Sunday, November 16, 2008

That's What We Do, Mom.

The year was 1996. My home congregation had been faced with a building decision. Do we build on land we own, or do we renovate the very ugly, inadequate building we have? We used this issue as a distraction from relevant community work for way too long. We finally voted on saving the money and renovating the building ourselves.

I can always remember the year, because that was the same year that my eldest child began solidly walking and my youngest started talking. My eldest child was put in charge of bringing water to the workers and running various small errands. The first words out of my youngest son’s mouth were hammer, drill, sharp nail, ouch and Bob.

Bob was in charge of our building and grounds and orchestrated the work parties.

Fast forward to 2008. We’re still in that building. Bob was my eldest son, Quinn’s Coming of Age mentor. For his service project they built a fence around the church parking lot together. Bob pulled me aside to say in amazement that Quinn remembers the building renovation – heck if you ask him, he was a full-fledged member of the work party. (at age 3.)

Quinn also joined Bob’s Building and Grounds Committee when he became a voting member at age 14. Pounding nails and cleaning gutters is a healthy way to channel his teenage angst. Sometimes he and Bob will go make repairs at the homes of some of our elders’. Because, “That’s what we do, Mom.”

Religious Education teaches us we each matter. We each have a place. We each contribute to our collective story. There are common values that guide us, “That’s what we do, Mom.”

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Soccer RE

I was doing some consulting work with another church and they were lamenting, cursing really, soccer. Soccer was the downfall of their religious education program. How could those soccer organizing heathens schedule games on Sunday morning?! I am amazed they got away with it, however, my response wasn’t very helpful to this particular congregation. I suggested they ditch Sunday School start a soccer team.

Really. That’s one of my fantasies. A co-ed soccer team that begins practice with the lighting of the chalice, an inspirational reading, a team go-around “what are you working on today, and how can the team support you?” Go practice guided by our values and principles. Close with a team go around, “what you appreciate about your team mates or what you’re proud of from today’s practice….”

And what if we call ditched worship some Sunday and went to cheer for our team… or even both teams playing…

Religious Education doesn’t exclusively happen on Sunday from 10:30 -11:30 am. Religious Education happens when life intentionally happens and we’re alive and awake in the world.