submitted by the Rev. Lisa White Smith, White Earth congregations
In our small churches on the White Earth Reservation, Christian education for our children has been a tremendous challenge. So many things have been tried over the years.
This past spring we decided to have a Family Bible Study at St. Columba in White Earth. The Elders there had expressed a deep concern that their children and grandchildren did not know the most basic Bible stories.Sunday’s were a difficult time to teach.It was understood that it could not be “Clergy Centered” but needed to be “Family Centered.” We decided on Tuesday evenings beginning with a Potluck at 5:30pm, followed by a Bible Story presented by a family, which takes about 30 minutes.We seldom go over an hour, as it is for children and a school night.
We came up with a list of the most significant stories beginning with the “Creation Story” and jumped in.Every family has had to sign up to present a story in whatever way they desired.They were given various Web Sites to get ideas and a Children’s Bible.
The creativity has been tremendous. While Clergy have contributed some, the greatest value has been from the Mom’s and Grandma’s. We do desire to get more Dads and Grandpas to be more active.
This Spring we will have completed the Old Testament Stories and begin the New Testament Stories.
It has required no money, is not dependent upon the Clergy and is working.
As families experience presenting a story and activity they gain confidence.
We have had a few glitches with summer and sports activities, but we plug on. Of course we will learn as we go, but we have begun.