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Tain Gregory was present in his third grade classroom on the morning of December 14, 2012, the date of the Sandy Hook shootings.
As part of the healing process for the community after the tragedy Tain was asked "What's the most important thing in the world to you?"
His mother expected an answer about a video game or Pokemon trading card. Tain thought for a moment then answered with one word. "God."
Until that moment, Tain's mother had no idea how close to the surface Tain's faith existed for him.
This is a fascinating look at the journey of two souls, both Tain's and his mother's, that began with Tain enrolling in Sunday School and led to a strong life of faith for both of them.
In This Child of Faith, Sophfronia and Tain share stories, experience and ideas to help parents get to the heart of a question that becomes more perturbing as our world grows ever more complicated: How do you help a child have faith—real faith, something he or she owns and not a regurgitation of something they've heard? How do you create a life space where they can learn to understand what they believe? Tain's stories include early encounters with death and, of course, the shootings at Sandy Hook where he was present in his third grade classroom on the morning of December 14, 2012. Tain is now entering an age where his peers are questioning everything and saying "everything just goes black" when you die, but because of his faith, Tain knows differently.
“In this beautiful and timely memoir, mother and son share insights from a family’s spiritual awakening, a journey that led to a deep experience of God and a new way of life in the world. Not only do they offer practical advice on faith formation, but they tackle a difficult question: How does faith prepare us not only life’s joys but for its most shocking tragedies? The answer is deceptively simple: by paying attention to the Spirit and trusting one another. Read this one and weep. And discover the hope of a child.”
—Diana Butler Bass, Author, Grounded: Finding God in the World, A Spiritual Revolution
“When children begin to ask the big questions in life, many parents feel unprepared. What's more, their own yearning to find meaning, hope, and a deeper faith may be ignited. In this unblinkingly honest and tender work, Sophfronia Scott and her son, Tain, share their journey of faith. From her roots growing up in a large Baptist family in Ohio, to her spiritual curiosity as a Harvard undergrad, to her commitment to honor her young son’s request to attend Sunday School, Sophfronia gently models how to nurture the innate spirituality and faith of a child. In doing so, her own faith grows and deepens as well. And when the trials come, such as the deaths of several people close to her and her family, she is more prepared to help Tain understand and accept these losses. This Child of Faith doesn’t claim to know all the answers, but it serves as a moving testimony to the power of faith when a family embarks upon the journey together.”
—Rev. Andrea Raynor, author of Incognito: Lost and Found at Harvard Divinity School
Sophfronia Scott grew up in Lorain, Ohio. A large part of her career was spent as a writer and editor for Time and People magazines. She was nominated for best new author at the African American Literary Awards and hailed by Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. as "potentially one of the best writers of her generation." Her essays, short stories, and articles on parenting, faith, and other topics have appeared in Ruminate, Barnstorm Literary Journal, Sleet Magazine, NewYorkTimes.com, More, and O, The Oprah Magazine, and on her blog sophfronia.com.
Tain Gregory is in seventh grade at Newtown Middle School. He enjoys riding his bike, playing video games with his friends, playing piano, and watching Cartoon Network. He sings at church and serves as a junior acolyte. He's also a Boy Scout in Newtown's Troop 770. He appeared in the Sandy Hook documentary that became Midsummer in Newtown, from Participant, the company that produced the Oscar- winning Spotlight.