This fall, for the 33rd year, I will be greeting a new group of two, three and four year old children into Sunday School at All Saints Church. The hour I spend with those children each Sunday has nurtured me and supported my own spiritual growth in ways I could not have imagined when I first volunteered to teach in 1981. No matter how difficult or stressful a week may be for me, the joy and enthusiasm that those children express in Sunday School always puts a smile on my face and fills me with hope for the future.
Their questions and responses to the Biblical stories that we retell each Sunday through our curriculum, Godly Play, have deepened my own awareness of the multiple mysteries that are contained in those stories and my understanding that faith is not an end-point with a single right answer but rather a life-long process of exploration and discovery. Watching and listening to these young children in Sunday School, through the years, has helped me truly understand the oft-repeated All Saints statement, “Whoever you are, wherever you are on your journey”.
Besides having learned so much from the relationships with children in Sunday School, my closest friends at All Saints have been their parents, the teachers I work with and the staff members who minister to children and families. Volunteering in Sunday School was my door into the heart of All Saints and it has continued to be at the center of my life through all of these years. The time has gone very quickly, and although I still feel like a young person inside, when I greet a parent on a Sunday morning and remember that they were once one of my preschoolers, I know I have been doing this for many years. All Saints Church and those parents who were once my preschoolers have given me a gift that cannot be measured. I thank God for the children and families of All Saints who teach me new lessons each week.