Children and Youth Ministry Update from Rev. Francesca Fortunato, Children and Youth Ministry Leader
Dear Park People,
It’s wonderful to be back with the children at Park Avenue Christian Church! Our first month of the program year has been challenging (mostly because of space issues caused by the current stage of construction) but also very exciting. I’ve been delighted to witness so much physical, intellectual and spiritual growth, with the children. One of the constant wonders of this work, is getting a close-up look at the rapidity with which the youngest children learn and develop. I see increasing sophistication and detail in their artwork and writing, as well as deepening understanding of what it means to follow Jesus, what we’re actually doing when we pray, and how to support each other, as friends, in all of it.
Our theme for September has been Presence and Service. As we have come back together in Christian community, we have talked about the places where we find God, and feel God’s presence (in bed at night, in the woods while camping; while playing a favorite game with a friend) as well as the things that we can do to serve God (through service to others, by caring for animals and the earth; comforting friends who feel sad or scared.) During the final week of September, we will be reading the story of Esther, and using that as a Springboard for discussion, and dramatic play, about why people do mean things, how those actions hurt the people who do them, as well as their victims, and ways to express our “bad” feelings, that can make us feel better, without harming others.
Our theme for October will be Expressing Faith in Words and Actions. Through reflections on the Gospel of Mark, the Book of Job, and the Letter to the Hebrews, we will use written and spoken word, as well as visual art, to articulate those things we feel called to say to God, what we sense that God is saying to us, and the things we can do, to practice what we pray, and what we preach.
This month, as last, I will be keeping the planned activities simple (things that can be done using paper, crayons, markers, pencils and pens, scissors and hole-punchers) in order to deal with the challenges of being an itinerant Sunday school, and the necessity of carrying all of our supplies back and forth from our rented classroom at Regis High School. I am, very much, looking forward to the time when we will be back under the Park roof, and it will be possible to do more elaborate artwork, as well as incorporating physical activity and long-term projects. Onward, with hope and joy!
Blessings, prayers, and well wishes as ever,
Rev. Francesca Fortunato, Director of Children’s Ministry