Wednesday, January 30, 2008

No-Nag Great Idea

Our EFM group voluntered at a Hot Meals program last night. This program has many people who volunteer only occasionally. As I took the tortillas out of the oven, I turned around and saw the refrigerator covered with 3X5 index cards with brightly colored words.

Each card held a task that needed to be completed before we were "done" for the evening. It was SO MUCH better than a typed out list because:
-Easier to read than a page or two of duties and descriptions
-No one had to be "in charge"--each of us could find something to do
-Each of us could choose the tasks that were most interesting to us
-They were in bright colors
-They included things like "Smile!" and at least 3 of them said "Dance!" ;)

What a great way to help volunteers, or occasional users of any sort, to be successful in what they do.
Also, what a fun way to have a weekly Family Chore Hour. ;)

Monday, January 28, 2008

Lent Preparations

I've spent much of my day working on Sunday School, and I'm very excited about both of our classrooms.

I'm excited about Godly Play because we had 10 children in class yesterday--too many to even fit around the table! But they were very attentive during the story time, shared well during work time, and were easily redirected when needed.
Things are going well there, and I'm working on cutting down another table to go into their room.

I'm preparing materials for the Stations of the Cross cycle of WorkshopCycles, and there is so much great stuff in there. For their journal pages, we're going to have space for kids to draw the station they're learning about that week and ask them to complete a phrase about the week (ie "nails are...")
I have such hope about all the children will be learning--they could really lead their families and the rest of the congregation in the observance of a Holy Lent.

Back to work!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Drawing our prayers

I taught Godly Play for the preschool classroom this week. I took a long piece of paper and put it on their small table and we drew our prayers for the first activity of the morning. The kids did a really great job of it and stayed on task.
They then brought the paper forward at the Offertory, and we laid it under the altar for the rest of the service.

Prayers for my cousins:

For the wooden car I'm making with my grandpa and dad:

For Granny E who died (she's wearing the sweater I gave her for christmas):

For my fish. (And that big circle? "It's the thing that connects all my prayers.")

What do your kids want to pray about today? Take out some crayons and find out.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

God in the Family

The kids we spent Thanksgiving with (have I mentioned how happy I am to have my new computer mostly under control?) are 2nd generation Greek. The parents are a delightful gentle southern Episcopal man and an animated soul-ful Greek Orthodox woman. I remember the first Icon he was given by her family. He wasn't quite sure about what to do with it or how to "use" it. And now, their house is full of Icons in the most normal, everyday sort of way.

Living with them for a week, I came to understand Icons in a new way. As they are scattered about in their home, these icons are less Holy Things To Be Revered and more Family...less Church People and more There's A Great Story About This Person...less unsettling and more comforting.

Their children are growing up with icons all around them just like the family photos that are all around them. It's a way for God's World (which some kids only get when they go to church) to intersect all the time with Our World.

What a gift to give your children.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

New Computer Lab

Miraculous things happen in all sorts of ways. Our little church recently received the big blessing of a Computer Lab for our WorkshopCycles (Rotation) Sunday school.

A long storage area was cleaned out, and over the course of 6 weeks 6 computers, 2 long tables, and a printer found their way into the space.

Here's a photo from our first day in the Computer Lab:

And an illustration created in the lab:

When I proposed moving to Workshop Rotation Model last spring, I thought we were pushing our limits, but I also felt it would really enrich the whole parish if we could pull it off. I can't believe how far we've come in 9 months. Our Sunday school is full, we have willing and able helpers, and children are really enjoying their time in Sunday school.
I'm so thankful for all who have helped get this program up and running, and for all who keep it working from week to week.

(I'm also glad to be back in the blogging saddle after my computer updates)