My season at Plymouth as Interim Director of Christian Formation for Children (I won’t miss typing that) is coming to an end just as the back-to-school season is creeping up on students of all ages, as well as parents, grandparents, teachers, principals, and professors. And of course, all the other folks who make schools run. Let’s hear it for the lunch ladies, custodians, secretaries, aides, nurses, and school resource officers! It does take a village.
But, what would the new school year look like if “God Time” got as much time as back-to-school shopping? As much thought as which backpack or planner or new shoes to buy?
One lesson from the pandemic is that we are all responsible for our children’s Christian Formation. Sunday School, when it is functioning, is at best an hour a week. We all have said the panicked prayers when we are fearful for them, but what faith are we sharing with our children? They may only hear the sigh of relief when they show up on time, or the lost is found. What are we teaching them about our relationship with God? How are we allowing for their relationship with God?
In her chapter of The Sandbox Revolution, Dee Dee Risher writes of how the Christian tradition is a path of love and “a spiritual corrective for basic human tendencies toward selfishness, violence and ego-centered living.” Rev. Risher suggests families participate in twice daily prayer--from the heart, not the rote ones, and reading, not from one right list, but books from many different kinds of cultures and characters. You’ll learn a lot, and have some cuddle time too.
You may have received my last mailing from church. It went to families with young children. I love the suggestions from Illustrated Ministries, especially the one about taking a deep breath before you open the car door when dropping your children at the myriad of places we drive them. You all pray for what is about to happen.
And please take one suggestion from me. The long drives to violin practice with my son were some of our best times because there was time to talk.
Take time for every season,
In 2020-21, Tricia returned to the interim position she held between Plymouth directors Sarah Wernsing and Mandy Hall. After leaving the Plymouth staff, she served as director of Children’s Ministries at St. Luke’s Episcopal for four years. Before moving to Ft. Collins with her husband Jim, she was Director of Children’s Ministries at the University Presbyterian Church in San Antonio, Texas. She has served on Plymouth’s Christian Formation Board, Congregational Life Board and taught Sunday School for many of the current youth group. Tricia is married, has two children living in Texas, one golden retriever and 5 grand animals. Her idea of a good time is hiking and reading. Before COVID, she and her husband attended the 6pm service. Pronouns: she/her.