Sunday, October 22, 2006

the future is in good hands

Hi everyone,
Well, in a world increasingly filled with violence, insanity, and generally crazy people, it is nice to know that once a week there is a special place I go with my family that recharges our spiritual batteries.

At church I am the leader of the children's Sunday School. All year my counselors and I work within the established curriculum to teach the teachings of one who knows ever so much more than we do about how to be good, kind, and decent. I am a pretty lucky lady to have this job, I think.

The children learn songs, and each month there is a new theme we follow and lessons that correspond with that theme. In October of each year, the children put on a program that highlights everything we learned throughout the year. And, I am in charge of said program. We don't have a huge production show with lights and orchestra, it is very simple, but we do try to find new ways to improve it each year.

We have about 40 children -give or take a flu- that range in age from 3-11. For lessons they have their own teachers and are divided by ages, and then we all meet for sharing time in which I, or one of my counselors, gives a lesson. These sharing times are divided into to groups, ages 3-7 and 8-11. So each week for sharing time we devise two lessons, because every teacher knows you can't teach the same lesson to 3 year olds that you can to 11 year olds :))

For the annual program, we write up and plan about 45 minutes worth of material, then we attempt to get the children to take it seriously... LOL. So, we have been practicing since the beginning of September. Each week lessons are foregone as we take up the challenge and meet together in the chapel to hammer it all out. Each week we think it will never get done, we worry that kids will not be there, that teachers might not be there, that we might not be there.... oops, not that.

This year was particularly hard leading up to today. Each week we had about 1/4 of the children just not there for various reasons. Scrambling to fill parts, I found myself standing up in front of the podium reading several parts... I don't have a part, but I had 5 or 6 on any given Sunday! Our podium is adjustable, you know, there is someone who makes it go up or down according to the height of the speaker.... but not during the time we practised. I was really, really short there as it was positioned in the 'lower regions' for the kids. :))

While the leaders worry, and the children fidget, we valiantly forge ahead in our quest for the perfect program. Kids get nervous- HA-HA! The older ones skip words and talk so fast you can't understand them, and the younger ones stand there with the deer in the headlights look while you whisper their parts frantically in their ear to no avail. We despair of it ever coming together in a way that can be understood by anyone who speaks English, and trips to the bathroom multiply exponentially as the day draws nearer.

Music is a huge part of the program. The kids learn about 20 new songs a year, and we use at least 12 in our program. Some of the songs the children are really familiar with, and enjoy. Some are more difficult and require more effort from them, and are less enjoyable- read: FUN. If we could sing "Shake my sillys out" or "Once there was a snowman" , or "head, shoulders, knees and toes" for the program- we would be set!

This year there was wonderful music, and the kids really liked just about everything. Only one problem.... when the kids turn 12 they move on to Young Men or Young Women's Sunday School. In the last year we had about 10 children turn 12 years of age. And we had a few new families move in with younger children. Our junior primary out numbered the senior by about 4:1. Wonderful! We love it so much when we get new kids, but boy.... do the dynamics of our program change! LOL, those little children with their sweet, wiggly spirits are delightful.... however learning songs is harder! So the older kids were really pressed to "sing with gusto" Ha-ha

2 weeks ago I just hung my head and gave up. Kids were absent, teachers were absent, pictures weren't ready, songs weren't memorized.... I was going bald.... from pulling out my hair of course.
The older kids are bored, the younger kids are wiggly, no one seems to care at all that the program is RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER!!! Am I the ONLY one who cares???

Then today, the miracle of what it's all about happened. Everything worked. Okay, not everything, but even if it didn't work 100%, it still worked.
The children sang their hearts out, recited their lines like pros- and the tender spirit we worked so hard to portray was there. Their faces were so happy! They taught everyone as only the young can; by showing us the promise of the future. Many a teary eye was present- mine included.

What a joy in my life is my church 'job'. Where else can you hear a child praying for Jesus to bless their teacher to teach them how to love their sister better? Or to help their daddy to remember that "I'm just little sometimes, but I try real hard"?

When I get discouraged and think the world has gone to heck in a handbasket, all I will have to do is remember their sweet faces on this day, and know that the future is in good hands in Frazier Park, CA.
Oh, and the loudest voice to be heard? A 4 year old boy who fidgeted throughout each and every practice. He might not have known all the words, but he sang with gusto! tee-hee


txdave said...

Nice lookin blog, interesting writing too.

I like color, and you might consider a bit more of it, as tht would make things stand out to me.

Check my blogs, see what you thihk:

thnks dave

cozmic said...

Reading your blog, you bring back such delightful memories and I thank you for that. cozmic

Mousie/claudine said...

Rchelle, my very dear...i opened a blog like yours to have a look in the see how you could add's very difficult...would be easier with another template or beta...
contact me:
see you...
i could hear you and the children sing...lovely

Rachelle Black said...

Mousie my dear,
I have been trying to contact you at that address for a long time, but my emails bounce back undeliverable.
I also tried to respond to the one you just sent me, but it says your server refused it!
:(( communication should not be this difficult methinks!
Please, lets keep trying, or do visit our blog site okay?
hugs for you,

Anonymous said...