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This is my last post as a guide for the Sunday School network. This has been a great opportunity to articulate some of the things a church educator like me thinks about on a weekly basis. Being a guide on the Network has helped me examine the work that I do and think about it in relationship to the whole CRCNA.
Our worship services would not be as good if we did not allow our members to learn as they do things. We want to let many people use their gifts – including children and teens – and we want to support them so they do well. That also means that sometimes worship will be less than perfect.
Leaders of Sunday School need to share and tell the good stories of what is happening when they gather. We can choose to tell the stories of frustration and failure or the stories of how God is powerfully moving. We have an opportunity to set what becomes the prevailing narrative of Sunday School in our church.
One of the things I like about baptisms is that, in addition to the parents making a vow, the congregation does too. The congregation promises that they will love and support this new child and play a special role in her instruction in the faith. It reminds me that we, as a church, take faith formation seriously.
85% of Christian kids never hear their parents talk about their faith. God’s Big Story Cards are an easy way to engage in faith talk and Bible study. While these cards can be used to build relationships in the Sunday School classroom they also can be used to connect families to the story and connect to each other.
Every week in our morning worship service, the children in 3rd and 4th grade bring in the Bible and light a candle in the front of church. During Lent, a third child is added to the procession who carries in a cross, holding it up high as the congregation sings “Lift High the Cross”
Sometimes, volunteers are hard to find! There are some people who are just not good working with children or don’t feel comfortable working with kids. But then there are those who are good with children and just do not have the time available to lead on a weekly basis. Sometimes we have difficulty
Psalms are important for kids and teens being raised in a postmodern culture, a culture where sometimes facts take a back seat to feelings. Our kids and teens need to know that they can bring their emotions and their responses to God in an appropriate way.
How do the church’s elders provide “encouragement, instruction and accountability” for the congregation as they think about welcoming children to the Lord's Supper? Harderwyk Ministries in Holland, MI recognized that some of their families are ready for their children to participate
Barb has heard many heartbreaking stories over the years. People have told families with a person with a disability, "Sorry - try the church down the road, they might have something for you there" or "Your family can come, but not that child. We don't have anything for him here."
One of the cool parts of the new Dwell curriculum from Faith Alive are the picture cards for each lesson. The teachers post these cards on the walls of the classrooms, adding another story card each week. As the year goes on, these story reminders surround the class.
This Sunday I am taking my camera to church. I will take pictures of the kids singing or working with their teachers. This is a great way to remember the relationships we are building, preserve church memories and build an awareness of the practices of people of faith.