Returning to Lima and the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd this fall, I looked forward to my Sunday School class. I had new supplies and time to do the Godly Play series of Old Testament stories, many set in the Desert Box. The Tabernacle set and the Temple for Jerusalem were intriguing to the children. We began with Creation and went on up to the Exile and return from Babylon. Then it was time for Advent, which we have just begun.
This Sunday we will present the Church Year to the whole congregation.
After describing the high points and the seasons of the church year, we will break into song with “Turn, Turn, Turn.” Who knew that King Solomon’s words would be a #1 hit for the Byrds in the 1970’s? We will sing King Solomon’s words from Ecclesiastes 3 with piano and guitar accompaniment. “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born…..”
Since this group of children is a mixture of North Americans, Peruvians who speak English, and some Brits, the lessons are in English. As my Spanish improves, I will work with the Spanish congregation. At this point they don’t have a Sunday School because there are no children attending. I don’t think this is a chicken and egg story; rather, if there is a class, the children will appear.
Last year’s cathedral class was filled with active boys under the age of 10. This year, the class is made up of three pairs of sisters, two other girls and a mixture of boys who come and go. The attendance has been around 10 – 12 children. I have had a wonderful helper, Kym, who leaves for Arequipa this next week. She is taking materials and Godly Play books down with her. We are looking forward to more Godly Play in Peru! Next month we will create another class for the older girls who are moving into adolescence. We need ideas for them!
Here are some pictures of our activities. You can see the special Godly Play materials.
Soon after these photos were taken, I found attractive borders and posters to use in the classroom. When I visit the U.S. this month I am picking up Old Testament maps and charts to put up on the walls. Hurray for internet shopping!
We have so many interesting remarks and questions that come up as we do our Godly Play wondering. During the Tabernacle Lesson a young girl from the U.S. pointed out that the word laver was similar to the Spanish verb lavar, which means to wash. Last week’s precious answer to the question, “I wonder how you can help your friends find the way to Bethlehem?” was, “Well, you could use a GPS.” I love the concrete stage of development! Let’s see what they come up with by the fourth week of Advent as we explore along the road to Bethlehem.
I had a wonderful gift created for me by Mary, an English missionary working with us this year. She suggested using the blue side up and then drawing through the sand to show the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. Brilliant! Here is the website to see the pattern Mary used: http://www.godlyplay.fi/des_bag.html
I look forward to moving into the Parables in January. The materials are prepared, and I am interested in seeing where these lessons will lead the children in their relationship to Jesus. We will then move into the life of Jesus as we prepare for Easter during the six weeks of purple Lent.