Director of Christian Education

Change…there has been a lot of it happening here. I remember a time when change seemed to be a bad word around here because we didn’t like it. I know I have mentioned it at least one time this year. But the fact of the matter is, change happens. And I know that many of us resist it. And many of us grumble and growl about it. And it happens anyway. I have discovered that age is not a determiner of resistance to change either. Many times that is what surprises me most.

This year, we moved children’s Sunday school to during the church hour. Just an update…that is going really well. We also moved time for Middle School and Senior High Sunday school to the time before Youth Group started. Here comes the change. The youth asked if we could please move Sunday school for them back to 9:00 on Sunday mornings. Some of them are in bells and are here anyway. Bells end at 9:00 and we generally sit in the Fellowship Center and talk about whatever is on the minds of those who show up. But for some reason, the change we made about their educational time does not sit well with them. So, back to 9:00 for the Middle School and Senior High students’ Sunday school. The only difference is that they would like to be one class. Makes sense to me as they meet together for youth group. Beginning on January 6, these two groups will join together as one and meet in the former Senior High classroom. Anyone want to take on this group as a teacher?

The Youth Group has also decided to meet every other Sunday night. Jobs and sports and family time and multiple other activities take up their time. So working from a monthly schedule, we will try this new change.

The Advent Festival date was changed for the very reasons that I mentioned for the youth. Sports and school activities and family commitments prevented most families from being here on the scheduled Wednesday night. After a flurry of texts to and from many of the mothers, an alternate date was agreed upon. I really love the Advent Festival and time spent with all the families, but life happens. I just could not bear the thought of unpainted windows. Right after church on December 2, families gathered in the Fellowship Center for a covered dish lunch and then window painting.

As I write this, the Live Nativity is scheduled for this coming Saturday and Sunday. The weather forecast for Saturday is less than promising. I am hoping that Mother Nature will be kind and allow our Nativity presentation. But we are flexible, and we will see what happens. Another change perhaps.

The changes I have mentioned above all deal with the children and youth. They go with the flow and are pretty flexible. And apparently, when they feel things are not working, they will tell me. That is a good thing. So we will change some more.

We are coming out of the Christmas season. For some reason, this 2018 season really affected me. Maybe because of all that is happening with the children at the southern border. Maybe because of some of the words in the children’s presentation on December 23. Maybe because of the young parents who were chosen to raise God’s son here on earth.

Maybe because their two lives were met with dramatic change. Their lives were already going to change because a marriage was in the planning. But then there were the angels who came to both Mary and Joseph with the most important news. And then there was the ruler who decided a census must be taken and that meant traveling a very long distance on foot and being pregnant. There was the reality that once Bethlehem was reached, there was no room in any inn. A stable was the only option for the young couple and sure enough, the time came that Mary delivered the baby Jesus there among the animals. Sure, we all have this romantic image of warmth and gentle animals and sweet smelling hay. It was a stable. And strangers came to see this child. And a ruler who was so insecure became jealous of this tiny child. So jealous, that again an angel appeared to Joseph and warned him to take Mary and the child and run for their lives. They couldn’t even be safe in their own hometown. They had to go to Egypt. By all of today’s definitions, this family became refugees fleeing for their lives. Big changes!

It is soon to be a new year. 2019. Seems unreal to me. Seems that I need to remember the changes that the holy family dealt with and remember the minute and simple changes that present themselves to me all the time, are really not so bad. Change can be good. The changes that Mary and Joseph faced must have seemed monumental to them. I certainly would not have wanted to face them. I cannot minimize major changes some families face. I cannot minimize tragedy and death and starvation and war. They all cause huge changes. But I remember something I have been told many times, “Don’t sweat the small stuff”. Sounds like a good resolution for me this year. Because I know that God is in charge and I am not. Happy New Year to each and every one of you and may our God add many blessings for a wonderful future to us all.