Children and Youth Ministry Update from The Rev. Francesca Fortunato
On June 9th, Pentecost Sunday, the Park Sunday school children read the Pentecost story from the Book of Acts, using our book of children’s Bible stories as told by Desmond Tutu. We talked about the miracle of understanding what happened on that day, and how understanding each other made the people a community – a church – and not just a bunch of people praying in the same room.
One child asked the question, “Who is the Holy Spirit?” This is, of course, a question that adult Christians continue to ask ourselves, all of our lives, without ever expecting definitive answers, but I did my best to get that process started with the children, by explaining that “spirit” means “breath,” and that the wind that blew through the room that day was like a “breath of God,” signaling that God was with the people – as the air is with us – even though not visible.
For their creative response, the children celebrated the “birthday of the church,” by wrapping a gift box in orange paper, decorated with designs made using rainbow duct tape. When the box was all wrapped, each child used a small piece of white paper, to draw or write a “birthday wish” for the church, and placed it in the box.
Sunday June 16th will be our last day of the 2018-19 Sunday school program year. We will read John 16: 12-14, and have conversation about the “much more to tell,” that Jesus promised the disciples. We will discuss what we have learned (about Jesus and from Jesus) this year, and what we hope to learn and discover in the future.
Though there will be no structured learning activity (I believe that it’s important for the children to just play together and celebrate their friendship on the last Sunday school day) they will all be given notebooks (with rainbow designs on the covers) in which to write and draw their experiences of God, and their prayers, during the Summer. I will encourage the children to keep those notebooks to bring with them, when they return to Sunday school in September, so that they may share the reflections in them with the children’s ministry community, as we come back together for the new program year.
Blessings and well-wishes, to the children and adults of the Park community, as ever!
Rev. Francesca Fortunato: Children’s Minister