The month of August 2017 we collected birthday messages to celebrate Rotation.org's 20th Birthday. Many of them contain inspiration thoughts of how they transformed their Sunday School.
Related Birthday Celebration Links:
Related Birthday Celebration Links:
In 2000, I was searching for ways to create a "VBS-like" experience for Sunday mornings and began researching what others were doing. I discovered I didn't have to invent it, it was already in place through rotation.org.
In 2001, St Luke's UMC in OKC launched "The Great Adventure" Rotation Sunday School. We were the first United Methodist Church in our conference to begin rotation and also hosted a conference to share the good news with not only United Methodists but other denominations.
I truly believe the best way to teach God's stories is in ways that keep God's story memorable, meaningful and fun. There was a noticeable improvement as kids enter youth years in the knowledge and understanding of the Bible because of rotation. Our youth director was challenged by the rotation kids to offer more in confirmation and other studies.
I moved to my current position as Associate Pastor of Good Shepherd UMC in Yukon, Oklahoma 5 yrs ago, and YES, I'm doing the Rotation Model there again too.
Looking forward to many more years of Rotation.org energizing us in our local churches.
Happy Birthday and Blessings!
Rev. Dr. Charlotte Teel, Good Shepherd UMC, Yukon, Oklahoma
Happy Birthday Rotation.org,
I first learned about the Workshop Rotation Model in 1996 attending conference led by Neil MacQueen about using computers in Sunday School. He mentioned Rotation in his presentation and it intrigued me. Shortly thereafter I attended a Rotation Model conference and was inspired to begin in my home church and did so in 1998. Soon area churches were wanting to know how they could do it, too, so we formed a group called Detroit Net-Worm which still meets today. In 1999 I moved to First Presbyterian Church of Birmingham, Michigan where we began again Rotation.
Twenty years later, I am still committed to using the Workshop Rotation Model, and kids and teachers still love it! Engaging kids through Rotation.org's multiple intelligence-informed approach has transformed my ministry in ways that extend beyond Sunday school, and I am so grateful for this grass roots movement.
I've participated with the lesson writing team and regularly use material at rotation.org. I continue to be amazed and delighted by the creativity and commitment of educators around the country and the world! Equally important is the community of people I have come to know and love through rotation.org.
A final word of deep gratitude and kudos to the Rotation.org Board of Directors who have so willingly given of their time and talent to not only maintain and update the website but have formed a community of people passionate about passing on the stories of God and God's people in ways that instill them in the hearts and minds of our children, youth and adults.
~Cindy Merten, Director of Christian Education and All Abilities Inclusion Ministry, First Presbyterian Church, Birmingham Michigan.
Editor's Note: Cindy was an original member of our site's first Board. Her church gave us a grant to hire a coordinator and lead Rotation.org to incorporation and a full-fledged Board of Directors.
Hey, Happy 20th Birthday, Rotation.org!
I'm responsible for children's ministries at Algoma Blvd United Methodist in Oshkosh, WI. I came into this job seven years ago with zero background in children's ministry. My predecessor left me info about Rotation.org, THANKFULLY, and I've been using it ever since.
Rotation.org has been super helpful and we've done some pretty cool lessons. Sure, we've had a few flops, but that would probably be the case with any program, am I right? Anyway, I plan to continue digging through Rotation.org to find more awesome stuff. Thanks much to all the amazing volunteers!!
Director of Children's & Youth Ministries
Algoma Blvd. United Methodist Church
Happy Birthday Rotation.org
Our church, United Methodist Church of Geneva, Illinois, was already using the Rotation Model when I started there 14 years ago. I was thrilled with this program from the beginning. But being new to this method, I would never have been able to continue without the lessons and information found at rotation.org. It is always my first stop when looking for anything.
I am so appreciative of all the work that goes into keeping this site up and running for the good of Christian education, and for the benefit to the future of God's children. Thank you.
~Jodi Borger, Dir. of Children’s Education, UMC of Geneva, Geneva Illinois
Years ago, sitting in the Dallas Ft-Worth airport, I was told by a chaplain about Rotation-style lessons and rotation.org. I had no idea how much that simple concept would change my life!
And I wish I knew who he was so I could hug his neck and really thank him.
Over the past almost 18 years, I have used lessons from rotation.org as a minister, volunteer and even as a homeschool mom. I can't thank you all enough for this website (Luanne, Anne, Carol, Jaymie, Cathy, Amy, Heidi, Neil, and everyone who contributes to this site) ...and this way of teaching in general.
Even now, even when I make up my own stuff, the lessons I teach use the concepts I learned from rotation.org. And when I introduce it to others, I love seeing the light-bulb go on as people realize, that yes, kids can have FUN and dig deep into a Bible Story! That they will love being able to have the same story more than once. That they can learn facts without worksheets, and that larger-scale projects make for lasting memory (and memories) so much better than cut and paste or coloring pages. We didn't know how to break away from a different--story-every-week curriculum. You have led the way!
Pictured: One of our students learning to "go the extra mile" in our Sunday School.
~Staci Woodruff, Jenks Church of Christ, Jenks OK
Happy Birthday, Rotation.org! I have been with you for 16 years. Rotation.org has been my go-to site for all things Sunday school. Thank you for all you are doing!
20 years!!!!!!!!! That’s incredible! Congratulations.
There have been so many changes, not least in technology, and in that time you have provided resources for the Rotation model of Sunday groups which reflect these changing times.
Thank you for your ministry.
National Children & Youth Adviser for the Church of England
The Education Office, Church House
Great Smith Street
I became the youth coordinator at a church that used the Workshop Rotation Module. It became what I used and still use today!
What I like best is letting the kids explore the themes and stories over several weeks and in different ways.
Thanks for making a huge difference for our church family!
Happy 20th birthday!
HAPPY 20th BIRTHDAY Rotation.org!!!
I’m the Junior Sabbath School Leader (for ages 10-12) at the Apison Seventh-day Adventist Church in Apison Tennessee. I first discovered Rotation.org last April when I was an assistant leader in the Junior room. They were using a 3-year cycle of Bible story lessons for the kids at that time, which covered multiple stories every week. Whenever it was my turn to teach, I’d pick just one story to focus on, and I’d go to the internet searching for ideas to make the story more interesting. One day in April of 2016, I happened across the Rotation.org website while I was searching for ideas, and I was blown away by all the awesome ideas on this website! I loved the idea of the rotation model. I immediately signed up as a Supporting Member so I’d have access to everything on the website, and even though we weren’t actually doing the rotation model, your website became the place I always went to for great ideas to supplement my lessons.
I can hardly believe it has been 20 years! Time flies when you are having fun. I have so enjoyed working with countless congregations around the country to support their efforts to get WRM programs up and running. I know that our children (and adults) are learning more about the Bible than with more traditional methods as well as how to respond to the world in light of their faith. Thank you to all the coordinators who make the calls, the shoppers who get the supplies, the crafts persons who create the spaces and the congregations that support such an amazing and powerful way to share the faith one generation to the other.
Happy Birthday to Rotation.org!
We found this site when we were developing our RSS in 2009. We gleaned the site for workshop room ideas and names. Now as we enter the fourth year of our second cycle, we still use Rotation.org regularly for workshop and “extra” ideas.
There are so many creative ideas and we are so thankful for the Board Members who contribute their time and talents to make it successful!
20 years... I didn’t realize how long it has been that we have been doing rotation. We have loved it from the beginning and the material you provide just gets better and better.
I first heard about Rotation at the International Children’s Pastor Conference. I was very excited and came back home and began to implement it right away. We just completed the rotation on Pentecost from the Writing Team. Everything is always so creative, we love it.
Thanks again for all your organization does to help us teach children in fun, creative ways.
Churchill Baptist Church
San Antonio, TX
Happy Birthday Rotation.org. You are the greatest. Long, long ago, a volunteer from Wyoming introduced me to Rotation.org and I have been a supporting member ever since. You are the best. I love your ideas and the rotation model and it has been a blessing to me personally and to all of the kids in our church. Thanks for your hard work and caring. God bless you all.
To "The Ladies" who make up our Board. You are THE reason this site is what it is today. You are great educators, faithful leaders, and even better people.
To everyone who has ever posted an idea or lesson. You've filled my brain with a thousand great ideas and inklings. I have learned so much from you.
To the fearless Sunday School teachers, pastors and educators who dare to teach in special ways. I am that kid whose heart and soul you reached.
Thank you, and 20 more!
A favorite song that says how I feel...
FUMC Slidell, Lousiana loves Rotation.org! Thank you for providing a creative way to help us develop our relationship with Jesus!
We used the rotation model during the summers before Hurricane Katrina and it was fun! After the storm, rebuilding our church from the inside out required intentional planning and we wanted the best for our children who had been through so much. It took years to rebuild the classrooms, yet now we enjoy workshops in each one!
Rotation model excites the children to learn in their preferred way, the adults love to lead the area they feel most comfortable teaching, and everyone has fun with the creative things we do!
May God continue to grow and bless Rotation.org all around the world!
(Our kids threw you a party.)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROTATION.ORG from First Presbyterian Church Jackson, TN!
Next year marks our 10th year using the rotation model! We got started when our pastor's wife mentioned that she had seen this "new" type of Sunday School at a church in SC. Our CE committee found they were using the rotation model and we decided to try it! Many, many thanks to Jaymie for sharing her 6 years of lessons with us!
Happy Birthday from another United Methodist Church in Ann Arbor, MI!
I first learned about Rotation.org from Carol when I was attending Ann Arbor First. I love the concept of rotation because it really gets kids into the Bible Story. Unfortunately, I only have two Elementary aged kids, so we don't rotate. Though I love using this curriculum because it gives so many options and angles to look at the Bible Stories. This fall, winter and spring my kiddos want to study the life of Jesus, so I have been able to go through the lessons and pick and choose what will work for them. I am having a lot of fun choosing things they will like, they love hands on crafts and project, especially cooking for others. Thanks for all that you do! I'll take some pictures this year!
Rev. Mary Hagley, Deacon serving as the Minister of Children & Youth www.dixborochurch.org.
Wow, how time has flown! This September will be the start of my 17th year using rotation. I first heard about rotation and rotation.org at a local seminar on curriculum options in early 2000. When a local minister stepped up and started talking about the Rotation Model and then demonstrated using the software David (Kid's Interactive Series) I was sold, and of course all the other workshops were icing on the cake! We took the plunge and have never looked back and use rotation.org for our main source of teaching material.
Besides blessing our small rural Sunday School, over all these years, it's been a blessing to me personally. It's grown my faith and on that journey blessed me with so many new friends across Canada and the United States, I get to volunteer with a wonderful inspirational group of ladies on the board (Carol, Anne, Jaymie, Cathy, Amy and Heidi), and of course Neil our phenomenal webmaster.
I'm inspired and my imagination sparked everyday upon reading new (and older) posts throughout the site — so keep them coming and THANK YOU!
I mean really ..... a Lego workshop, how cool is that!
This past Easter - in our "God's Story Table" Workshop: the kids recreated Jerusalem - Jesus Last Week (Garden of Gethsemane area pictured) using Lego and Mega Blocks (Jerusalem/Temple).
They benefit so much from rotation.org!
Wow...20 years... it really is amazing! I first learned about this model from another children's director back in 1999. Our elementary SS was struggling -- that summer we had a couple Sundays with only one student attending. Yikes! She gave me the address of the website and I came home and spent all afternoon (the site was MUCH smaller then!) looking at everything and getting more and more excited! I took the idea to our children's council and they all were on board. We sent the staff program director to a Rotation conference in Chicago and she came back SUPER pumped. Our team decided in April to just "go for it" and on September 10, 2000, we launched our very first rotation. We're starting our 18th year and have never looked back. This year we complete our THIRD cycle of our six year scope of lessons.
As so many people have said already, my favorite thing about this model is the creativity and excitement it brings to the kids. How can we possibly bore kids with the greatest adventure book every written??? Bringing the stories to life, creating memorable ways to engage them with the stories, helping them really dig deep... it's the foundation of Rotation Model SS.
One of the BEST things about Rotation.org is that we are always striving to do better. Better platform for the site, better organization, better lessons. Supporting members make that possible through their memberships and all the people who post make it better with their input. I remember thinking as we were writing/developing our lessons those first years that I would be so relieved when we were done writing. But the lessons here just keep getting better, so we keep tweaking our old lessons with new ideas and new activities. Because of Rotation.org our lessons keep getting better and better too.
I'm grateful to have discovered this site all those years ago. I'm grateful to serve you on our board. I'm grateful to a community of people who are passionate about passing on the faith to the next generation!
Director of Children and Family Ministries (about to retire though!)
State Street UMC, Bristol VA
Rotation.org Board secretary
Happy Birthday Rotation.org. and thanks for giving lots of good ideas to enrich Sunday school and any Bible education going on in the church!
I guess it’s about time I wished the community a Happy 20th Birthday!
I’ve been involved since I stumbled (literally) onto this site, in July of 2001. God has led me to a series of “yeses” since that date. At first the affirmatives came fast and furious…
The yeses became a blur... and how did this happen?
It has been quite a journey. From the start, I saw the need to write our own curriculum, to tailor to our kids and our congregation. I started off doing this writing all by myself. Eventually it became obvious that I needed to get more folks to help. And folks stepped up, and continue to be involved. I always point all of our writers to Rotation.org. The Writing Team lesson sets are superb.
My guiding assertion about the Rotation Model at our church comes from a longtime Rotation mentor, Cindy Merten, who says:
The Rotation Model is a whole church ministry disguised as a children's program.
This leads to one more resounding Yes.
indeed, the Rotation Model and with it, Rotation.org, have been a rich blessing to a lot of people.
Happy Birthday Rotation.org. Here's to another 20.
-- Carol Hulbert
Happy Birthday Rotation.org!
I was part of a team at Westwood Presbyterian Church in Wichita, KS, that began using the Rotation Model in 1996. I can so relate to those who say they "never looked back" after making the transition! And now, I have recently moved to a new town, new church and am hoping to help the transition happen here as well. The resources available on rotation.org are such a blessing! Thanks to all those who have taken the time to contribute to this site!