From the Pen of Pastor Mindy

Sunday School thoughts

What did you learn in Sunday School? Think back to when you were in Sunday School. Who were your teachers? Can you name all of them or only some of them? Were there any who stand out? What made them special? Do you remember particular Bible stories? Were there lessons that changed your life?

Sunday School is a place where we learn about the Bible, and what makes us Christians, and what makes us Lutherans. It is also a time to build relationships, with our classmates and with our teachers. Some of what I learned in Sunday School didn’t come back to me until I was out of Sunday School, teaching VBS and Confirmation.

We had opening exercise, we would meet in the chapel, sing hymns, and often times we would watch a film strip with a recorded story. One set of filmstrips was Parables from Nature. By the end of my Sunday school days we had the dialogues memorized. When I was at Seminary I was sometimes surprised that the parables were not second nature to all my fellow students. I had forgotten all about the film strips until I was out in the parish and saw an advertisement for them, now converted to VHS tapes. The stories and the film strips came flooding back and I knew where my background in parables came from. I learned that we plant a lot of seeds in Sunday School; sometimes we aren’t even aware that they are taking root in someone’s life.

I wasn’t always the most engaged Sunday School student. I didn’t have a lot of patience in seventh grade, or a particularly long attention span. Once we spent a month on the Book of Jonah. I thought it was way too long and that the Book of Jonah was boring. But now I see the humor, and irony inside this story, and don’t think it is boring at all.

In fifth grade we had Bible races that taught us how to find our way through scripture quickly without having to find page numbers or indexes or table of contents. I learned that we can learn something even in the midst of a game.

In sixth grade our teacher played football for Northern State College, and he broke his arm. His father, then coach for Northern took over our class. I remember the boys in the class would ask lots of questions about the past weeks football games. I thought it was a big waste of time, but there was a new excitement in them about coming to Sunday School. Sunday School taught me that relationships are important, and that sometimes taking time to talk about what was happening in life was just as important as what was in the Bible.

I learned that faith is important, important enough for lots of people to share their time and talents with others. I learned about the structure of worship during cherub choir practices. I learned that there were places for us to participate in the life of the church. After I was confirmed I helped teach, My best friend and I wanted to take on the next confirmation class (now that we knew it all) Our wise pastor gently directed us to where we were needed with music in some of the youngest grades. Once again I learned that God can call us to unexpected places.

Sunday School will be starting again soon. What are your thoughts? Where is God calling you to serve?

–Your Sister in Christ,

Pastor Mindy

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