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Prayers

  • Bob Veitch (Hon. Retired) had knee surgery and is recovering at home.
  • Paul Musser (Hon. Retired) had a pacemaker put in and is expected to return home tomorrow.

Children’s Sermons

They are the bane of some pastors’ existence and others love them.  Either way children’s sermons present a challenge.  How do you do something that is useful and on the kids’ level and not too cute and all the other pitfalls.  Christmas is particularly perplexing.  What do you do with Santa Claus…make him St. Nicholas?  The holiday was co-opted by Christians from pagan rites and that is appropriate.  But when the incarnation takes us into the vernacular we are always in danger of the domestication of the Gospel.

I noticed something recently that is not new but may spark renewed creativity this year.  An author was reflecting on how the ancient symbols of the faith have often lost any sense of their historical context and even sometimes communicate quit the opposite of what is intended.  Words in the Lord’s Prayer and Apostle’s Creed can also mislead.  Maybe that could be the children’s sermon opportunity for 2013…teaching the meaning of the symbols (including familiar words and phrases) of the faith.  Our sanctuaries often have those symbols built-in.  IHS and χρ and all those other Latin and Greek letters we learned.  Teaching their meaning during the children’s sermon would give the kids something to look at when they got bored with the adult sermon!

As noted earlier, this is nothing new.  Maybe some of you have done this and even know of print and web resources that would help.  I’d be happy to share those with everyone.  It would be a way to teach the faith to a generation (including adults…who often get the most out of children’s sermons) which is highly ignorant of some of the basics.

David Dawson

January 2013

 

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