Saturday, June 21, 2008

More Thoughts on Sunday School

Hey friends,

Tara recently got me listening to Anne Lamott's book, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith, in audio format. Coincidentally, I listened to Chapter Five (Holy of Holies 101) around the same time that Jake posted his wonderings about Sunday school a couple weeks ago... so I thought I'd post that chapter here for others to listen to. I'd love to read about some of your thoughts or reactions to the ideas she raises, so comment 'til your heart's content.

So without further ado, here's Anne Lamott reading Chapter Five: Holy of Holies 101...


Yard said...

This is the first of Anne's writings I've been exposed to, and for the most part, it was enjoyable. Her imagery is beautiful, although I think at times she is overly smitten with her own abilities.

To the subject of Children's Church: I didn't really hear any 'ideas' to respond to. This was basically the story of someone who started a Sunday school, and through the basic trials of many sorts that children inevitably will deliver, she came to know that success doesn't always look how you thought it would. This is a good lesson, one we can all relate to.

Unfortunately, for me, this question still remains: Can the sort of love and attention that we believe is necessary for children, be given without having to hire and recruit a staff?

It was not Anne's goal to tackle this question. And so I should not charge her with answering it. I just want to explore whether it's possible.

And please don't mistake this for wanting to take the easy road. It may in fact be even more difficult to give this love to children without your typical Sunday School. I'm just wondering if it's possible, and if so, what would it look like?

The recruitment of diverse help, I believe, would still be necessary. And this is a difficult task in any situation. And it would indeed need some sort of organization. But that's as far as I've gotten.

Arizona Bam said...

Ha... thanks for the feedback, Jake. I suppose I my original post may have been a bit vague or misleading. My motivation in sharing this chapter was more along the lines of "Sunday school experiences," which is what you were primarily asking for in your previous post. I found the nuances that emanate from Lamott's words (rather than the direct stories she tells) fairly thought-provoking with regard to helping a child explore God and spirituality. This chapter is certainly not intended to be a "how-to" as you noted.

In Lamott's context, there happened to be a structure of classrooms and teachers, but the "ideas" that she raises, I felt, transcended those boundaries:

- How do we cope with the frustrations that come with teaching a child about God and love?

- Are there ways that we can teach in a fluid, open manner that allows for the genius and innocence of children to shine through?

- How do we hold onto the motivation to give of ourselves to the growth of our [and other peoples'] children?

- The importance of teaching our children about "space" and rest