If you missed the Zoom gathering on Curriculum Selection last night, were there but would like to review what was presented, or are wanting to think about your Sunday school curriculum options for the fall, here’s a video for you.
In this half hour recording you will hear about a process for narrowing down your curricula options from a curated list of wonderful Sunday school materials.
“We’re doing a Story Journey tomorrow to go along with our church’s yard, garden and bake sale. We’re featuring Laura Alary’s book, What Grew in Larry’s Garden. We’re so excited.”
My good friend, Laura Duggin, minister at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Newmarket, Ontario dropped this into a conversation the other day. We weren’t talking about Story Journeys or garden sales at the time, so when Laura burst forth with this comment I needed to know more.
If there is one thing we’ve learned as Christian educators during this pandemic, it’s that many of our parents were ill-prepared to take on the role of being faith-formers at home when our church buildings closed and our church programmes were shuttered.
And, it wasn’t their fault!
When asked, most parents say that they ought to be the primary influencers of faith with their children, and they are absolutely right. Yet, these same parents also tell us they have no idea how to do this because they haven’t been shown how. Sadly, with our decades-long emphasis on forming faith with children within our church buildings through Sunday school, mid-week groups and summer programming we’ve inadvertently left our parents in the dark on how to talk about and practice faith at home as a family.
As we look to rebuild our educational programmes this fall we can’t ignore what we’ve learned these last couple of years; we must not cut our parents out of our faith formation plans and in fact we need to make families the centre of our approach going forward.
Churches are beginning to talk about restarting in-person Sunday school after a two and a half year hiatus from offering regular children’s programming. Leaning into the hope that our churches will be able to gather safely and with a deep desire to get children back to Sunday school before our youngest generation misses out completely on a Sunday school experience, churches are anxious to do the best they can to restart well this fall.
I was asked this week if I could recall my earliest memory of a bible story. The question came from a friend who is presently studying at Knox College, one of our denominational seminaries. Her query was prompted by a paper she is busy writing on the faith journeys of children. She is hoping to sprinkle some of these personal stories of treasured memories throughout her paper as illustrations of how children grow in faith.
What a delightful invitation to take a trip down memory lane.
Has your church decided to delay in-person Sunday school for children under the age of twelve or, are you looking to provide a variety of in-person and virtual Sunday school options that will allow the church to welcome all children to Sunday school whether or not everyone is comfortable with a return to in-person gatherings?
If you missed out on our Zoom workshop last week on Alternative Options you can still view the videoed portion of the workshop that outlines six options for churches to consider. There’s a helpful handout too that includes many links to wonderful websites and resources mentioned in the video.
If you missed this week’s Zoom meetings introducing a process for considering the reopening of in-person Sunday school for your church, here is an opportunity to view the presentation portion of our get-together. This 30 minute video will walk you through the many factors your church will want to consider as you move toward a safe reopening.
Just click on the slide below and you will be taken to the youtube video.
In the video I will refer to a link to a Government of Canada file outlining areas of concern regarding physical spaces that are to be used for gatherings. This document will help you assess areas of risk and offer suggestions for ways to comply with these guidelines. Click here to be taken to this document.
I hope this presentation will assist you in your conversations and decision making.
It’s the first day of September and many of our churches are scheduled to reopen for in-person worship services this month. This is raising a number of questions about in-person Sunday school and other children’s ministry programmes. There is so much to consider, especially as our children 12 years and under are not yet able to receive a vaccine against Covid-19, and as infections are once again on the rise.
Should we have in-person Sunday school? Should we stick with Zoom? Are there other options? What do we need to consider? And, how do we know what’s best?
Do you have questions like these?
Are you looking for a place to find some answers?
You are invited to join one of two Zoom gatherings next week to hear some helpful factors to consider as you make these important decisions.