Wednesday, May 30, 2007

dinner and kids

A couple of things:

1. It's not so much that I am bored (I have plenty to do and plenty to read), but I'm a little confused as to why the mass of promised invitations to dinner have yet to materialize. On the first day practically everyone I met promised that they would have me over, but so far I haven't gotten any invitations (aside from the people I live with). Hmm. Time is ticking, eh? I suppose I could do the sneaky thing that bad pastors do and slip it in a prayer somewhere, [begin Brother Maynard voice from Holy Grail] "Almighty God, we give thanks to thee for all the people who have issued preliminary invitations to thy servant, knowing in thy mercy that thou shalt remind them of the fruits of bearing false witness..."

2. This week's task is childish--err, for children? Do you have to be childish to do a children's sermon? Anyway, I have to start doing children's sermons, and I also have to get ready to teach the 5th graders at VBS in a couple of weeks. I've never done a children's sermon, and I haven't really seen them done in the last couple of decades, so I'm starting from the model that Matt (the pastor) has given the past couple of weeks. This week is odd--there's a guest musical group and we're honoring the graduates, so there's no sermon, but there is Communion. Right now I'm thinking I'll talk to the kids about Communion. If I were exceptionally bold (and I'm not) I would find a way to tell them about Athanasius, but as it stands I'll be lucky to get in even the weakest form of "you are what you eat."


Leah Skaggs, M.Div. '09 said...

You must let us know how this goes. Working with kids is easy. Just channel your inner C.S. Lewis and you will be great. (WWJD..."What would Jack do?")It works for me every time. Was your girlfriend at Anathoth yesterday? I really think she is so amazing - we had a Sager class together.

cindylou said...

Athanasius in a children's sermon... now that is something that would cross only your mind ;-)

Anonymous said...

Of course it crossed my mind! Because, honestly, I would have loved hearing about Athanasius as a kid. I loved funny names. Not that I would have necessarily understood the theological nuances... I guess my hope would be simply--especially for these Methodist kids--to talk about the saints as if they are a normal part of church life. It's not so much a question about content so much as name recognition.

But anyway, I still probably won't mention any theologians. I'll have to try what Leah says and channel my inner C.S. Lewis.

Anonymous said...

Clarify: these rural Methodist kids.

I caught that and wanted to make sure it didn't come across as a slam on Methodists. But this is definitely the sort of culture where the only thing that matters is the Bible, and so it seems important to me to constantly talk about the life of the church, not simply this or that verse.

Some_myrrh said...

Cokesbury has a series called Forbid Them Not, a lectionary-based children's sermon guide. It tells you how kids at different developmental ages are likely to hear the different texts, so you have a level place to start. It also has worksheets to copy and pass out if you're inclined. I used the Forbid Them Not set as a resource back when I was a UMCer. You may borrow them if you want. Really, with kids, if you just get them to move around, they'll go along with whatever you suggest. "Who likes frogs?" They raise their hands, someone says, "My brother, one time my brother caught a frog." Another kid says, "I saw a frog on the sidewalk." "Daddy said the frog on the road was dead." "Frongs eat bugs." Once they calm down, you go on. Frogs live in water and on the ground. They swim in the water and hop on the ground. Can you hop like a frog? Wildness and laughter ensues. Then your point... I'm sure you can find loads of theological parallels.

I think you'll probably be an awesome children's sermoneer, because you actually think about why things matter. That you care enough to express the love you see in different texts and theological questions is equipment enough to preach to any age.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Summer. I'm working on it. I think the first one went well--my object lesson with blue celery wasn't too successful though. In any case it was worth it to serve them Communion shortly after. If only adults took it as seriously and had such wonder on their faces as these kids did!

And thanks for the resource recommendations. I think that's what Timothy sent via Meredith for me to look at. But I haven't spent much time with them yet.