Saturday, August 25, 2007

Creating a Sunday School Tent

Today Penny and I met to redo our Sunday School area. We were on our 3rd plan of how to update this space:

We found these bright jewel tone fabrics at a great price, and made them into panels to make 2 sides of a tent:

However, as soon as we began fiddling, we realized there was no way our 3rd plan was going to work either. Luckily, Penny brought along her Favorite Handyman (to whom she happens to be married) and he got us all squared away. Instead of wall-to-wall bars to hang our curtain panels, he built a pvc structure:

We hung the fabric:
And voila!

I think the kids are really going to like it.

We had been planning to jump into our first rotation tomorrow (Computers). But we were so excited about our new space and our new curriculum that we thought the children might be as well. So we punted (AGAIN) and decided to spend tomorrow doing an introduction to WorkshopCycles and the elements in includes, like Shepherds, Workshop Leaders, Journaling, and the different workshops.


Friday, August 24, 2007

Friday Five

I'm proud to say I'm now part of the RevGalPal Blogring (you can check out others by clicking on the sidebar).

One of the things they do is the Friday Five. This week, it's 5 things that have helped you on your spiritual journey. Here's my list, with a childcentric spin:

1. Book
I go back again and again to 2 series, Madeline L'Engle's Wrinkle in Time series and C.S. Lewis' science fiction trilogy (Perelandra, etc). Each time I read them, I am reminded about God, humanity, and our relationships in wonderful ways. Wrinkle in Time can be read starting around age 7-8. I believe I first read Perelandra at age 13.

2. Music
Why Not Sea Monsters have created the world's greatest biblical-based music. They may be "children's artists" but their theology can stand up to many a ThD. If you haven't heard them, check them out NOW. Their song about Job had me weeping tears of joy. They are able to convey the overwhelming love of God in a way I've seldom heard.

3. Art
My own. We are all artists, and are able to understand a little bit about the creative aspect of God by being creative ourselves. Spend a little time with your kids and art this week!

4. Film
There's an old film, possibly made in the 1960s or 70s called The Music Box. It's about a hopeless man in a hopeless world. He finds a music box that brings joy into his life. He tries to hide the change in himself and also hides the music box. A really great band of funky singing angels come to share the joy and teach him to share. First his family, then his neighborhood, and then the world become hope-filled.

5. Unusual Engagement with Pop Culture
I love The Brick Testament. It takes (usually the goriest or sexiest) stories from the bible and tells them through legos. It has a rating systems for the stories, including N (nudity), V (violence), S (sex), and C (I'm not sure what C is for). Not for young children, but I would think that especially older boys might really enjoy it. However, parents may not want to have to try to explain these "stinky parts" of the bible to their children!

Now, post a comment and share your nominations in these categories.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Real New Year

Sunday school starts this week. Our preschool group has been using a modified Godly Play model for years, and it is still working well.

This year, we're beginning to use WorkshopCycles for our gradeschool Sunday School. It's a WHOLE LOT of work to get up and running, but I think it's going to be a fantastic program.

Our Sunday School Space currently looks like this

We are hoping to change the boarder, add better lighting, add cubbies, and make a 2-sided tent around the rug of brightly colored fabric hung from rods attached to the wall. Oh, and some pillows or meditation benches for sitting upon.
This area will be used for story telling, drama, and other similar activities.

For journaling, computers, and some of the art activities, we'll be here at the nearby table.

For our kitchen workshops, we'll be working several blocks away in our Parish House kitchen:

And our first art (carpentry) project will be these benches. FUN!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

One woman's struggle with perinatal death

A friend at my last church has given me such a blessing by sharing with me the story of her daughter that died in utero, and how she continues to remember and deal with it. On both of my birth plans, it said to call her in case of any serious problems. I've referred other women to her when they were grieving a baby's death.

Here's her post about it. Please pass it on.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

To polish his tarnished reputation

I feel I need to share a few more quotes from C, so that you know the kind of kid he normally is. I don't want you to get the wrong impression of him from the previous post.

Tonight he was washing his hands getting ready for bed, and wasn't standing on his step stool, so I helped him reach the soap. He said, "Thanks mom. I appreciate you."

Yesterday as we were hanging out in the evening, he turned to me and said sincerely, "You're a good mom."

Man, I love this kid!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Were Rodgers and Hammerstein Wrong?

I've mentioned that we've had lots of house guest recently. Charlie is about at his limit. Our last small guest left today. This morning, Charlie was yelling for me and when I arrived he said, "I hate her!" When I asked why, he said "Because she has long hair. She is different."

WOW. Talk about prejudice, xenophobia, or almost any sort of -ism!
"Hate" is a very strong word in our house. We never use it for people. So Charlie was really saying something strong.

Later, Shawn explained to me that the visitor didn't get along well with Charlie's friend M who had been over to play. And Charlie took M's side and stood up for her, and it came out as "I hate that girl because she has long hair."

When we got the full story, we helped Charlie put other words with it that were more accurate. He and the new friend made up, and things were good.

But my professor has been singing this song in my head all day:

ARTIST: Rodgers and Hammerstein
TITLE: You've Got to Be Carefully Taught
Lyrics and Chords

You've got to be taught to hate and fear
You've got to be taught from year to year
It's got to be drummed in your dear little ear
You've got to be carefully taught

You've got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made
And people whose skin is a different shade
You've got to be carefully taught

You've got to be taught before it's too late
Before you are six or seven or eight
To hate all the people your relatives hate
You've got to be carefully taught
You've got to be carefully taught