We are a child-friendly church, welcoming and encouraging all ages in worship. There is a space in the church for youngsters and their parents. Primary school age children meet at 10am during the school term, beginning in worship before leaving for their activities.
A tale of some colourful lumps!
Once upon a time, lots of good stories start that way, well, at this time of this story, there was a Sunday School teacher who was coming up with a Sunday school lesson. Pouring over the lectionary readings, she was a bit worried that the topics were both too complicated and too much for the age group she was going to be teaching. Pentecost. Tongues of Flame. Speaking in tongues. All people hearing their own language. No-one was set apart for any reason. Everyone was touched and full of the explosive power of the Holy Spirit. And then, from the depths of her own childhood, a song slid between the neurons and rose to the surface of her consciousness; she began to hum…‘red and yellow black and white they are precious in His sight Jesus loves the little children of the world’. To quote Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory BAZINGA! She loved playing with modelling clay and homemade flour and water clay would be FUN to make and the colours could be created from her stock of cake decorating colours… On a roll and the idea took shape and form… except – wait some gluten intolerance might make using the clay impossible for some of the children. Off to Dr Google and researching other varieties of clay…hmmm rice flour, could do that…right, new plan, rice flour clay and away the happy teacher went. Still humming the tune happily. Clay made and coloured. Wickedly cool multi-coloured red and yellow and black and white variety of people in poses of praise! Cut out some paper tongues of flame for the children to attach to the heads and she had her lesson sorted.
Later in the evening, the Sunday school teacher found the figures were still not quite dry enough to stand and so she popped them into her oven for a short period of baking. Hmmm, still not quite dry after an hour at low temperatures. Feeling very satisfied that all would be well, she chose to turn off the oven and leave them to cool as the oven cooled overnight to gather them up and go to church the next morning.
The next morning aka Sunday was bright and cheery as was our Sunday school teacher as she wandered into the kitchen to extract her creations from the oven. OMG literally! The people of praise now resembled a chaotic mass of lumpified colour! Panic short and swift!!! jump into action and get a new activity sorted for the children. Feel sorry for herself that her plan was foiled. New plan was done, but nowhere near as much fun, sigh… Take the colourful lumps to show the children – maybe they would see even adults make mistakes and that is ok too.
Mistakes, hmmm, maybe God was showing her it was not a mistake to see the world as a colourful lump of humanity! Maybe, it is better not to see one colour but to see all colours and have them so intertwined that we are one and the same, not one colour, but all colours! Maybe, just maybe, her God’s sense of humour was shining forth and helping her to see that plans are meant to be changed and even in the midst of lumps of colourful clay God does speak to us.