Our Sunday School Teaching Team, Fr. Ben Thomas (Clergy Coordinator for Sunday School), and Anna Thomas (special presenter) met for an enriching and productive retreat on Saturday, January 27 from 9am – 2pm.  Our mission focus at all times is the spiritual growth and formation of our children.
Our specific goals for this retreat were: 1) spiritual development for teachers; 2) team building; and, 3) program planning.  To that end, we started with Morning Prayer, spent time in small group Bible study, participated in a community building exercise in which we explored our  gifts and resources, enjoyed fellowship during lunch, and concluded with sharing about each class’s program and discussions about how we move forward.
The following are some of our impressions, experiences and “take aways”: We love our children and are continually delighted by them! Their curiosity, imagination, open mindedness, diversity, and joy energize us in our teaching ministry. We are a gifted, passionate and dedicated team. Each of us is devoted to nurturing our children’s faith life. We are grateful for the resources and support of our congregation. Our current approach is a “mosaic” — Weaving God’s Promises, Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, I Believe, and teacher-created lectionary-based lesson plans. Though no approach or program is perfect, through this mosaic we see Christ shining through in the gifts and talents of both children and teachers. We are open to exploring new ways to engage our children. The Godly Play program is being explored for incorporation into the curriculum for our PreK/K and the 4th/5th grade classes, as well as for supplemental use in other classes and special events. (We offer great thanks to Anna Thomas for sharing a Godly Play presentation with us to give us a taste of how this program works.) We are a joyful work in progress!  We ask for your prayers and continued support as we move forward on this journey.