Children's Sermons revisited

A few weeks ago I posted about an idea to shift the focus of children's sermons.

This is still a work in progress (you may see there are still five slots open for suggestions and modifications). I have made a public google calendar with the different focus for each children's sermon.

Here is the html link.
And, below is the calendar just embedded into this blog post.

I would love to hear comments you might have. Is there something you would add? Is there any thing you would remove or change? (Please note that on the first Sundays of each month we have communion and so we do not have children's sermons on those dates.)



Children's Sermons - reconsidered

Children's sermons/Children's time is something that plagues many a congregations (and I am not alone in this assessment - see Bishop Willimon). We want to help our children and let them know they are important in worship, but the best we can come up with is a 'moment' in worship when we tell the children some silly story, over their head object lesson, or many times use them to get a laugh.

I am sure there are people who do this moment very well - and you are few and far between.

Teaching children in worship - if only given one moment in worship - can be a tricky thing and I have been thinking about it for a while now (this post made one reader sick).

As Estee and I consider our move to a new faith community, we have batted around the idea of having only 52 pre-set children's sermons that repeat each year. Each lesson would focus on a spiritual discipline with the purpose of helping the kids learn practices that form them in the faith.

For instance, we might have the first Sunday in January we would talk about breath prayer. The second Sunday in January would focus on icons, while the third Sunday in January would look at lighting candles, and the fourth Sunday would look at alms giving and so on and so on. The lessons would repeat again come the next January and once again the kids would hear about breath prayer, icons, candles and alms giving.

In just a few moments sent on this we have about 30 ideas.

We would look to rename it from Children's time/sermon to something else, but we don't know what yet.

What do you think?

Yoga, spin class and worship

Diana Butler Bass noted in a podcast that when she attended a yoga class she thought this is how church should be. Not the poses or the spandex or the mats or the music so much but the way the teacher moved in that class and how the class operated.

Her thought had me thinking that in yoga class there is a community that gathers together to take a different posture than normal. They all self-correct and hold one another accountable to the poses and encourage each other in the class. There is a teacher who walks among them and physically touches them and poses people while giving instruction to the class and guiding everyone together. There even is different clothes you use to assist your formation and you have tools to assist you. And in physical yoga class you are learning to breath, be flexible and nimble. Yoga is a way to get your body moving but it is a way of being in the world.

That sounds like a worship I would like to be in.

What Bass did not mention is that while worship is not set up like a yoga class it is set up like a spin class.

There is a community who come together to get pumped up. There is one posture you are to take and you take that posture the entire time you are there. You have movement but you do not stand up much and are rarely physically touched by anyone except a handshake. The instructor is up front and has a microphone as they then get the community energized to "attack the hill" or "get movin'". The irony of spin class is that you do a lot of work and don't go anywhere. You do not learn a way of living in spin class. The point of spin class is to feel better, get into physical shape, and get your heart rate pumping up. Once you leave spin class the class has little residual effects.

I wonder if we as a Church are addicted to spin class worship?