Children and Youth Ministry Update from Kelsey Creech, Resident Seminarian

January 22nd,2021 Categories: Latest News
On Sunday January 17th, I first met with our older children (fourth grade and above) to discuss the week’s scripture, John 1:43-47. In this story, Jesus calls Philip who welcomes in Nathaniel, and Nathaniel has his famous line, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” The youth and I examined each verse, and I provided some context to root us in the biblical narrative. By the end of our half hour together, we were analyzing the translation of the Greek word, δόλος. It was a very engaging and illuminating study.

During our next half hour, all the children and I read the book, God’s Dream by Archbishop Desmund Tutu. We talked about the ways that each of us can be a part of God’s dream and why we think we should try to make God’s dream a reality. We talked about our weeks, prayed, sang and said goodbye with a blessing.

I then encouraged the children to have a conversation with their parents that tied together both our lesson and Pastor Kaji’s sermon from this Sunday. To borrow a turn of phrase from Pastor Kaji’s sermon, I asked: Why do we want to live God’s Dream? And How do we wake people up, so they can come work for God’s Dream alongside us?

This week at 10:30, we’ll read as a group the story of “Jonah and the Big Fish” in our Tiny Truths Illustrated Bible. We’ll talk about how and why we don’t always go exactly where God points us, but, more closely, we’ll wonder together about Jonah’s experience with Nineveh: Why did Jonah not want to go? How did the Ninevites change? Can we change from our behaviors that make God mad? And all sorts of other questions the children wonder when we finish reading.

The older students and I will meet at 10, before the class, to discuss the story of Jonah as told in the Bible and compare it to the ones they heard as young children. We’ll read this week’s scripture, Jonah 3:1-5, and wonder about the details of sackcloth and the word “overthrown” among other things.

Jonah is among my favorite books of the Bible for its satiric nature and playful skepticism. I look forward to gathering with the children on Sundays each week, but I am especially eager to share with them this mythic tale of a disobedient prophet and the ways God loves even God’s enemies.

Joyfully yours,
Kelsey Creech, Resident Seminarian

(Illustration from Page 110 of Tiny Truths Illustrated Bible)