I’ve been thinking lately about the old-fashioned idea of bringing a child up in church. These thoughts come because my daughter is almost grown, busy applying to colleges and getting ready to fly off into her own independent life. When I first brought her to church, she was a noisy toddler who spent most of her time in the nursery. She started Sunday school at three and, being an unusually active, not particularly mature child, provided her teachers with many challenges. As the years went on, she learned to focus and listen, play handbells, first at the kid level and eventually with the adults, help with the younger children, volunteer in various ministries, and even play violin in the praise band. We did have some ups and downs, meltdowns when she was small, times in those tween and early teen years when she felt different from other children, who went to school while she was homeschooled. But we taught her to persevere, to make a commitment to the church and find ways to serve and grow. Now, she treasures church relationships with people of all ages and understands what fellowship is from the inside, rather than as an abstract concept. I am grateful for the role the United Methodist Church at Newfoundland has played in her life.
February 2, 2019
Teaching Sunday school is more rewarding than a lot of people realize. There really is nothing in life that equals that moment when you do an experiment and it works and all six students gasp at once with amazement. They reacted so loudly that my daughter heard them from her classroom next door! We were studying how the Kingdom of God is like yeast, and in our experiment we mixed two sets of ingredients in separate containers. And then the big moment came – we poured everything in together and it grew and grew and overflowed from the water bottle into a big bowl! This was one of my favorite lessons ever. My only regret: I didn’t think to take a picture.
October 28, 2018
Our K-4 class recently finished up its studies on the Old Testament kings Saul, David, and Solomon. Now we have jumped forward in time to learn about Jesus and his teachings and stories. Last week, we studied the Lord’s Prayer, and we were impressed at how much knowledge the children have gained just from hearing this prayer in church every Sunday. This week, we learned how we don’t need to worry because our Father in Heaven cares about us. We discussed how even the lilies in the field grow and are arrayed in the splendor God provides them. Each child decorated a flower in their own unique way, and we put the flowers together in a big picture and pinned the picture on our bulletin board.
Over the next week or two, we will also be working on a service project, making cards for the people who will receive Thanksgiving baskets from our church. As teachers, we are eager to see the amazing cards our children will create!
June 10, 2018
For the last month, our K-4 Sunday school class has been studying the early kings of Israel. In one of the King David lessons, they learned the little-known story of David and Abigail. In the story, Abigail is married to a mean guy named Nabal. David sends messengers to Nabal to ask for food for his men, who have been camped near Nabal’s men for a while and have helped protect them. Nabal lets out a string of insults and refuses to help. David gets mad, and he and his men strap on their swords. When Abigail finds out what is afoot, she intervenes to prevent war by bringing food and apologies to David. Later, after the death of her husband, she marries David.
The children made booklets with faces representing the feelings of various characters in the story. Then, they made the playdough food in the picture, which includes all sorts of goodies like a tomato, an omelet, a hamburger, an olive, two strawberries, a pepper, a hotdog with mustard, a very ripe banana, a watermelon, and more.