Thursday, June 28, 2012

Moving Day!

Each year on our last Sunday in atrium we recognize children who will be moving up to a new atrium in the fall. This year we have five children who are leaving the Good Shepherd Atrium and moving up to the True Vine.  At our last session, each child was given a tin with a tiny mustard seed glued inside to be taken home and enjoyed.

In the fall, seven children will be moving up from the True Vine Atrium to the Golden Thread Atrium. At our celebration, each of these children received a little lantern with a battery powered tea light inside to remind them that Jesus, the light of the world, lights the path for them. 

As a part of the celebration we always invite each child who is being promoted forward and pray for him or her. This year, I asked the children from the child's current atrium to come forward also, and to lay a hand on the shoulder of the child moving up as we prayed. The children took on this new role with dignity and seemed to enjoy it.

It is always so bittersweet to say goodbye to children when they move up. What a joy it has been to see them grow over their three years with us. We will miss them next year. And yet, as a catechist the wisdom of the age groupings that we use is very clear to me. As the end of the year approaches I can feel restlessness in the oldest children. They are ready developmentally for new materials and the broader outlook that a new atrium provides.

Congratulations to all of the children who have completed a level and who will be moving up next year! Your new catechists can't wait to welcome you, and are looking forward to many joys and discoveries together!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Prayer Gardens for Teachers

At the end of every year I pull together a small gift to thank our volunteer teachers for their ministries. It is always a challenge to keep within the budget and still find a nice way to say thank you. This year I got creative with prayer gardens and I was happy with how they turned out, so I thought I would share them here!

I started with a very inexpensive Zen Garden set from Dollar General, which included a small tray, a rake, a few stones, and some sand. I added more stones and doubled the sand that came with the set. I also added a few shells as a reminder of baptism, and tea light candles to represent the light of Christ. Then I made a set of guided prayer suggestions for using the garden, and put everything together in a gift bag.

I hope our teachers enjoy their little prayer gardens as much I enjoy mine. You can read more about what I have included in my prayer garden at home and ways that I have used it in previous posts.

I've just returned from an amazing week of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Level 3 Training in Saginaw, Michigan. I'll post more soon about this wonderful experience.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Thank You Teachers!

On Sunday we had our last day of Christian formation classes for the year. In the atrium we celebrated Pentecost and recognized children moving up to a new atrium next year. We also gave gifts to our teachers and celebrated our great year together after Church with this delicious cake! (We ate it so quickly I doubt any of the teachers actually saw the cake, so enjoy the photo above!)

Thank you to all of the people who serve in our formation ministries at Christ Church! We are blessed with many dedicated volunteers who really care about spiritual formation. I am so grateful for their deep faith and their hard work each week.

We thank God for:
  • the children, youth, and adults who are growing in their faith at Christ Church,
  • our nursery caregivers Camille and Julie, and our nursery teacher Eppie, 
  • the catechists in our atria ~ Deb, Lynette, Sarah, Kristin, Juanita, Lynn and Dennis,
  • our youth teachers ~ Mischelle, Justin, Jenn, Brad and Katie,
  • our substitute teachers for children and youth ~ Betsy, Anne, Lisa, Mike, Kathleen, Kimberly, Lem, Julie, Frances, and Kate, 
  • our regular adult formation teachers ~ Rev. Peter, Greg, Hilary, and Mary Jo and Mike (who coordinated our Adult Forums), and
  • our many Adult Forum leaders who taught throughout the year.

It has been a year filled with blessings and I am so grateful to the entire parish for its support of our formation ministries!

Thank you