Another peek inside Sunday School at PMC courtesy of Kelsey Knight King, (professional Sunday School Teacher and maker of snacks from antiquity)
We went a bit rogue today. The children gave the thumbs-down to the exercise the curriculum suggested for the memory verse (acting out the words and saying "NOOOooooo!" when we get to the "No one, after lighting a lamp, hides it under a bushel basket" part of the verse), so they decided to challenge themselves and say the memory verse without looking at the poster, instead. But then the NOOOOooo! crept back in. Maybe you had to be there, but it was pretty funny.
I asked them to tell me about a time when they had been excluded from something. Their stories were sort of what you would expect, but also sort of heart-rending. We drew pictures of what the situation would have looked like if we had been included. We reimagined the situations in a happier, more inclusive way; the way that Jesus would like, and a way that can remind us to include others.
I brought copies of a song that isn't in our hymnal- "A Song of Peace", which Jean Sibelius wrote in 1865. It's one of my very favorite pieces of music. He wrote it about Finland, and about how his hopes and dreams lie there, but also about how there are other, equally valuable, hopes and dreams from "other hearts in other lands." I sent it home with the children.
We talked about the social situation in Jesus' time; the Roman Centurions in Capernaum were hated by the Jews, as they represented the oppressor, and the Jews definitely didn't want to include the Centurions in their lives. "Jesus was a Jew," I told the children; "do you think he went along with the social rules about excluding Centurions?" "NOOOOooo!", they answered. :)
Our Bible story proved them right; because of a Centurion's great faith, Jesus healed the Centurion's servant. We talked about how the Bible story isn't just about including those who are different from us; it also shows us that we can learn from "outsiders. Jesus said the Centurion's trust in God was the greatest He had seen in Israel.
And that's not all we can learn from the Roman Centurion- we can also eat delicious snacks from ancient Rome! I made globuli- little balls made of quark and semolina (I used ricotta and flour), fried in olive oil, and drizzled in honey.
This week: The children asked me to ask you to make globuli. :) The recipe is at http://www.squidoo.com/ancient-food-rome#module12427329
Next week: Jesus walks on water! We're going to try it, too.