conference and cried almost through the whole thing. I can only imagine what everyone was thinking of me... But, I went away from that conference encouraged, even though it was emotional for me. I went away knowing God was with me and with my prodigals. He would never leave us.

After joining Faith Family Reunion, I learned it wasn’t up to "me" nor was it anything "I" would do that would bring our children back toJesus. Rather it would be the work of the Holy Spirit working through me (and perhaps others) that would bring changes and in God's time and way. I learned from Paula, Pastor Heckert, and comments from others that prayer was also part of the process for the whole family bringing healing and forgiveness.

Our daughter asked me to send her one of her Bibles and is now attending church again and speaking of getting our granddaughter baptized. She has put an app on her phone to go through the Bible in a year. Our son is asking us to pray for friends and family. The Holy Spirit is most certainly working in us all by His Word. Faith Family Reunion has played a huge part at enabling us ALL to grow in our faith. The fact that this site is available, that it is biblically founded and Christ-centered has been a “Godsend" and a huge blessing for our family. I thank them and pray that the Lord will continue to use them, and their site, for years to come. Amen, it is so.

Registration Information: 

Registration is $10/person. Breakfast and Lunch are included.

If you have any questions about the event, please contact

Rev. Dietrick A. Gladden

Paula Isakson

Faith Family Reunion

Paula Isakson grew up in a wonderful Christian home, with loving and supportive parents who raised her in the faith. But, life took Paula in a different direction. She abandoned the faith of her childhood to find her own spiritual way in the world. Paula’s family and friends never gave up her. The Holy Spirit continued to work in Paula’s life. Now she brings Faith Family Reunion together to share the story of a God who never gives up on his people and encourage attendees never to give up on the lost people in their lives!

Paula Isakson founded Faith Family Reunion as a result of her own falling away from faith and then, by God’s grace, returning again. Faith Family Reunion addresses issues of children leaving their faith and the church, and gives parents a network to connect with other parents and families going through their own situations. It’s also a vehicle where families that have been reunited in faith can offer encouragement and can share testimonies, offering hope and inspiration to others in similar situations.


Agenda Details: 

Saturday, January 27

  9:00 a.m. Registration
  9:30 a.m. Continental Breakfast & Introduction
  10:00 a.m. Curriculum Workshop
  11:30 a.m. Prayer & Reflection Time
  12:00 p.m. Lunch (Working Lunch)
  12:30 p.m. Curriculum Workshop
  3:00 p.m. Depart

Paula will be around for one-on-one discussion


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