by Rev. Brendan Curran, Assoc. Minister         –          Sept 20, 2017

I still remember my church school teacher from when I was 4 years old.  Church school would always begin with Mrs. Flowers teaching us a new song in what we called “The Orange Room.”  She would have us singing hits like “Love is something if you give it away,” “All God’s Critters Got a Place in the Choir,” and “The More we Get Together the Happier We’ll Be!” The warmth she showed to us and the gift of welcoming us to church school in song every Sunday is one I keep with me even 30 years later.  Do you remember your church school teacher?  If not your church school teacher, maybe there’s a camp counselor, a teacher, or a mentor from your childhood who made a lasting impact on your life even if you they only spent a brief moment with you.

A brief moment can mean the world in the life of a child.  What kind of impact are you having on the children of the congregation?  How will they remember you?  I ask myself this question often as the director of our church school programs and as the pastor to the youth.  As adult members of the congregation you all have the great opportunity when you come to church of being an example and a role model for our young people.  As members of a faith community we all take up the responsibility of respecting and caring for those older than us and loving those younger than us on the journey of seeking God together.  Whenever we baptize a child, as we did just this past Sunday, we as a Congregation promise the baptized child, “to be a community filled with love for them, to share our resources and homes with them, and to teach them our faith.”  Part of our vows as members of this faith community is to participate in the work of faith formation for the next generation.  This is a privilege, a gift, and a blessed opportunity.

Learning does not end when we become adults, and if I’ve learned anything in youth ministry it’s that we all have much to learn from children and youth.  The church school classroom is a sacred and joyful space where people, young and old, can explore, wonder, and learn about God together through play, art, conversations, field trips, and hands-on service experience.  In church school we realize we are life-long learners.  As life-long learners in the context of our church I want to encourage us to consider participation in the church school an integral part of coming to church for all of us, not just the children and youth.  We have a promise to keep.  We all have a responsibility to dedicate some of our time to the children and youth and give some of our time to their faith formation and our own.

We currently need volunteers to teach in our church school and we invite the congregation to live into the promises made at baptism by answering this call.  We know you will discover the enriching and the joyful experience of being a guide and a positive influence in the lives our young people.  We know that you will learn so much from them and you will bring so much enrichment to their lives.  Teaching church school periodically amounts only to a few brief moments of time, but it’s in the brief moments when we give our caring presence to each other that we discover God together.  In the long run we realize those brief moments mean the world.  Please consult Andrea or myself if you are prepared to make a commitment to our church’s children and youth by volunteering to teach church school.

Blessings and peace,

 

Rev. Brendan Curran