We think everyone will agree that the children in our church are special. One of the purposes of Sunday school is to educate the children about the rituals, sacraments, and important components of the worship service. They deserve to have Christian instruction available in Sunday School so they can take it with them for the rest of their lives. For St. Matthias to grow, the Sunday School must grow.
We started off the Sunday School last September with a review of a few Nursery Rhymes. This was done to introduce the children to how some stories can include valuable lessons about life. We next covered various parables from the Bible on the following Sundays in September through the beginning of December. The children next learned more about the meaning of Christmas and presented the Christmas pageant on Epiphany Sunday, which everyone at the 10 o’clock service enjoyed.
The typical time in Sunday School begins with the children meeting together and creating a simple craft until everyone arrives. From September through December, Claudia reviewed one or two parables each Sunday along with props and activities for the children to interact and sometimes perform the parables. By taking part and acting out the parts of the parables, the children can better understand the meaning of the stories.
Children process information differently and have individual learning styles. To keep the children’s interest and focus, various techniques are used. The more ways in which the material is presented, such as listening to a story, talking about it, looking at images, creating a related craft, and acting out the characters, the more the children are apt to learn and remember. Once Claudia finished presenting the lesson, Diane took the older children aside to read the parables in the Bible and discuss.
In January, we separated the children into two groups. One group consists of the preschoolers, and the other group consists of those who are in Kindergarten and above, and most of them are able to read. Claudia works with the preschoolers, and Diane works with the older children.
The preschoolers have been learning the “Lord’s Prayer” prayer and creating crafts and completing various activities that relate to the prayer. All of the children in the Sunday School are learning to “sign” the Lord’s Prayer. They will sign the prayer at the 10:00 o’clock service on Sunday, May 17.
The older children have been reviewing the importance and meaning of the Holy Eucharist. Each child has a book of their own called “A Child’s Guide to the Holy Eucharist Rite II” by Sarah Horton. They are also learning more about what takes place in Church on Sunday mornings. They sometimes read from the Bible and discuss the passages and do some written work to reinforce what they have studied. They are given a take home sheet most weeks to help parents understand what has been covered in the class and hopefully to encourage the parents to further discuss the lesson with their children.
For the remainder of the school year, both the preschoolers and the older children will be learning about the continuation of Jesus Christ’s ministry after His death and resurrection.
According to recent statistics, the children at St. Matthias make up about 12% of the membership. Currently on Sundays, there are anywhere from one to six babies and toddlers in the Nursery area, one to six preschoolers, and one to seven older children. As the babies and toddlers become preschool age, they will move into the Sunday School with Claudia, and as the current preschoolers grow, they will move into the class for the older children with Diane.
Learning is fun!
We try to make it that way!
If anyone has any questions, please let us know!
Diane C.Gordon & Claudia Seitz-Ricklick