Children and Youth Ministry Update from The Rev. Francesca Fortunato

May 29th,2020 Categories: Latest News
Dear Park People,
On Sunday, May 24th, the Park Sunday school children assembled, online, using our new screen sharing platform, Blue Jeans. It seems to work similarly to Zoom, but with better security. Good!

During our social/check-in time, one child remarked that online Sunday school is one of the few occasions where we see people who aren’t members of our families, without masks. New normal, and a blessing noted. I do keep learning from the children!

We continued to read about the prophet, Nehemiah, in The Complete Illustrated Children’s Bible. I was pleased to discover that one parent had ordered the same bible (that I have at home) for their child, which meant that we were able to have a child read aloud, for the first time since we went entirely online. It was nice to hear the scripture in a different voice.

In this section of the book of Nehemiah, chapters 3 and 4, Nehemiah leads the people of Jerusalem, in the work of rebuilding their city’s wall, while under threat from enemies who want them to fail. In order to make sure that they can complete the work, the people of Jerusalem take turns being active workers, and watchers, standing guard to keep the workers safe. We discussed the difficulty of that “watching and waiting “ part of the work, which was just as important, for the well being of the city, as the active part. So. Obvious segue. Most of us – especially children – are in watch-and-wait mode now. And, for us, as for the people of ancient Jerusalem, it is both difficult, and very important.

In response to this theme, the children wrote a collaborative prayer called “A Prayer For Waiting.” We are doing a lot of collaborative writing, these days, because it’s an activity that can be done together in real time, online. The children’s words are beautiful and profound, and, it occurs to me, might be inspiring to others beyond our little community. So, a possible project for the future, could be to publish a book of children’s prayers, poems and stories, written individually and collaboratively, during this unprecedented time. Just planting the seed of that idea, in this moment.

Blessings and well wishes as always,
Rev. Francesca Maria (Miriam) Fortunato: Children’s Minister