Susan Hahn

A challenging adventure in creativity, making memories to last a lifetime, and it’s right here, at home… that must be an expensive, time consuming event, right?

What if you could make a difference in the lives of children, and all the lives those children will touch as they grow and learn… in a couple hours a week, at a place with which you are very familiar?

What if, to do this, your biggest risk might be finding out you are not smarter than a third grader? Wouldn’t you give it go, and have the fun seeing the joy and pride in a third grader’s face who knew she helped the teacher?

Our daughter, now a teen, benefited from patient, volunteer parents and teachers, choir directors, and other Christ Church parishioners spending their limited time to teach Sunday school or lead sessions at Shrine Mont since the day she was born and later baptized at Christ Church. We remember, with a smile, the baby parade after her baptism…she was not the quietest baby. And we, too, have been the beneficiaries of all her caring teachers and parents helping parents. We certainly remember the patient example of long-time kindergarten Sunday school teacher, Mr. Hutcheson, in quieting his class, “May the Peace of the Lord always be with you.” Every class of kindergarteners knew that meant it was time to listen.

We always enjoy the baptisms… followed by the baby parade of introduction to parishioners, the inspiration from the tiny faces, the hopeful, nervous parents and witnesses who stand with them. People of every age light up to see the babies. But it is especially a joy to observe the youngest children watching the baptism rite from the balcony, with great anticipation and smiles.

Part of the Episcopal baptismal rite includes a promise by the members of the congregation to do all they can to support the candidates for baptism in their life in Christ. It’s a tall order. Last year I was able to meet the challenge and became an adult leader in elementary Sunday school, and yes, it was a little scary. Occasional frustrations not withstanding, I found it was a good way to learn more and better appreciate what all those volunteers had been doing over the years for our family.

Your children are so interesting, engaged, willing to share perspectives on Sunday lessons taken from their own everyday lives. Some are quiet, some are talkative, some find it challenging to stay on topic, and some want to answer every question. They each contribute to those short Sunday morning sessions as part of their group. Many professional elementary school educators are in the mix of Sunday school leaders. They offered quick ideas or encouragement as needed.

The new workshop version of the lesson content we knew well from our daughter’s younger years was challenging. But the teaching techniques observed over the years from our daughter’s teachers at Christ Church, at her schools, from other parents, and even what we learn by dealing with adults at work, all kicked in for teaching Sunday school. By the end of the season in June, I had discovered that teaching Sunday school is … FUN!

If you have taught before, or have never taught, the new school year is a great time to come back or to try it for the first time.