Yesterday was to be the day where we had a teen meeting with all those ages 11-18, their parents, and the usual leaders in the church. My usual suspects went to church with their mother, which in itself is a miracle. The parents did not stay, and we didn't have a meeting. It's like it never sunk in. If I do this again, I will probably try to get Scott to remind them instead of me. But then again, I might need someone less timid than me and someone who will remember to call. Maybe Shannon the man can call them.
So our first official genderly-split Sunday School class for teens didn't happen yesterday, but I feel like I had one of the best Children's Church lessons ever. We read the story of the Magi coming to see Jesus. I had the doll house in the middle of the table to show that Jesus was about 2, lived in a house, and that we're not sure how many Magi there were. I had no clue that the kids had placed in the toy garage a chest of the VBS gold. That went well with one of the gifts. I had no incense or myrrh but I don't regret it. Last year I tried to have lit scented candles for the incense and Madison and Rebecca both tried to put their hands in the flame. Never again. I also had a body spray for the myrrh, but this year, we just had gold.
Then, we did the best craft ever. We took a print-out of silhouettes of the Magi, placed tracing paper over them, and colored the shapes so that when you hold the paper up to the light, it looks like stained-glass. They can put it in their windows at home and enjoy it. I enjoyed the activity so much when I practiced it Friday night, that I decided to print a picture of Jesus presenting the communion elements, traced it, and made it look stained-glass-like.
By the way, does anybody wonder why the Bible says "frankincense" but nobody elsewhere adds the "frank" part? Any Greek scholars can answer this? Was Frankincense just a brand name for the incense that the Magi used?
Also, what suggestions would you make for making Sunday School different from Children's Church? The other Sunday School teacher mentioned it again, asking if I'm still going to do Children's Church. Yes, emphatically. I need to do what I'm paid to do in the church and take a hands-on role with the kids on Sunday. They need to have church on their level in ways they can understand. I do agree that I'm going to place the age limit at 4th grade this time. No more 11-year-olds will feel like they are too old when they are too old. When I was in Children's Church at Smyrna, I stopped after 4th grade because that was the age limit.
I think I might try to start having youth group in the evening's again to either give the students time to ask questions, voice opinions, do homework, or to finish what we didn't get to in Sunday School. They need both and informative and a relaxing time. Well, I suppose I'll call the family of my usual suspects tonight and figure it out.