Shepherding the Children of Vineyard Central
During the month of April, we entered the season of Easter and the children were invited to join Jesus in making things alive and new through hearing and wondering about Jesus’ teachings within the Sermon on the Mount. Specifically, the children learned about the beatitudes, being salt and light in the world, loving your enemies, and not praying, fasting, or giving before others. The younger children (0-3) learned about being salt and light in the world by watching a finger puppet show about a family who kept bumping into each other at night because they didn’t have any light and acting out being animals and going to a salt lick. They also made popsicle sticks with hearts on them to remind them to love their enemies and talked about prayer as talking to and listening to God.
The older children (4-7) learned about the importance of salt as they tasted Frito’s and remembered times they had been in the dark and saw how loving our enemies can lead to transformation as in the story of Paul on the road to Damascus and Ananias praying for him. They also made cards to express care and prayers for others and then sought to give these to friends and family members without being seen. All of the children also worked to memorize Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” During the coming weeks, the children will continue to be learning about the Sermon on the Mount up until Pentecost. Following Pentecost, during the season of Ordinary Time, the children will begin by examining the various portions of the church service and the related Bible stories that explain why we do what we do when we gather together to worship.
During the month of April, the 8-12 year olds have been focusing on praying, not only prayers of thanksgiving, but also praying for others, in addition to reading passages from the lectionary.
One of the leaders for the 8-12 year old class remarked how the kids are so happy to be with their friends. I know this can be extended to all age groups. This contrasts my own experiences within Sunday School and also the experiences of many other churches today. In the Godly Play training several months ago, they remarked how it often takes years to have children ‘warm up’ to one another. Though we may have more rambunctiousness and disruptive talking to friends during our times together, I choose this any day over silence rooted from a lack of relationship and opportunities to love.
Should you wish to join the volunteer team or visit one of the classes, please feel free to contact Liz or I. We would love to have you join.
Laura Menze, Older Children 260-417-3076
Liz Bruner, Younger Children 513-317-3685