In Children's Time on Sunday I talked about the way the coins that we share can help children in Syria receive school kits, receive arts programs, and explore the feeling that they experience as a result of the ongoing war.
Starting now, you'll be able to share the children's time portion of worship either on YouTube (you can subscribe to our channel) or on the SMC Faith Formation website, where I'll post them to the blog along with the Midweek Message. I know that it's hard - especially after they've had to experience screen learning all week - to have kids sit through worship. I hope this can be a way that I can keep connecting with them.
This week during the education hour will the be first time that kids have the opportunity to have time together. We'll do a game and a story that explore identity as well as a spiritual practice.
For now, though this will likely change in the new year to allow each age group to meet more frequently, Elementary, Middle and High school groups are each meeting one Sunday morning per month. Youth also have an evening meeting once a month.
Sunday morning Sunday school schedule:
There has been a lot of money talk among my children recently. With one child who has been receiving allowance for many years and learning how to save it and spend it (more or less) responsibly, my younger child who has never received allowance is now very aware that money is a thing and that it can buy candy. And so the campaign to receive allowance has begun.
I am not against allowance for a five-year-old, although I don't think it started this early with his sister, but I also don't want to reinforce the idea that the money he receives will be funneled straight to the corner store for Skittles. I want him to also develop and understanding of generosity and that he has the power to share. And so enters "My Coins Count."
We've never emphasized this giving program of Mennonite Central Committee before at SMC because we give in other ways to MCC. But the Mennonite Country Auction has moved online and our opportunities to assemble school kits or hygiene kits are unavailable so I encourage you to think of this as an alternative. The money collected through My Coins Count primarily supports hunger intervention, education and water projects around the world.
Here's how you can get started.
I'll let you know how our allowance situation develops!
Hey look! It's me. This fall and winter we'll have an opportunity to engage with resources and materials that help us explore Race, Justice and the Bible. Since a) I didn't share the invitation widely enough and b) ultimately shared the wrong link info for a faith formation orientation last week, I've hopefully righted that wrong by created a video. In it you'll see some slides that introduce some resources, see a schedule/rotation for age-based connection online or in person and hear about the way the new website for faith formation operates as a place to hold the resource for ongoing faith formation. (This one, right here!)
Please let me know what I've missed and what questions you still have. I hope to connect to families directly in coming weeks to check in and see what's going on in your families in these days and weeks of transitioning back into school/learning mode.
A blessing on your heads as you navigate the tangled web of parenting in a pandemic.
My kid has totally got my number. He called to me excitedly from the living room as I was making breakfast, "Mom! Look. There's a show with books about Black people." Now he's pointing me to resources that highlight Black voices and characters? Way to do my job for me, kid.
He was right though. Bookmarks on Netflix is pretty cool. Each 7-10 minute episode is introduced (and executive produced) by 15-year-old Marley Dias, who at 13 launched a campaign and bookdrive #1000BlackGirlBooks after complaining to her mother that all books "are about white boys and dogs." Each book is read by its authors or a celebrity you might recognize.
Orie was also delighted to discover that some of the books on the show are also on our shelves, like Sulwe, written and read by Lupita Nyong'o (pictured above) which he paged along to as she read.
I've often heard that kids need mirrors, windows and doors in their books. My white kid with a dog has plenty of mirrors. I'm grateful that he's eager to look through windows and step through the doors into the worlds that books like Sulwe and Crown: Ode to a Fresh Cut offer him.
So Bookmarks a recommendation from me and a five-year-old. The links below are a few more things to bookmark as you head into the school year.
Screenagers, the book - Delaney Rustin, the director of the Screenagers, has a new book which I will surely be ordering called Parenting in the Screen Age which is intended to empower parents to have fruitful conversations with their children and teens about screen use. This seems especially important with all schooling moving to screens this fall.
Blessing for school spaces - speaking of schools and screens, I found this Blessing for School at Home by pastoral colleague, Sara Wolbrecht, for our kids' school-at-home spaces. May our learning spaces be sacred and may the Spirit inhabit the spaces between us.