Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Sunday School

They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. – Acts 2:42 (NIV)

When I was growing up my parents were part of a great Sunday School class. Actually they still are. They’ve been members of this class for about 25 years. The people are wonderful, and after 25 years they have a strong bond. As kids we went to picnics, swimming parties, and (of course) potlucks. My parents served on a lot of committees, saw out some building and renovation projects, and my mom was the church secretary for several years too, so we grew up literally “in” the church. The classrooms were our play rooms, my sister and I memorized the Apostle’s Creed while standing in the pulpit (it was taped to it, so if anyone leading ever forgot it was right there), and we spent a lot of time playing in the evenings with the other members' children.

I have moved from town to town and church to church. I have never seen quite the bond that they have there. One thing that is quite different is that most churches don’t have the on-going classes. They offer a topic and who ever wishes to attend goes until that topic is complete and then everyone switches again. This offers more freedom in study choice, but doesn’t lend itself to the unity of the long term class.

The baby is finally old enough to stay in the nursery, so we decided to join a Sunday School class being offered by our church this past Sunday. It’s a study for families with children, so we’re hoping that this class will give us a link to some of the people in the church we’ve been attending since we moved here 16 months ago.

The first part of the class has focused on how to keep our homes from being child centered. It’s completely counter-intuitive and also the complete opposite of what seems to be screaming at us from every angle these days, but it’s true. We, as a married couple, need to show our children that there is a solid relationship between their parents ad that they aren’t the center of the universe. We think we do a decent job on this, but perhaps there are points we can refine.

Homework for lesson I:

We are to spend have four sessions of couch time. That’s 15 to 30 minutes that we sit and talk while the kids can’t interrupt. We already do this with much less intentionality when Justin gets home in the afternoons. We will be sure to do this, not over dinner preparations or from across the room, like we often do though. As the idea was explained, I immediately thought of Gabriella though. How do we explain this to a one year old. She’s just not going to get it. I understand the point—that we have time to talk and that the children see that we have a relationship aside from them. That will give them assurance too that their parents’ marriage is secure. It seemed questionable from a practical standpoint though. We’d give it a try.

We’ve had our first session and it was pretty funny, but I’ll write at the end of the week and see how it all turns out.

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