Finally, a quiet night to update our heroes topic progress!
We kicked off the unit on 9/11 with a visit from 2 local first responders. Each brought 3 items from their "go-bag" and told how the items helped them do their job. We latched onto this idea of "go-bag" for our upcoming Bible hero lessons (see below).
The best part was when the guests told about the training they must go through to remain current. Of course, I jumped on that statement with how worship and Sunday School provide training for us as "Christian First Responders." A coin-shaped badge was given to the responders offering a scripture passage along with our thanks and enough extras to share with their colleagues.
Families were invited and hero snacks were served following the presentation which lasted about 20 minutes. Children then broke into 2 groups: preschool and elementary. The teens went off to help pack school kits with the adults.
A real hit of the morning were the red capes for preschoolers that will be adorned with a badge symbolizing the story and hero trait of each hero as we progress through the unit. (We are fortunate to have an "artist in residence" this year who is designing the badges.)
The elementary children decorated their own "go-bags" to which badges and personal choice symbols of the hero stories to be added in the coming "Heroes of the Bible" lessons. We are fortunate to refer back to the go-bags of our guests as we fill our own go-bags this fall. The day also gives us the opportunity to talk about how God wants us to be First Responders in our community and the world. We are the hands and mouths for God's Work.
We've extended our hero study to the adult Sunday School class and congregation members. A brief devotion is provided to the adult class on the day a hero is introduced and a copy of the devotion is available in the Hospitality area for all members.
We are running a modified rotation structure with only 2 weeks per Hero story. We will look at 5 heroes between now and the start of Advent with a culminating hero celebration family event on Nov. 20.
There is real excitement about this study of Bible heroes from teachers, children, and adults. I'm not sure if it was the timing of starting on 9/11 or the need to return to familiar stories of heroism and faith. Whatever the reason, we are off to an enthusiastic start in our Christian Education program.
Neil, thanks again for making the connection of first responders and go bags. We all need to keep our Christian First Responder go-bags supplied and ready to go. Thanks also to the rotation site for the wealth of resources available to teach Bible heroes.