Sunday School Update: October 2010

“Abraham’s tent” is the worship area for the children at St. John’s Cathedral

So… you might be wondering what we’ve been doing downstairs!

In the first week the children were introduced to “the tent”.  It serves several purposes.  It is intended to be a sacred place of worship, teaching and learning for the children.  In our first class together Ted Stebbing led the children in a dramatic exploration of life as a nomad in the times before the birth of Jesus.

we are hoping that the children are remembering first and foremost that they are loved by God and that they are loved by the members of their faith community

Our amazing teachers, Maggie, Kasandra and John have used drama, story and art to help the children to understand that God loves them and will be with them at all times.  In the first lesson the children wandered in the desert with Jeremiah.   Jeremiah was feeling unworthy of God’s love and found reassurance that God, indeed, was with him and helping him during his difficult journey.  The children learned an action song that reminds them that they are “beloved”.

In week two the younger children went “back into the desert” with Kasandra.  They imagined that they were helping a young girl to plant seeds and to persevere in developing a new life in a new place with God’s help.  Maggie’s group used a comic book version of the Bible to explore the theme of the week’s readings.   In the large group the children had an opportunity to talk about things or people for whom they were thankful.  They searched in magazines for pictures that represented those things and created their own prayer chalices filled with samples of table graces that they might say at home.   Children contributed their own prayers of thanksgiving during the circle time at the end of the class.

In our third week the children helped to disassemble the tent.  This will happen from time to time when the space is required for larger diocesan purposes.  The children were reminded that the nomads also had to pack up their tents and move to new places when necessary.  They then completed the work on the prayer chalices as we talked together about the themes that had arisen in the readings thus far:  thankfulness, God’s love for us, prayer, persistence, forgiveness and faith.  During the prayer time the children were encouraged to think about people who might be in need of their prayers.

Last week the children heard about the tax collector and the Pharisee.  We discussed the importance of not jumping to conclusions about the nature of others.  It is important to be humble, just, peaceful and compassionate in our relationships with God, the world and self.  The children made some prayer books.

SO… If it sounds like we have been trying to accomplish a great deal in a little bit of time then that is true!  But we are hoping that the children are remembering first and foremost that they are loved by God and that they are loved by the members of their faith community.  They seem to really enjoy each other’s company in a multi age environment.

Special thanks…

  • To Reverend Canon Rick Condo for his songs and talks that help start the day in a very special way.
  • To several anonymous friends who have been sewing book bags for the children.  These will be put into use shortly.
  • To Shirley, the Cathedral’s wonderful secretary for making the children their own name tags!
  • To Kelli Stewart for help with graphic designs for our Sunday School poster
  • To Vic Janzen for the carpet in the children’s tent
  • To Ted Stebbing for his ongoing help and support
  • To Bunny Mc Cormack for her help in sewing the tent
  • To the Shoestring Players for their support of the Sunday School program
  • To members of the congregation for their prayers

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