Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Recent Projects

Last Sunday we completed a project we've been working on for about six weeks in the True Vine Atrium. I brought this 3D model of the Temple in Jesus' time back with me from Israel with my third graders in mind. I loved the large scale model of first century Jerusalem that we saw in Israel, and the children have enjoyed seeing pictures of it and learning a bit more about the Temple in Jesus' day. 

The puzzle was almost impossible (there were a ton of small pieces and the directions weren't very helpful) but the children were determined and worked intently on it each week. The persistence of a core group of children paid off when the last pieces of the puzzle were added on Sunday! We are thinking about painting the Temple with our watercolors, and then I hope to bring it downstairs to the Great Hall so that the congregation can see it. Lynn (a catechist from the Golden Thread Atrium) saw the Temple and wanted one for her group. I was able to buy one in the U.S. from I hope our fourth, fifth, and sixth graders are ready for a challenge!

Another interesting development in the True Vine Atrium has been the use of Stockmar Modeling Beeswax by the children. This is a wonderful product! It is very soothing to handle, doesn't dry out, leaves no residue on your hands, and it smells great! I bought it this year to use with children who find it difficult to sit for a presentation. We have had it on a bookshelf and have been quietly putting it into the hands of children who might benefit from using it during presentations and prayer time. Several weeks ago, the children discovered our stash and brought the whole box down from the shelf. They have been happily sculpting ever since. There were several interesting creations this week. 

The first was this beautiful sculpture of the Holy Family. I love the smiles on Mary and Joseph's faces and the way that Jesus is so carefully wrapped in his blanket.

Another piece complete this week was this sculpture of Jesus on the cross. As the artist was showing us his work, one of the children commented that Jesus looked like an angel. This prompted some thoughtful looks and comments from the children. The artist went on to create another figure of Jesus as a baby, but I wasn't able to get a picture of it. We have been disassembling our art work at the end of atrium so that others may use the modeling beeswax the next week. 

Only two more Sundays of Christian formation at Christ Church before the summer rest. We have many children moving up this year. They will be recognized during our final celebration on Sunday, June 3rd.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Day in the Atrium

On Sunday in the True Vine Atrium I presented the "Synthesis of the Holy Eucharist" material to one child who will be moving up next year. It was a pleasure to see how much he knew about the individual moments of our service and to help him put all of the moments and prayers in order. I love this material! Working with it helps us all to understand that our service of Holy Eucharist is many prayers that together make one great prayer. You can see a photo of the completed work above.

I also presented "How to Use the Bible" to the whole group, and everyone had a good time exploring and marking their Bibles. We talked about Bible citations, and practiced using them to find scripture passages that we know well, such as the Good Shepherd and the Empty Tomb.

I took some photos during work time and thought I would post them here. The children weren't working with the materials much but it was a quiet and peaceful morning!

Finger Knitting is very relaxing.

Enjoying a good book about the gifts of the earth.

Painting a cross.

Writing a letter for Mother's Day.

Completing an art project.

Putting together a 3D model of the Temple 
in Jesus' time that I brought back from Israel.
This is an ongoing project that I'll post about another time.


The Junior Choir sang beautifully during our 10:30 service!

Thank you Junior Choir!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Junior Choir on Sunday!

Last Sunday after Church, I interrupted this fine group of singers practicing their music for the 10:30 service this week! The Junior Choir has been working hard to prepare and we are looking forward to their leadership this Sunday. It is such a pleasure to have Justin Miller teaching our young people! Thank you Justin! Thank you to Eppie Miller for overseeing Choir lunches and preparing many herself! Thank you also to Cathy Wolford for her teaching and support of the Choir. Finally, thank you to the parents and grandparents who have prepared lunches for the children on Sunday afternoons.

Now everyone, back to work!

See you on Sunday!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Olive Wood Crosses

Last Christmas, all of the children, youth and teachers in the parish received an olive wood cross as a gift from our Church pilgrimage to Israel. At the time, I sent a card to each atrium and class, which told a bit about the crosses and included some pictures from our trip. In a conversation with a parent recently, I realized that I never shared this information with you, and that many parents may not know the story behind these little crosses. So I thought I would share it with you here.

Dear Children, Youth, Catechists and Teachers,

As you know a group of parishioners traveled to Israel in October. While we were there we thought of all of you so often and we wanted to share a small token of our trip with you. These little crosses were purchased for you in Bethlehem, and each one has been blessed by Rev. Peter.

The crosses are made from the wood of the Olive Tree which is a native tree common in Israel. Olive trees have been important in Israel since ancient time. Olive oil was commonly used for cooking, lighting lamps, and ointments. In the Hebrew Scripture olive oil was used to anoint Kings, and used to light the lamps in the Temple. In the Christian Scripture, Jesus prayed on the Mount of Olives, and he went there to the Garden of Gethsemane after the Last Supper just before he died and rose again.

Your little cross could be carried in your pocket, or kept on your nightstand to hold while praying. You are also welcome to chose a string and make your cross into a necklace.

We hope you enjoy this little cross and that it is a blessing to you!